Recruitment and HR Blog

Staff retention - What makes an employee want to leave

Matt Heighway - Tuesday, July 03, 2018

A major issue that has become prominent in human resource departments is staff retention. Research shows that retention is still a top Human Resource priority.

Staff retention seems to have a slightly different meaning to different people but it all comes down to one point – keeping staff.

What can employers do to keep their staff??? Off course it will depend on the size of the organisation and its budget as to what an employer can provide to help retain its employees. Below are some ideas to assist in staff retention for your organisation:

-Health Insurance

-Gym memberships

-Events and activities

-Flexible hours/negotiation of hours

-Work from home opportunities

-Employee Assistance Programs

-Formal Career Planning

-Paid Training and Development Opportunities

-Paid holidays and accommodation

-Company Car / Fuel card

-Company mobile phone


-Product Discounts

-Extra Superannuation contributions

-Staff discounts on company products



-Rostered days off

-Study leave

-Conventions and social clubs – Overseas or domestic gatherings

-Gifts – some as simple as a bunch of flowers

-Christmas Functions

-Access to counselling/support services

While all of these incentives help in retaining staff there are some much larger issues that are not being addressed such as management styles, lack of workplace communication and feedback, company culture, excessive workloads, salary, insufficient training, no room for growth and many more.

Company culture is one of the largest factors why people leave their jobs no matter what industry they are in or how big or small the company is. Company culture starts at the managers and supervisors and works its way down.

If Managers and supervisors have negative, rude or unapproachable manners than it effects all other employees and results is a negative company culture that people don’t like to work and be involved in and will leave as a result of that.

Insufficient training provided to managers in the areas of people management and leadership is a crucial issue. Managers who are responsible for leading teams can greatly impact on the culture of that team, and effectively the company as whole. Overall staff members will not perform to their full potential if they are not being well led with appropriate training and direction. This will ultimately see the organisation not making as much as they potentially could be and the possibility of further issues such as breakdowns in communication and deterioration of overall staff morale.

History shows that having good staff retention is important to the company's staff morale, it benefits financially and helps to make a happy, healthy and co-operate working environment. Good retention gives employees a sense of ownership and a sense of being wanted. Employers want to be an employer of choice, retaining staff is a great way towards achieving that.

Staff retention is the best way to benefit financially from employees you've recruited, hired and trained. In addition good staff retention helps to establish better communication between managers and staff, provides initiatives and maintains staff morale, develops a productive working environment and encourages professional growth.

It is suggested that retention offers the highest return on investment (ROI) of any HR initiative. Notwithstanding this, many businesses have historically adopted a reactive approach to addressing turnover – it has simply been accepted as the cost of doing business.


The Footprint Group can help you design employee incentive schemes and also help identify workplace culture issues. Contact The Footprint Group on 4324 3922 or

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