10 HR Best Practices For Employee Retention

Finding the right candidate for a position takes time and skill. Keeping the right candidate also takes time and skill.

What are some HR best practices for employee retention?

We asked ten professionals to share their insights on the topic.


Make Coworker Relationships Positive

Employees love where they work when they love who they work with, and so creating fun ways for people to connect with their teammates is the biggest cultural win for any team. Especially when remote employees are involved, it’s incredibly important to create fun opportunities for people to engage, really get to know their peers, and form a deeper relationship. 

Zack McCarty, Qwick


Align Incentives With the Goals of Management

Managers who treat employees like machinery with fixed per-hour costs tend to have high turnover. Aligning employee incentives with the goals of management is a great way to foster loyalty while improving productivity. In sales jobs, group sales commissions (versus individual commission) is a method of creating teamwork while weeding out the least productive salespeople. For office jobs, productivity enhancements should be rewarded accordingly and emphasis should be placed on rewards that elicit the goals of management. The one-size-fits-all approach to management is a thing of the past and modern companies have realized this.

Anthony Babbitt, HR Consultant


Be Transparent

Employees become skeptical of a company when they are left in the dark. The best thing you can do as an HR professional is to engage in transparency with your employees. Business transparency and easy access to company information are necessary tools to promote trust and better employee retention. 

Court Will, Will & Will


Hire Employee ‘Clones’ of Your Low-Turnover Employees

How? Have your best employees who are low-turnover take pre-employment personality tests and cognitive aptitude tests. Then, hire applicants who get the same pre-hire test scores plus did well on other applicant assessment methods. You, in effect, ‘clone’ your good, low-turnover employees.

Michael Mercer, Mercer Systems


Hire to Keep From the Start

Having strong employee retention starts with hiring people that are committed to staying! Take your time when interviewing candidates and make sure that their professional and personal goals are in alignment with the role they are interviewing for. 

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie


Employees Remember How You Make Them Feel

Many people will forget what their managers said, but they will still remember how their managers made them feel. Our days at work are often filled with stress, and retaining employees is much about showing them respect for the job they did, acknowledging their work, and being grateful for their effort. Managers can show respect to their employees by acknowledging their opinion, giving them feedback, showing interest in their professional development, and offer them a chance to improve their skill set. Combining these things will help businesses retain their employees and have a more productive and engaged workforce.

Dušan Goljić, DealsOnHealth


Ensure Employees That You’re Their Ally

Employee retention is all about making them feel like they have an ally on their side. HR has to prioritize the employee, and not just as a being that plays a role in the company, but as a person who has feelings and a life outside of the office. Checking in with employees, holding office hours and even company gatherings are all things that HR can do in order to keep employees happy. 

Alexes Jones, Startup SEO Company


Work Together to Make it Happen

Find out what each employee wants and work together to make a plan for it to happen. Employee desires can include recognition, more money, career advancement, better leadership, better culture, better training and other aspects. When an employee’s needs are not being met, they are more likely to look elsewhere. By having individual conversations with employees to see where the company is missing the mark, then making a plan to help the employee achieve this, the company can grow to be a better place and also can retain valuable talent.

Jessica Schocker, Recruitment Consultant


Retention Is Strongly Correlated to Leadership

The old adage “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers” is still true today. Caring, empathetic leadership that communicates well ties employees into a greater cause than the next fiscal quarter and betters the lives of their employees (or at least takes some responsibility for their growth) is a winning formula.

Matt Lee, Learning and Development Leader



Care about what you do and how you do it. Care for the people in your organization — even those that may pose some challenges for HR. Care for your HR team, so they can continue to care for others. Care enough for your leaders and managers so that when they get your best, they are inspired to give their best. If you can’t care with sincerity, employees will feel that and will look for organizations that do care.

Colleen McManus, Senior Consultant