Strategies to Retain Your Top Performers

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What is your brand’s “special sauce” — that unique and special thing that separates you from your competitors and keeps your customers coming back time after time? As good as your products or services may be, and as compelling as your marketing strategy is, it’s the people that make your business what it is. Those tireless, skilled and intrepid folks who consistently bring their A-game to work. The people who genuinely care about the values and ideals on which your brand was built, and strive to embody them. 

These are the people who bring tremendous value to both your brand and your business operations, and retaining them should be a top priority. Especially in the current climate. Many companies are still reeling from the “Great Resignation” with 3% of the workforce quitting their jobs in 2021. But how do you retain your top performers when your competitors are hungry to snap them up? 

Here we’ll look at how to compose your employee retention plan and identify the challenges that could see you lose your top-tier talent. 

How do I write an employee retention plan?

Writing an employee retention plan is a daunting task if you’ve never written one before. It’s vital that your plan addresses all the areas of your operations that are essential to employee retention. 

These include:


Retention starts at the recruitment stage. It’s essential to not only look for candidates whose skills match the necessities of each position, but whose attitudes, values and work ethic are aligned with your company’s (and your team’s). When candidates are a “good fit” in these regards, they are much more likely to stay with you for the long haul. 

Workplace culture and values

Your core values are a key part of your company’s mission statement. But you need to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. Your workplace culture needs to embody those values and weave them into the fabric of the employee experience. 

Almost 50% of employees would leave their jobs for a lower-paying position with an organization that had a better workplace culture.

Employee wellness

An employee retention strategy should also highlight the importance of employee wellness. This is absolutely crucial in preventing burnout and ensuring that your team is happy, healthy and fulfilled at work. 

An employee wellness plan may involve:

  • Flexible working hours
  • Hybrid or remote working 
  • Discounted gym memberships for employees
  • Providing healthy meals for employees
  • Providing on-site creche facilities 
  • Holding regular fitness challenges

Rewards and recognition

It goes without saying that remuneration is an important part of your employee retention plan. But employee recognition and rewards are also key. According to Proofhub, 69% of employees feel that they would be more productive if they felt their efforts were better recognized.

Employee recognition software is a useful tool for sharing and celebrating employee achievements, both on-site and remotely. Not only do they enable managers to share the achievements and best practices of team members, they also allow for peer recognition. These software platforms can also integrate with your rewards scheme to help employers share tangible rewards with their employees. As well as paid bonuses, these may include additional time off, flexible working hours or experiential rewards (like trips and other special events).


When employees feel actively engaged in the work they do, they are much less likely to experience boredom, frustration, or a feeling of disconnection from their work. Unfortunately, a 2018 Gallup poll revealed that 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. 

Fortunately, there are lots of ways in which employers can make employee engagement a key part of their retention plan, including:

  • Providing ongoing training tailored to the employee’s career goals
  • Ensuring that they always have the necessary tools to excel in their jobs
  • Ensuring that targets and deadlines are realistic and manageable
  • Providing individual support to employees when they need it
  • Using a peer-mentoring system 

What are the challenges to retaining talent in an organization?

As well as creating a bulletproof retention plan, employers also need to keep a close eye on threats and challenges to employee retention. Your competitors are one obvious example. Fail to give your employees the rewards, recognition and career development that they need to thrive, and they may be poached by competing businesses as readily as your customers. 

Other common examples include:

  • Recruitment mishaps where candidates are not chosen based on their compatibility with your organizational structure and ethos
  • Unrealistic expectations leading to high workloads, tight deadlines and a gradual race toward burnout
  • Poor management or leadership (e.g. micromanaging)
  • Lack of appreciation or tangible reward
  • Dissatisfaction with pay and / or bonus structures

As we can see, your retention strategy should be built around addressing these challenges and preventing them from damaging your harmonious relationship with your workforce. 

How do I measure employee retention?

Fail to quantify your employee retention rates, and they can quickly creep up on you, leaving you with colossal organizational problems. 

By measuring and monitoring employee retention, you can be proactive in dealing with any issues that could cause a spike in voluntary employee turnover. 

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to calculate your employee retention rate:

  • First, decide on the time period that you want to measure (e.g. month, quarter, or year)
  • Divide the number of employees that remained with you throughout the period by the number of employees you had at the start of the period
  • Multiply the resulting figure by 100
  • This is your employee retention rate expressed as a percentage

Why should you pay attention to your employee turnover rate?

Failing to address employee retention can result in high employee turnover rates. And these may harm your company in a number of ways. Not least of which is the financial impact of employee turnover.  According to the Society for Human Resource Management, replacing a managerial-level employee costs between $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting, onboarding and training expenses. Not to mention the impact that the recruitment, sorting and onboarding process have on operations and productivity. 

Low retention rates make it harder to perpetuate a workplace culture that embodies your brand values. It makes your team feel less motivated and cohesive, as well as undermining the experience of your customers. As employees grow closer and closer to leaving your organization, they’re likely to be less engaged and productive, and make less of a contribution to your team dynamic. 

It’s never too late to improve employee retention

The good news is that 77% of the factors that drive voluntary employee turnover are preventable. It’s up to leaders and managers to quickly identify any issues that could lead to employee turnover and address them in their retention plan before they can negatively impact the company. 

The MBL Difference

If you’re looking to kickoff or improve your recruitment and retention processes, there’s no better solution than MBL. At MBL, we are a true partner. We think of our work as building relationships, not as a business transaction. It’s our mission to learn as much about your company and its needs as possible, so we can act as your guiding force. We will share our vast network of partners, carriers, technology and wellness providers, and more, so you can diversify your talent pipeline, foster employee satisfaction and inclusion, and boost your bottom line.

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