Employee Retention & Career Development

group of workers in training

by Laura Belyea, COO at Talivest

It’s good for business and even better for your workforce, so it’s no surprise that employee retention strategies are the trending topic of the moment.


As we enter a new phase in the post-pandemic world, the industry is learning how to bounce back, whilst recognising the importance of its staff. In the aftermath of ‘The Great Resignation’ and with staff shortages still an issue, employee retention remains a topical issue. Because of this, it’s also a candidates market, meaning that businesses have to work even harder on their employee retention and motivation strategies, to retain and attract the very best talent.

What is Employee Retention?

As the name suggests, employee retention is defined as a company’s ability to retain its employees. It’s also a good indication of your company’s health as an attractive place to work.

Maintaining an engaged workforce remains a high priority for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s expensive to hire and enroll new talent, estimated at around six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace. In realistic terms, you’re looking at an investment of €20,000 upwards. Secondly, high levels of employee turnover can affect team morale and motivation to stay at a company – and yes, you guessed it, this all impacts productivity too.

Innovative & Successful Employee Strategies 

The good news, however, is that there are a number of innovative employee retention strategies that can be introduced immediately, to start making a difference, let’s take a look at some of these.

Pulse questionnaire

Want to stay ahead of the game? The best way to monitor internal trends is with a pulse questionnaire. This is a smart and easy way of taking a snapshot of the current temperature, enabling you to tune into issues and address them before they get out of control.

  • Developing employees – key to retention

We’ve got news for you – your workforce was busy ‘upskilling’ (learning new skills) during lockdown. Why? Because training is key to growth and opportunities. Employee retention –professional development, they’re one and the same. If you aren’t already investing heavily in training and development, now is the time. What’s more, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if their training and development were invested in. It can also be as simple as offering internal mentorship, or working with team members to identify areas they wish to improve as part of a personal development plan.

  • Career growth

Along with training, another vital consideration is employee development in the workplace. If you’re wondering how career development programs support employee retention – think of it this way. If a company is constantly recruiting externally, or is not willing to hire from within, what does this say to your colleagues about their career path? Rather than look to external solutions, if your staff have gaps in their knowledge, it’s the perfect opportunity to help them gain new skills and become retrained. With the industry changing at a pace employee retention career development is the big trend right now.

  • Employee engagement strategies

Even though remote work is a growing trend for HR professionals, we’re starting to see colleagues return to the office – some with trepidation over the past few months. As such, it’s important to look at ways to make the office return a positive experience, and employee engagement is key to this.

Improving Employee Retention Through Career Development

As touched on above, employee development in the workplace is key to employee engagement and retention. However it’s not just the employee who benefits – there’s a huge knock-on effect to the business too, including:

  • It can attract new talent
  • Cost savings through employee retention
  • It can help colleagues feel rewarded and more motivated to stay in a company
  • Highly skilled workforce
  • Performance is improved as a result of the above

As a final thought, when putting a career development plan together, follow these five useful steps as part of a successful employee retention strategy:

  • Identify areas of strength and weakness
  • Put a career development plan together, considering mentorship as part of it
  • Dovetailing these learnings into the overarching company objectives
  • Set a strategy in place for career growth
  • Create opportunities and encourage ongoing development

So there you have it, some of the best employee retention strategies that you can implement today.

About the author

Laura’s role is to successfully support the growth and strategy for Talivest, as well as provide product support with her expertise within the HR industry. Previously posts were director of HR & operations in Telefonica, Elizabeth Arden and ICON