The Best Employee Retention Articles and Resources from Across the Web

June 22, 2018 by Evan Ross
Employee Retention Articles

High turnover to contend with? Low employee engagement giving you a headache? Workers looking for the door? Revitalizing your employee retention can be a daunting undertaking, but we’re here to help. Here are all the employee retention articles and resources you’ll need to get informed, get inspired, and get going.

General Employee Retention Articles

5 Companies Tell Us How They Retain Their Best Talent

Source: Entrepreneur

About:

When it comes to learning about employee turnover prevention, examples are one of our favorite tools. This excellent article is part analysis, part case-study, and has valuable lessons for anyone looking for a way to bring their employee retention up to snuff.

Quote:

“World Travel Holdings, a leading cruise company, allows a reported 70 percent of its employees to work from home full time. “We place a strong value on creating an environment where our employees can work from home, which has been instrumental in us being able to hire and retain top talent,” says Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of human resources.”

When One Pay Raise a Year Isn’t Enough

Source: Wall Street Journal

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There are many strategies to improve retention – this article from the Wall Street Journal breaks down how raises impact employee satisfaction and give several particularly good case studies where businesses have revolutionized their retention and engagement by changing how they do raises.

Quote:

“Shutterfly Inc. employees are eligible for bonuses four times a year, with biannual salary reviews. The check-ins allow managers at the online photo publishing service to address employees’ concerns, such as dissatisfaction with their pay, head-on.”

How Important Is Culture Fit For Employee Retention?

Source: Forbes

About:

Many employee engagement and retention plans mention hiring and workplace culture. This article from Forbes links them (and the natural result, employee retention) in a compelling way.

Quote:

“We have a saying the Navy SEAL teams which goes, ‘Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.’ Equally as impactful is our saying, ‘Don’t run to your death.’In the world of recruiting and human resources, it goes something like, ‘Hire slow, fire fast.’”

30 Companies that Truly Put Employees Front and Center

About:

This is a phenomenal rundown of some of the most innovative companies in the nation when it comes to employee retention and engagement. There’s likely something in this employee retention article to inspire you, even if it’s on a much smaller scale. Check out the best practices of some of the nations most impressive employers.

Quote:

“[Quicken Loans’] move of more than 8,000 employees to Detroit from the suburbs in 2010 has helped spark one of the largest urban renewal projects in the nation’s history. It also offers its full-time employees an average of 350 hours of training every year and has a low 13% full-time staff turnover rate.”

Why This CEO Is Helping 20% Of His Employees Find New Jobs By Next YearSource: Fast Company

About:

A refreshing counterpoint in the sea of stress over employee turnover – sometimes the best way to prevent an employee moving away is to allow them to change roles. Hootsuite’s brilliant Ryan Holmes describes his take on employee retention, and why it works so well.

Quote:

“Traditionally, employee retention—the ability to keep staff—is considered a telltale sign of a company’s health. But if you ask me, focusing blindly on retention actually misses the bigger picture. The metric we should be tracking is something I call “people movement,” and it’s the oxygen pulsing through a business.”

How 11 Fortune 500 Global Companies Retain their Top Talent

Source: Inc

About:

Will we ever get sick of examples of awesome employee retention strategies? No, at least, not until we’ve consumed an amount that would shock most people. Incidentally, this is the same answer we give when asked if we’ll ever get sick of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. If you also have a craving for strategy inspiration, this article is for you.

Quote:

Microsoft believes that the company of talented and driven colleagues plays a vital role in encouraging people to stay longer in a company. Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer, says, ‘While pay and benefits are table stakes to keep great talent, we believe working alongside amazing peers to realize your own personal mission is the most powerful retention strategy.’”

Employee Retention Research, Surveys, and Studies

There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees

Source: Center for American Progress

About:

This is one of the best resources on the cost of employee turnover out there. An analysis of 30 case studies over 11 different research papers, this is something you’re going to want to read if turnover is weighing heavily on your balance sheet.

Quote:

“The estimated of the cost of turnover in the 30 case studies analyzed here range from 5.8 percent up to 213 percent, depending on the job and employee skills.”

One Third of Full-Time Workers Globally Say Managing Work-Life Has Become More Difficult

Source: EY

About:

Delve into the details on how workers today struggle with a work-life balance and what this means for employee retention. This study from EY explores who is having the hardest time, and what their experience is. Use this information to help inform your own strategies for retention – particularly when it comes to keeping your best employees.

Quote:

“The top five reasons [for quitting] were: minimal wage growth, lack of opportunity to advance, excessive overtime hours, a work environment that does not encourage teamwork and a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly.”

Global Trends in Employee Attraction, Retention and Engagement

Source: Willis Towers Watson

About:

Willis Towers Watson consistently puts out some of the most high-quality reporting on employee retention and turnover. This report breaks down the global trends that all employers should be aware of – these trends are likely ones you are experiencing.

Quote:

“There is strong alignment between employers and employees on the two most important factors influencing retention: base pay and career advancement. Looking further down the list, we can see areas of disconnect.”

Seven Things to Know About Employee Retention Risks

Source: Willis Towers Watson

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If turnover and employee retention are concerns of yours, this is an article to read. In this article, Willis Towers Watson outlines the difficulties undermining employee retention efforts, including details on high-retention-risk employees and their perspectives.

Quote:

“A successful engagement strategy is fueled by a deep understanding of employee attitudes and needs.”

Also included:

Modern Workplace Poll

Source: CBS/Vanity Fair

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Get the details on fundamental trends in the modern workplace, including answers that can help guide your employee retention strategies – like “What’s the most important thing to look for in a new job?”

Quote:

“Which of the following is most important to consider when looking for a new job: 28 percent of Americans said they are looking for opportunity, 24 percent said they want flexibility and nine percent chose responsibility. But not surprisingly, when all the votes were counted, more than a third of Americans simply said ‘show me the money.’”

The Employee Burnout Crisis: Study Reveals Big Workplace Challenge in 2017

Source: Kronos

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Burnout directly translates to high employee turnover – this study explores the details and current experiences of employers dealing with burnout. What causes burnout, how are other businesses  and what is there to be done?.

Quote:

“95 percent of human resource leaders admit employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention… Unfair compensation (41 percent), unreasonable workload (32 percent), and too much overtime / after-hours work (32 percent) are the top three contributors to burnout, per the study.”

Informed Candidate Survey: Understanding the Impact of Quality Candidates

Source: Glassdoor

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The key findings of this study highlight how to improve employee turnover (among other aspects of your business) by focusing on hiring high quality and informed candidates.

Quote:

“Top benefits of hiring informed candidates are:

  • Better employee retention (42%)
  • More productive employee (42%)
  • More engaged employee (41%)
  • Better team player (30%)
  • Improved employee experience (27%)
  • Better source for employee referrals (19%)”

 

Are Your Best Employees Looking to Leave?

Source: Gallup

About:

Gallup is a research giant, and the resources they pull from to deliver insights are vast. Delve into the perspectives of today’s employees and what it means for businesses big and small, startups, employees, and the economy. If your best employees are the ones you are worried about leaving, this report is a must-read.

Quote:

“Americans’ confidence that they can find a job as good as their current one if they happen to be laid off has also bounced back. Currently, 63% of employed U.S. adults believe it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that they would find a job as good as the one they have, up from 42% who said the same in 2010. The current figure is similar to what Gallup measured in early 2007 before the recession.

2018 Global Human Capital Trends

Source: Deloitte

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Though not specifically and exclusively about employee retention, this is perhaps the most widely read report in HR. The Human Capital Trends Report from Deloitte represents the state of work in 2018, and offers up predictions for the future and the impact of current trends.

Quote:

“New communications tools are rapidly entering the workplace. But as these tools migrate from personal life to the workplace, organizations must apply their expertise in team management, goal-setting, and employee development to ensure they actually improve performance.”

Employee Retention Case Studies and Examples

Employee Retention Strategies: 39 Companies’ Key Methods for Retaining Talent

Source: Time Doctor

About:

This fantastic resource reveals 39 real-company examples of employee retention strategies. Quickly and easily see what works for others and what might be a help for your own business. See quotes from the major players and explore their company’s retention results.

Quote:

“At Evernote, we believe the team you build is the company you build; it is important to make sure our employees feel like they are working towards a common mission. Our philosophy on retention is to listen to employees and provide them with all the resources they need to show up as their best selves and do their best work.”

Southwest Airlines: A Case Study in Employee Engagement

Source: Entrepreneur

About: Here’s a fun and pretty simple employee engagement initiative Southwest Airlines implemented to improve their employee retention – let employees design the new uniforms.

Quote:

“The result? A bolder, more fashion forward and functional uniform for employees. The new uniforms are also machine washable, a rarity when it comes to airline attire. Those who participated in this undertaking, such as Joan Mast, a flight attendant for the airline for 36 years, called it an “unforgettable experience.”

This Company Retains 95% of Its Employees — Here’s Its Secret

Source: First Round Review

About:

This excellent and easy read describes a new approach to how HR leaders think about retention – particularly what indicators they are looking at. There are aspects to your business that might have more to do with why employees stay or go than you think. Locations Labs’ retention experience can help reveal them.

Quote:

When people join Location Labs, they stay. The company boasts a 95% employee retention rate, and has never laid off an employee.”

Whole Foods Market Case Study: Leadership and Employee Retention

Source: JWU

About:

Setting your employees up for success is an almost unbeatable way to increase retention. Whole Foods figured this out. This case study of Whole Foods’ employee retention efforts (pre-Amazon acquisition) gives in-depth insights into the retention strategies and human resources management best practices that were most effective for this grocery giant.

Quote:

“The study provided a number of key findings of successful practices: (1) establish a mission and values driven culture; (2) provide a thriving environment in which your employees can be their true selves; (3) empower employees by encouraging innovation and dispersed decision making; (4) offer individual and team incentives for ideal behavior and performance; and (5) promote growth opportunities both vertically and laterally within the company.”

Employee Retention and Turnover Data Resources

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

About:

Ah yes, the JOLTS report. Not usually as shocking as its name implies, this monthly report tracks the openings, hirings, and separations in the United States and offers observations based on these statistics. This is an exceptional report for HR staff (particularly supervisors) who want to keep their finger on the pulse.

Annual Turnover Rate By Industry

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

About:

Curious to see how your business matches up against the national average for your industry? This is the page to check out. The data ranges from 2013-2017. If you have data to match those years, you can also use this to see how you’ve tracked against the average over time.

2018 Monthly Turnover Rate By Industry

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

About: If you’d like a current analysis of the retention situation by industry, this page will give you some answers.

Retention Leaders and Expert Voices

Josh Bersin

Founder of Bersin at Deloitte and the driving force behind the glorious yearly Global Human Capital report. Follow @Josh_Bersin on Twitter, and you’ll get the latest updates, as well as posts about the many challenges facing businesses today that Josh finds interesting. Trust us, if he finds it interesting, it’s definitely worth reading about.

Meghan Biro

As founder of TalentCulture and #WorkTrends, Biro is truly a player to watch when it comes to the future of employee engagement. Talent-obsessed and brilliant, Biro’s Twitter feed is packed full of insightful employee engagement, recruitment, and retention information, thoughtful responses to questions posed from everyday HR professionals, and of course, everything going on in the world of employee management.

Steve Boese

Steve is a prolific tweeter and one of the voices to pay attention to when it comes to all things employee engagement. Host of the podcast ‘HR Happy Hour,’ Steve routinely updates his listeners with the latest in human resources, and fills his twitter feed with the latest news.

SHRM

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is doubtless one of the most important organizations and voices in human resources. They have an enormous amount of resources for all things HR, including talent management, leadership, and legal/bureaucratic issues. If you run HR for a small business, this page should be bookmarked.  

Marriott – Employee Retention in a High Turnover Industry

In an industry known for painfully high employee turnover rates, Marriott makes waves for being an exception to what seems like the rule. This employer has been steadily and consistently working towards higher employee retention for a long time, and they’re an excellent standard to hold your own company to. Though they certainly have enormously effective strategies, Marriott teaches an even more important lesson about truly long-term employee retention: It isn’t about the industry you are in, it’s about the kind of workplace you build.

A couple of interesting articles:

Why Employees Love Staying At Marriott

Source: Fortune

About:

This article breaks down the major long-term employee retention strategies implemented by Marriott, specifically with regard to engaging their  employees and developing an engaged and community-oriented workforce.

Quote:

“But talk to Marriott employees—or associates, as they’re called—and you’ll hear the word “family” with unusual frequency. They rave about their workplace and their colleagues. And they stick around. The average tenure for a hotel general manager at Marriott is 25 years; industry wide it’s much lower.”

Marriott International Shares Its Secret To Driving Employee Engagement

Source: LinkedIn

About: One of Marriott’s defining differences in the hospitality industry is their willingness to really engage their workforce, and that includes a huge effort to actually listen to the experiences of their employees and make real change.

Quote:

“Every year, Marriott surveys its associates around the world to monitor the health of their work environment, culture, and employee engagement. More than 90% of associates worldwide complete the survey. In 2015, their study of Marriott-managed full-service hotels in the U.S. found that properties with highly engaged hourly associates exhibit these points:

+11% More productivity

+16% Fewer guest problems

+28% Lower turnover”

A Case Study on Employee Engagement: Marriott International, Inc.

About:

Health benefits are an incredibly powerful retention tool – everyone wants to be healthy, and very few people can afford the bills if they get sick without insurance. Marriott’s approach to health benefits for their workforce is carried out in a refreshing way – offering their employees a wide variety of options.

Quote:

“Marriott provides medical, prescription drug, vision, and dental coverage to 150,000 covered associates and dependents in the United States. Approximately 80% of benefits-eligible associates are enrolled in Marriott’s medical plans, and most associates have a choice between a PPO/POS and HMO. Most of Marriott’s medical plans are self-insured.”

Google – Another Case Study on Employee Retention

Tech is an industry with notoriously high turnover, but Google manages to hold onto employees better than the average tech company – and no, it isn’t all due to just being Google. Their employees retention strategies have become part of the playbook for other tech companies – but they work for any company willing to dedicate the time.

A couple good articles:

Secrets of Google’s Talent Retention Success

Source: European CEO

About: Delve into Google’s employment successes (and general recruiting structure) in this article, which discusses, among other things, the high-tech process that Google uses as part of its recruitment strategy that helps them cut their employee turnover.

Quote:

“‘There are a multitude of ways in which statistical principles can be applied to the provision of people-related forecasts. Assuming that the mathematical rules of the road are applied to both the data structure and the algorithm development, then these can provide great benefit to organisations. In essence, any model requires data to be collected and a series of tests to be applied’, Collins explains”

Google HR Boss Explains the Only 2 ways to Keep Your Best People From Quitting

Source: Business Insider

About: Though Lazlo Bock is no longer the leader of Google’s workforce, his actions in that role cemented him as one of the modern employment and work geniuses of our time. There are many strategies in Bock’s plan for Google’s employee retention, but there are two that he feels stand above the rest. Read more about them in this article.

Quote:

“Google sets a high standard for everyone it hires. Whether you’re applying for an administrative assistant position or that of senior engineer, every candidate is screened by their potential boss, potential colleagues, a hiring committee, and finally Google CEO Larry Page.”

Employee Engagement / HR Podcasts to Explore:

Workology Podcast

Host: Jessica Miller-Merrell

About: The Workology podcast is all about bringing something new to being a workplace leader. Hosted by Workology founder Jessica Miller-Merrell, the podcast has industry expert guests who come on to describe the latest in HR. Explore 100+ episodes on topics ranging from, of course, employee retention, to personal development and leadership best practices.

Episode #106: Candid Conversations About Employee Retention

Quote:

“Jeff’s stance on exit interviews intrigued me since it is different than the exit interview forms and even online surveys I have used in the past. He goes so far even to suggest not using standard questions. It’s the best way to get employees to share, tell the whole story and give you unsolicited and honest feedback.”

Episode 124: A Fresh Look at Employee Retention & Engagement

Quote:

“Let’s ask ourselves for a minute and be honest. Where do you fit? Are you an owner, renter, or vandal? Can we move fluidly from one to the other? What employees, as well as leaders, are each of these? Can we change them or are employees solely responsible for their engagement level as Greg has outlined?”

HR Happy Hour

Host: Steve Boese

About: One of the longest-running HR podcasts out there, the HR Happy Hour has a tremendous archive of episodes to work your way through while doing some mindless, repetitive task. Steve Boese, the host, is an expert who guides you through every subject with engaging enthusiasm.

Episode: Research on the Rocks #5 – Employee Financial Wellness

Quote:

“It goes without saying that financial stress takes a serious toll on an individual’s health, happiness, and overall well-being. But, it also has a ripple effect on our workforce. When employees are stressed, productivity, performance, and engagement all plummet. So, what are we doing to help employees manage stress?”

Conclusion

Honestly, we’re impressed you’re still looking for more to read. If you still got questions that haven’t been answered, or just want recommendations on what we’re currently reading about employee retention, feel free to reach out at info@forusall.com.

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Evan is on a mission to use the power of storytelling to change the world for the better. And what better way to change the world than to help everyday Americans retire with comfort and dignity? After studying English & Creative Writing at UC Irvine, Evan honed his marketing craft at a digital advertising agency before being put in charge of building an automotive tech company's marketing department from the ground up. Now, Evan creates content and communications that help professionals at small and mid-sized businesses lower their fees, minimize their liability, and turn their 401(k)s into recruiting and retention machines. In his free time, Evan can be found playing hockey, writing short stories, and embarking on reckless round-the-world odysseys.

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