Key components of employee retention


Key employee retention and attraction is critical to the long-term health and success of any organisation. It is not uncommon to realise that most organisations do not realise the importance of retaining their employees until they tender their resignation.

The ability to retain and attract your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, satisfied staff, retention of organisational knowledge and learning and effective succession planning.

If an organisation fails to retain a key employee, it is costly to because apart from the cost associated with recruitment and selection, other issues such as training time and investment; lost knowledge; mourning, and possibly insecure co-workers will all have a serious impact on the organisation. 

It is not a secret that attracting and retaining of employees in particular “key employees” is a big challenge facing most organisations today.

It has been observed that traditional approaches to attraction and retention of employees are not as effective due in part to generational changes and there is a need to take a more multi-dimensional approach to the issue. The following are some of the key components of employee retention:

Compelling Future – This means that employees should perceive the organisation as one that is “going somewhere,” one which has ambitious but achievable goals for growth and the employees should see themselves playing an integral role in that future of the organisation. 

In this case employees develop a lasting relationship and attachment to the organisation.

Positive Work Environment – In this case, employees must be able show appreciation of the nature of the work they do as well as the team of people they work with. 

They must feel that there is enough support and communication to accomplish their role in the organisation and that there is a fit between the values of the organisation and their own personal values. Employees must be willing to live the core values of the organisation.

Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth – In this case, the employee must not feel as though their distinctive talents and abilities will only be used in the organisation, but they need to realise that they will be enhanced and strengthened in a way that leads to expanded roles, responsibilities and opportunities. 

This implies not only that there is somewhere to go, but that the organisation knows how to get the most out of its human resources.

Financial Rewards – This is perhaps the most obvious key to retention. With this issue, employees want to know that if they achieve the expectations the organisation has of them, they will be rewarded in a way that fulfils their current and future financial needs and goals. So this calls for fair remuneration packages which the organisation is able to sustain.

Training and Development – One of the most important things an employer can do to retain employees is to provide them with training and development opportunities. 

Should training be an expensive, planned event?  It is not always that training and development has to be traditional classroom or seminar types. 

There are other methods that can be explored. The advent of Covid-19 has brought with it other ways of delivering training in the form of webinars and customised training programmes through the use of learning management systems. 

Get creative in how you develop your employees and they may just be with your organisation for a while, which can increase your organisation’s profitability and ensuring lasting relationships with your clients Expand employee job descriptions to include new, higher-level responsibilities.

Paul Nyausaru is an HR Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your HR interventions and leadership development training you can get in touch with him on WhatsApp/call 0774062756 or email

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