Build Employee Loyalty & Increase Retention


Those of us in Human Resources have been saying that the average length of stay of an employee at any particular employer is between 3 and 5 years. Then I wondered where we came up with that number. I did some research and found that he Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey of 60,000 employees and asks the question, ”How long have you worked at your current employer?” In January 2010 that number was 4.4 years. Not unusual that coming out of a recession the number would push toward that 5 year mark. (Employee Tenure Summary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept 2010)


How about ten years ago? In 2000 the number was 3.5 years. Let’s go back a whole generation. The January 1983 number was 3.5 years. Wait a minute! This generation has lost that old fashioned sense of loyalty. Those numbers can’t be right. The numbers tell us that even though this generation is keeping their resumes updated and looking for that next bigger and better opportunity, the reality is they are no more likely to jump ship than previous generations.

 What are you doing to attract and keep new employees?

Here are a few suggestions to help you with employee retention:

1.  Make sure they have a good first day and are made to feel welcome. Why not has a small, informal party on the first day? Do you only have a party when a good employee leaves? That’s backwards!

2.  Get the new employee engaged early with a special project or assignment.

3.  Don’t wait until the exit interview to have your only “honest” conversation.  Keep the lines of communication open at all times.  Good communication will help to keep performance levels high and will reinforce positive behavior. Communication doesn't have to be scheduled or highly structured. A quick stop by an employee's desk with a positive comment works wonders for retention!

4.  Where feasible, include employees in decision making.  This can help to create a culture of employee involvement and will generate new ideas and perspectives that top management might never have thought of.

5.  Provide opportunities for growth and development.  Offer opportunities for employees to acquire new skills and knowledge useful to your organization.

Your employees are representative of what you have invested in them.  If you invest quality time and attention in your employees, they'll be more likely to favor you with a longer stay in your company.