How do companies retain employees for longer?

Employee retention: 7 factors for motivated employees

Most employees want to feel respected, valued, taken seriously and part of a team. If this is taken to heart by the employer, it will be much easier for employees not only to do their job according to regulations. If everything fits, they turn themselves upside down, achieve the unbelievable and help the company to grow in size (in a twofold sense).

Having motivated and satisfied employees is not an impossibility, but it also does not fall into the lap of a company.

If an employee is already looking around to see what jobs are available on the market, one foot is already out the door. Accordingly, it is important to address the problem before it even exists. It starts with the interview (keyword: candidate experience), goes through onboarding and ends with regular feedback (which, by the way, also includes the letter of rejection). So that a counter offer to terminate is not necessary in the first place, you can counteract it in good time.

5 reasons why it pays to motivate employees

Employee retention and motivation are often perceived as secondary company goals. Having satisfied employees, however, has far more far-reaching effects than just good-humored people. Admittedly, appropriate measures primarily promote the work environment, corporate culture and mood, but the commitment of employees can also be determined by hard facts:

  1. Motivated employees are committed to their work through their comfort zone. You are committed to your work and therefore usually more efficient.
  2. If employees are satisfied, do they recommend their employer and its products to others (and what could be better than advertising from your own ranks?)
  3. Happy employees show initiative, enjoy working on new projects and stand by their mistakes, while dissatisfied employees tend to practice excuses, complain and only do the bare minimum.
  4. Satisfied employees prefer to work in a team and a good team structure leads to more motivation and productivity.
  5. If employees are happy in the company, they stay and reduce fluctuation and in the long run also the time to hire.

7 essential factors for better employee loyalty

Demotivated employees are a symptom of a bigger problem and often it is up to HR management to resolve those issues.

Officevibe has carried out a long-term data collection (2013 to 2016) with more than 50,000 participants in 1,000 companies in over 150 countries.

# 1 appreciation

Only distribute praise in moderation - a credo that can backfire. According to the book How Full is your Bucket, the number one reason employees quit is not being appreciated. If an employee always delivers solid performance, he should also be valued for it. There is hardly anything more frustrating than not getting recognition when you deserve it.

65% of employees feel that they are not valued enough - companies that take this into account have 31% less fluctuation.

Doing a job well or only half-heartedly becomes a minor matter for the employee at some point if he is not recognized for it. Even small achievements should be praised. More appreciation is the first step towards happier employees and also means fewer staff changes - which is known to be worth real money. And it is primarily about intangible things: Employees value praise more than gifts! According to the Officevibe survey, more than two-thirds of employees are praised less than once a week.

How can you implement appreciation in the company? For example, by offering discounts and benefits that show your employees that you are grateful. About through

  • free snacks, healthy food
  • the possibility of home office
  • Discounts for sports courses
  • Team events at the company's expense
  • Etc.

However, these things are only a bonus that cannot replace a stable foundation of mutual respect, appreciation and good communication.

# 2 feedback

“Talking makes people get together” - building an open culture of conversation can nip many problems in the bud. Giving direct feedback helps employees, as does regular contact. Employees can only grow and develop through feedback on their work.

35% of employees wait longer than 3 months for feedback from their superiors.

A good employer / employee relationship is based on communication, trust and respect. This can only happen if the relationship between different levels of the hierarchy is positive or at least not negative. If fear mixes with everyday work, for example because the head of department never says hello and only speaks to employees when there are problems, the atmosphere is poisoned. 82 percent of employees want feedback, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Incidentally, this can also come from colleagues, as they often have a better insight into everyday work - encourage colleagues to give each other feedback.

How do you achieve a healthy feedback culture in the company?

  • The "basics" of interpersonal communication should be given: Greetings, "Please" and "Thank you" and a smile in everyday working life are the basis
  • Make sure that as a manager you are part of the team and not above or next to it
  • The workplace should not be a place of fear for anyone - an atmosphere of respect and trust ensures this, for example by asking questions about obvious problems and showing sympathy. Mistakes shouldn't become a stigma either - after all, the whole team can learn from them
  • The annual employee appraisal is not enough - regular meetings, face-to-face discussions and target-achievement discussions ensure more commitment and a good relationship

Important: The quality of feedback! Meaningful, meaningful and constructive feedback achieve more.

# 3 happiness

Anyone who is "happy" with their job will undoubtedly do it better. You cannot force employees to do their work with passion - but you can ensure a positive working environment and achieve great things with the smallest changes in everyday work (see points 1 and 2).

A third of the employees surveyed do not feel happy in their work. Often there are also private reasons for this - after all, a quarter of those surveyed stated that they were not entirely happy in their private life either.

If employees are demotivated, they are more likely to complain about their work and fill their day with lots of breaks or social media. Then you should ask yourself:

  • Do my employees often work overtime?
  • Are you overwhelmed or under-challenged with your workload?
  • Are they also entrusted with work tasks on weekends or on vacation?
  • Are they getting enough recognition and feedback for their work?
  • Do I show sympathy for private problems too?

If an employee seems dissatisfied, the respective situation should in any case be examined more closely and evaluated as to how it could be improved for both parties. A concrete problem solution could be to work out the role of the employee in the company in an open conversation and to find out where he sees himself in the future.

# 4 Personal development

Offering employees professional programs for advancement and further development promotes personal motivation, the desire to grow with the company and employee loyalty.

57% of workers believe that they have no opportunities to advance their careers.

Self-employment and independence largely determine employee satisfaction and only very few employees feel that they can work independently (42 percent think they are granted too little autonomy).

What can you do about it?

  • Put your trust! Grant employees their own projects
  • Motivation also grows from the feeling that you are needed and that you are constantly developing: Personal training should therefore always be on the agenda
  • Make further training opportunities transparent: If further training has to be demanded, knowledge-hungry employees are pissed off

# 5 colleagues / teamwork

Whether it's the corporate atmosphere, the appropriate salary or the manageable but demanding workload - a suitable environment ensures that employees like to stay.

One in two people is not satisfied with the benefits offered, one in three thinks that they are not being paid appropriately.

Friendships at work should also be encouraged: 70 percent of employees say that friends at work are the most important thing for job satisfaction. If colleagues get along well, communication and work processes improve.

  • Transparency matters a lot! Employees should feel that they are appropriately remunerated for their work (also in comparison with colleagues), otherwise the motivation evaporates (in psychology this is what the so-called equity theory says)
  • Getting to know each other (especially with new employees) should also be encouraged outside of the workplace: Team events are fun and bring people together
  • A coffee chat once a week or lunch out strengthens the team structure
  • A joint meeting at the beginning of the week brings everyone on the same page and also ensures that everyone has an overview of what is bothering their colleagues

# 6 health

Stress is the number one health killer. 48 percent experience stress at work and many feel overworked - that's bad for both sides. In the long run, work productivity suffers and, in the worst case, burnout follows.

42% of the respondents think that their sleep is insufficient.

Stress can be reduced through clear goals: If the employee does not know how their work performance is being evaluated, confusion and thus stress grows - this in turn leads to demotivated employees. Work-life balance is an essential part of a healthy, happy and productive employee.

You can also do the following:

  • Offer a healthy work environment - regardless of whether it is a small coaching session, a health day or a fruit basket
  • Breaks should be requested and respected by the highest level
  • Flexitime models or the option of working from home make employees more independent
  • Make goals clear and achievable

# 7 Common values

If the company values ​​match the ideals of the employees, the latter are more likely to recommend the company to others.

59% of the employees surveyed would not recommend their employer to others.

Creating a positive corporate culture and an appreciative work environment promotes employee loyalty and enthusiastic employees. A real cultural fit only arises when the values ​​of employees and companies match.

  • The goal should be to have the feeling of being part of a bigger whole
  • A common, openly communicated vision of the company connects
  • Set values, inform employees about them (e.g. through a values ​​brochure) and live them


Infographic: This is how motivated and dissatisfied employees differ

Photo credit: Chompuu / Shutterstock; Officevibe