employee retention

10 Retention Factors that Shape Employee Experience

We identified 10 retention factors that will shape employee experience in the years to come. Read all about them in this article.

Nathan Goldstein

Co-founder of Together

Published on 

January 1, 2024

Updated on 

Time to Read

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In 2023, the year-on-year retention rates dropped for most businesses across industries. HR leaders have barely recovered from the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, so an across-the-board drop in retention rates does not bode well for anyone trying to keep their team together. That being said, it is entirely possible to retain your top talent and keep them engaged and motivated, if you know the factors that influence their decision to stay with you.

In this article, we will discuss 10 of the top employee retention factors that will determine your retention rates for the year 2024 and beyond. We will also discuss ways in which you can improve your retention rate by focusing on these factors. Let’s begin.

1. Flexible work arrangements

58.2% of workers believe that flexibility in work schedule is important to them. 

And the phenomenon is not just limited to remote and hybrid workers.

Fully on-site US workers also want flexibility and autonomy, and 57% are even willing to change jobs for it. 

In the last few years, flexibility has emerged as one of the most important factors that impact retention at organizations across industries. Employees that are satisfied with their companies’ time and location flexibility are 2.6 times more likely to report being happy and 2.1 times more likely to recommend working for the company. This means that flexibility will continue to be important in 2024, for remote, hybrid, and onsite workers alike.

You can attract new employees and retain the existing members of your team by offering flexibility in terms of PTOs, work hours, and four-day work week. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Craft a flexible work policy that outlines the extent of flexibility, set clear expectations, and provide guidelines to ensure productivity and accountability aren't compromised.
  • Change your performance evaluation criteria to focus on productivity instead of working hours.
  • Reduce or possibly eliminate live meetings and move to asynchronous communication since different employees will work different hours. 
  • Train your managers in trust-building, results-driven evaluation, and effective remote communication strategies.

Flexible work arrangements are no longer mere perks but prerequisites for modern organizations aiming for growth, productivity, and retention. As we move into 2024, companies that acknowledge and adapt to this paradigm shift will thrive and set the benchmark for the future of work.

2. Training and development

Companies that invest in continuous learning enjoy higher engagement and retention. Also, they attract the best talent. 48% of American workers would switch jobs for better training and development opportunities if given the option. So if you do not provide training opportunities for your employees, they will go to organizations that do.

Most employers realize this, and that’s why their number one strategy to improve retention is to provide learning opportunities to their team. Here’s how you can do the same:

  • Instead of one-size-fits-all programs, create personalized learning paths based on individual career goals and skills gaps. Personalized training programs will help you train your employees for the future. 
  • Promote informal learning opportunities along with structured courses and certifications. Encourage mentorship programs, peer-to-peer training, and knowledge-sharing sessions, creating a culture where learning is continuous and collaborative. Employees that participate in mentoring programs are 49% less likely to leave.
  • Recognize employees when they achieve specific learning milestones or gain new certifications. This will motivate others to participate actively in training programs.
  • Pair employees with more experienced colleagues or external industry professionals. This will provide guidance and insight to the mentees and help prepare them for the future.

Besides retention, training and development will also help you upskill your team and result in higher productivity, so investing in a training program is a win-win for all stakeholders.

eBook Easily Find The ROI of Mentorship For Your Organization

3. Leadership quality

75% of the time when people leave an organization, it’s because of their managers or factors that their managers can control. Even though the survey we have linked to is from 2008, leadership’s influence over employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention is still relevant today and will continue to be relevant in 2024 and beyond.

Here’s how you can improve leadership quality in your organization:

  • Implement comprehensive leadership training programs that focus not just on operational efficiency but also on soft skills like emotional intelligence, effective communication, and conflict resolution.
  • Introduce a 360-degree feedback system where leaders receive feedback from their peers, subordinates, and superiors. This holistic approach gives a clear picture of a leader's strengths and areas of improvement.
  • Establish mentorship programs where seasoned leaders are paired with emerging ones. This encourages knowledge transfer, allows for personal growth, and cultivates a next-generation leadership team that's aligned with the company's values and objectives.

Get inspired! Read how leading companies are leveraging mentoring programs to boost retention.

4. Personalized compensation and benefits

As inflation rises globally, the cost of living is going up for people everywhere. Still, less than 50% of employees believe that their employers are helping them cope with inflation. 

Even the most engaged and satisfied employees would start looking for higher-paying jobs if they don’t get support from their employer to keep up with inflation. That’s why 55% of employees switch jobs for higher compensation.

Besides a competitive salary, tailored benefits that cater to your employees’ individual needs play an important role in retention and turnover. Here are some ideas for you to improve the monetary and non-monetary benefits you offer in your organization:

  • Conduct pay equity audits and make sure that all employees are compensated fairly based on their role, experience, and contribution, irrespective of gender, race, age, or any other demographic factor. If employees feel they're not getting paid fairly, they're 13% more likely to start looking for a new job.
  • Regularly poll employees to understand their evolving needs and preferences. This way, you can tailor your benefits to the specific needs of your employees. For example, if your employees vote for a 4/10 work schedule, you can switch to a four-day work week and boost your retention.
  • Allow employees to pick and choose from a variety of benefit options, catering to diverse needs like childcare, elder care, wellness programs, or continued education.
  • Design packages that adapt to different life stages, such as increased parental leave for young families or more robust retirement planning for senior employees.

5. Opportunities for growth

Employees who have been with you for two years and made an internal move have a 75% likelihood of staying with you. When you provide clear pathways for career progression and give everyone opportunities for growth, you improve your retention. That being said, sometimes there aren’t that many opportunities within the company to promote and/or move everyone. Here’s how you can increase retention by focusing on employee growth:

  • Define and communicate a clear progression for each role within the organization, so employees can visualize their potential upward mobility and understand what steps are needed to get there.
  • Create programs specifically designed to identify and cultivate the next generation of company leaders, ensuring continuous growth and preparation for higher responsibilities.
  • Allow employees the opportunity to rotate through different roles or departments, helping them gain varied experiences, discover new interests, and potentially find a more fitting role within the organization.

6. Regular feedback and recognition

According to a 2022 survey, 46% of workers (out of the 2000 who participated) left a job because they felt underappreciated. Appreciate people, give them constructive feedback, and recognize their achievements to create a positive work culture and retain them.

Here are three ways you can leverage regular feedback and recognition to bolster retention:

  • Implement 360-degree feedback systems where employees receive feedback not just from their superiors, but also from peers and subordinates. Such systems offer a comprehensive view of each individual’s performance and areas of improvement.
  • Host monthly or quarterly events or ceremonies that celebrate individual and team achievements, ensuring that hard work and accomplishments are consistently acknowledged.
  • Use platforms where colleagues can give and receive kudos or points for jobs well done, fostering a culture of daily appreciation and a positive work environment.

7. Mental health and well-being

81% of individuals prefer to work for employers that offer mental health benefits. As the importance of mental health continues to be recognized, providing support in this domain will be essential in 2024 and beyond. Focusing on the mental health and overall well being of your employees results in a supportive and empathetic work environment, which directly correlates with enhanced job satisfaction, productivity, and overall morale.

Here are three ways you can bolster mental health and well-being in your organization to improve retention:

  • Start Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Offer confidential counselling and support services for employees facing personal or professional challenges, ensuring they have a safe space to discuss and address their concerns.
  • By allowing employees the flexibility to adjust their work hours or take mental health days, companies can help reduce burnout and stress, catering to individual needs and circumstances.
  • Regularly host workshops or sessions on topics like mindfulness, meditation, stress management, and work-life balance, equipping employees with tools to manage their mental well-being proactively.

8. Organizational purpose and values

93% of employees want their companies to lead with purpose, and 88% feel that organizations should positively impact society (and not exist solely to make money). But, most organizations are falling short of making a positive impact. Just four out of 10 employees really believe that their company's mission makes them feel like their job matters.

Here’s what you can do to live your values and resonate more deeply with your employees and the larger community:

  • Regularly communicate the company's mission, vision, and values through town halls, internal newsletters, and team meetings, ensuring every employee understands and feels connected to the larger purpose.
  • Launch and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that allow employees to volunteer and contribute to causes that align with the company's values, creating tangible positive impacts in the community.
  • Create platforms or channels where employees can voice their opinions on the company's actions, ensuring alignment with the stated values. Implement changes based on the feedback you receive, showing a commitment to genuine value-driven operation.

9. Inclusive and diverse culture

78% of workers want to work at organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion. Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential for attracting and retaining talent today, and it will continue to be so in 2024 and beyond.

Diverse perspectives fuel innovation, as employees gravitate towards workplaces where everyone's voice is valued and heard.

To bolster inclusivity and diversity in your organization, you can:

  • Implement recruitment efforts aimed at diverse talent pools. You can do this by leveraging partnerships with organizations that cater to underrepresented groups, and incorporating blind recruitment processes to eliminate biases.
  • Train your leaders and managers on unconscious bias, cross-cultural communication, and the value of diverse perspectives, ensuring they foster an environment where all employees feel recognized and respected.
  • Establish and support Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that cater to various demographics within the organization, such as women, LGBTQ+ employees, or ethnic groups, providing a platform for networking, support, and voice in company decisions related to diversity and inclusion.

Read our guide on building a diverse workforce that drives innovation and growth 

10. Community and social interaction

57% of employees believe that having a good friend at work makes their experience more enjoyable. People who have a best friend at work are seven times more engaged. Employees thrive in environments where they feel connected, supported, and part of a greater collective.

To enhance community and social interaction within your organization, you should:

  • Organize team-building events, workshops, or outings that focus on collaboration, breaking departmental silos, and fostering interpersonal relationships among employees.
  • Implement mentorship initiatives where seasoned employees guide newcomers, and buddy programs that pair employees from different departments or teams, promoting cross-functional understanding and camaraderie.
  • Establish a calendar of social events like monthly potlucks, cultural celebration days, or hobby clubs (like a book club or photography group), so that your employees have frequent opportunities to connect on a personal level and feel part of a vibrant community.

Mentorship: the not-so-secret ingredient for employee retention

Mentorship has always been a powerful tool for professional growth, but as we approach 2024, it will prove to be a key ingredient in the recipe for employee retention. 

When employees have mentors, they don't just learn the skills needed for their current role, they receive guidance for their long-term career path and feel more connected to the organization. The guidance from experienced colleagues provides not only professional insight but also personal support, making employees feel valued and understood.

Here’s how HR managers and leaders can tap into the power of mentorship for retention:

  • Create a formalized mentorship program where both mentors and mentees can sign up. Make sure that pairings are mutually beneficial, with mentees gaining guidance and mentors developing leadership skills.
  • Instead of pairing individuals from the same department, promote cross-departmental mentoring. This can give employees insights into other parts of the business and a broader understanding of company operations.
  • Implement a system to track the progress and success stories arising from mentorship relationships. Celebrate these achievements in company communications, making it clear that the organization values and supports mentorship.

Mentorship is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. With Together’s mentoring platform, you can effortlessly match employees with relevant mentors and create an environment of growth and collaboration. Why choose Together?

  • It is rated as the #1 easiest software by G2, and designed to fit seamlessly into daily work routines.
  • You can adjust the branding, language, and settings to precisely fit your organizational needs.
  • A dedicated success manager will accompany you every step of the way.
  • Together uses the most advanced data protection measures, so it's primed for global enterprises.
  • From health monitors to custom reports, it helps you track every element of your mentorship program.
  • Whether it's pairing senior employees with juniors, facilitating group mentoring, or engaging peer groups, Together supports all types of mentor-mentee matchups.

Don't leave the future of mentorship to chance. Elevate your mentoring program with Together's streamlined, secure, and sophisticated platform. Request a demo now and see the difference firsthand.

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