Employee retention: Once you hire them, how to keep them

The costs of hiring, orientation and training can pile up. Having to fill the same position twice or more in a year can be very frustrating and significantly impact productivity, team morale and the bottom line.

While offering more money in the form of wages and benefits may be a good incentive, many business owners – especially new start-ups – may not have it to give. While money is important, there are other things employees value. Given the right mix of employee-centred incentives, many will choose to stay.

What are some employment retention strategies? We’ll break them down into money issues and non-monetary incentives:


  • Always be aware of the median wage in your sector and area – don’t lose a valuable employee over a dollar an hour when a replacement might cost you two
  • Regular review of salary especially in entry-level positions, connected to small increases for a job well done often is appreciated more than a higher starting wage that seems arbitrary    
  • Retention bonus where linked to a defined business goal may help retention; a bonus not clearly defined is not likely to make the difference in retaining an unhappy employee

Non-monetary rewards

  • Flex time/working from home/ banking time
  • Family get-togethers such as golf tournaments and BBQs
  • Recognition by peers, draws and contests
  • Mentoring, training and career development
  • Employee Assistance Programs

Knowing your employee team and continuing to pay attention as that group changes over the years can help you keep your best employees and continue to attract strong applicants.