Staff Retention

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 9 December 2021
Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite
Issues covered: Recruitment and Selection; Staff Retention; Training and Development


As we approach the end of 2021 and look towards 2022 the retention of our key staff members is top of the agenda. Staff retention may be described as an employer’s efforts to manage staff turnover and retain their valuable employees. Organisations need to review their staff retention strategy in order to mitigate the risk of losing their most valuable asset – their people.

High turnover of staff can have other negative impacts on a business. Customers get to know your staff and will no doubt have grown familiar with particular members of your team. This perceived inconsistency may have a negative impact on how your customers engage with your business.

What is a staff retention strategy and what should it include?

A staff retention strategy includes the organizations initiatives to attract and retain staff therefore addressing and reducing a high turnover of staff.


The employees’ journey with the organization begins with the recruitment and onboarding process. This gives the employee the initial first impression of the organisation. The process should be seamless and ensure that as much as possible the candidate is a match for the position. The job description should be transparent and comprehensive, clearly outlining what is expected of the employee. Similarly, the performance management system should be initiated on commencement, clearly outlining the performance objectives of the role to ensure success.


Organisations need to ensure as much as possible that they are offering a competitive package in order to attract and retain staff. Employees have many priorities and so it is important that you can offer a comprehensive, yet tailored package to meet the needs of all employees.  There are proactive steps that employers can take in retaining employees which can include, where possible look at introducing benefits where finance allow, such as paid sick leave or a pension scheme. Alternatively, discussing and allowing for open conversations with employees regarding what they require would be a good option. For example, employees requesting more flexibility in how they work or where they work in order to achieve a better work life balance and the organization seeing if it is possible to accommodate employees with such requests.

Training & Development

Creating an organization that fosters a culture of learning, development and progression is very important in retaining staff. When this culture exists, employees have a pathway where they are given the opportunity to progress and grow within the company. Not all employees will want to progress and will be happy to stay in their current role; however, it is important that should they wish to progress, the option is available to them. Organisations can provide staff with access to education promoting continuous learning and development by offering to subsidize the costs and/or providing paid study leave.

Staff Engagement

The more employees are involved in the organisation the more they feel a part of it. It is important therefore that employers ensure their employees are engaged especially now with many employees working remotely. The quality of communication between the employer and the employee has a direct influence on the employee's engagement with the organisation and whether or not they decide to stay. A "two-way" communication strategy should be put in place. Mechanisms such as employee forums are useful in encouraging upwards communication from staff as well as downwards communication that relays management information.

Due to Covid restrictions many initiatives such as team building exercises or events have stopped. Employers should look at different ways to engage their employees for example virtual team building exercises, virtual coffee mornings and getting input of any ideas that employees may have to create that sense of engagement.

Health & Wellbeing

Often, Health & Wellbeing initiatives are perceived as more valuable to employees than monetary benefits. Organisations can ensure that staff feel supported by offering an Employee Assistance Program, offering subsidized Health Insurance or even an annual health check clinic.

Acknowledging milestones whether big or small often goes a long way. Organizations need to celebrate the wins so shine a light on notable achievements - whether a team finishes ahead of the deadline on a major project, or an employee reaches a ten-year work anniversary, seize the opportunity to mark the milestone together. Employees may need to celebrate virtually, but it can be a meaningful and memorable moment for everyone.

As we spend so much of our lives at work, organizations must ensure their teams feel included and that they and their loved one’s matter to the organization.


It is important for every business to get to the root of why they are losing staff. Exit interviews are a really good way of collecting this crucial information. Conducting exit interviews with all departing staff will provide you with a wealth of feedback on all aspects of their experience in your organization and will help you to identify the preventative measures you need to take in order to reduce your staff turnover.

This article is correct at 09/12/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite

The main content of this article was provided by Caroline Reidy. Contact telephone number is +353 66 710 2887 / +353 86 775 2064 or email

View all articles by Caroline Reidy