Employee Retention

No matter the size or stage your business is currently at, having employees leave is just bad for business. According to the Wall Street Journal, a high employee turnover rate can cost twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. Not only are there financial repercussions, a high turnover rate can also lower the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and morale. If you want to avoid this negativity, it’s best to retain your best employees.

1. Hire Selectively

Before you can begin to retain employees, you have to make sure that you have the right employees to begin with. Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture and staff. You can also use certain tools to gather data on prospective employees. An often overlooked
aspect is credit record. A candidate may have items on his credit that are worth taking a look at. It may also spark a more engaged and authentic conversation about hurdles the candidate has overcome.

2. Offer a Competitive Benefits Package Salary

If you want to keep top-notch talent, then you’re going to have to pay them well. Salaries are based on the following: employee skill and experience, supply and demand, geographical location, worker seniority. However, a high salary isn’t always the deciding factor when employees seek employment elsewhere. Many times they are looking for competitive benefits. Essential are health insurance, life insurance, and a retirementsavings plan. Also offer additional perks such as flexitime and the option of home office that fit the needs of your employees.

3. Provide a Comfortable Work Environment and Culture

Have you ever walked into a room and felt either unsafe or uncomfortable? Imagine doing that every workday from nine to five. Employees want to feel safe and comfortable at work. That’s why it’s important that your office is properly ventilated, well-lit, and at a comfortable temperature. Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics – careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness.

4. Offer Training

Offer skills enhancement to all your workers. Why? New technology, new selling techniques, changes in employment law, and the huge impact of the internet are all compelling reasons to keep permanent employees in the loop. Here are some ways to keep your employees trained: computerized training, DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles and pamphlets, mentoring programs, off-site seminars and classes.

5. Listen to Them

You can learn a lot when listening to employees. Maybe it’s a great new business plan that can be implemented, which makes them feel like they’re a part of the entire business process. Perhaps you heard they have a sick family member, so you want to send them a card or flowers or simply say you’re sorry for their loss. You can always spare a few minutes
to find out what’s going on with your employees in both their professional and personal lives. Conduct “stay” interviews so you can find out exactly why employees have remained with the company and what it would take for them to leave.

6. Quarterly Reviews

Quarterly reviews, or evaluations, are a major assist. These one-on-one meetings allow you to set goals and define how you want these goals to be achieved. However, this discussion should also include asking them what they need to accomplish these goals. Remember, this is should be a conversation and not a lecture.

7. Recognize Their Accomplishments

Finally, and perhaps most important, you have to recognize the accomplishments of employees. This could be a simple pat on the shoulder or handwritten well-done note. If you want to raise the stakes, you could thank them by introducing them to new clients, sponsoring them at an industry event/conference, stock options, or awarding a prize. However you decide to reward your employees, praising employees for attaining MBOs (major business objectives) is one of the most effective ways to make them feel appropriate, which will make them want to stay with you for the long haul.

Adapted from www.forbes.com

Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) how well you do: __________
2) to keep a worker: __________
3) initially: __________
4) future (adj.): __________
5) to not notice sth: __________
6) goals that are important from the point of view of your business: __________
7) of the best quality: __________
8) how long you’ve been with the company: __________
9) things other than the salary received from your employer: ___________
10)not fixed working hours: __________
11)not temporary: __________
12)out-of-office: __________


Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) employee                    enhancement
2) financial                     turnover
3) a credit                       factor
4) supply                        office
5) the deciding              record
6) a retirement              interview
7) home                          reason to do sth
8) skills                          repercussions
9) a compelling            savings plan
10)a stay                        and demand


Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) procedura zatwierdzająca
2) przeszkoda
3) ubiegać się o zatrudnienie
4) pozapłacowe składniki wynagrodzenia
5) poprawić, podnieść coś
6) prawo pracy
7) dobrze poinformowany
8) wdrożyć coś
9) być może
10)moje kondolencje
11)osiągnąć cel


Grammar corner…

Not only are there financial repercussions … you read in the text. Have you noticed anything unusual about the grammar of this sentence? Yes, it looks like a question, although it’s not. That’s because after negative phrases at the beginning of a
sentence we need to INVERT the NOUN and VERB order into that usually found in questions. Look at it this way, if you wanted to ask about financial repercussions, you’d say: Are there financial repercussions? Wouldn’t you? Other phrases that need inversion are: rarely, hardly, barely, seldom, scarcely, only if, only when (in the last two cases inversion takes place in the SECOND half of the sentence). Why do we make our lives more difficult using inversion? To make your point stronger (to emphasize, in other words).


Exercise 4

Make your point stronger using inversion. Start with the underlined word.

1) I have rarely seen such a brilliant advertising campaign.
2) I had hardly gotten to the office when the calls started.
3) We had barely started turning a profit when the government imposed a new tax.
4) You seldom meet a graduate who is well prepared for their first job.
5) Marketing specialist are scarcely bothered about ethics.
6) We will give you a loan only if you pay off the previous one.
7) I understood the process only when he showed it to me in practice.



a pamphlet – ulotka, folder
for the long haul – na długo
stock options – opcje na akcje
to attain sth – osiągnąć coś
hardly, barely – ledwo co
to turn a profit – wykazać zysk
to impose a tax – opodatkować
scarcely – rzadko
to be bothered about sth – zaprzątać sobie czymś głowę
to retain an employee – zatrzymać pracownika
prospective – przyszły
to overlook sth – przeoczyć coś
MBOs (major business objectives) – główne cele przedsiębiorstwa
top-notch – niedościgniony
seniority – staż pracy
flexitime – elastyczny czas pracy
permanent – stały
off-site – poza siedzibą
employee turnover – rotacja pracowników
repercussions – reperkusje, konsekwencje
credit record – historia kredytowa
supply and demand – podaż i popyt
home office – praca z domu
enhancement – poprawa
a compelling reason – przekonujący powód
vetting – procedura zatwierdzająca
a hurdle – przeszkoda
perks – pozapłacowe składniki wynagrodzenia
to be in the loop – być (dobrze) poinformowanym
to implement sth – wdrożyć coś
perhaps – być może
sorry for your loss – moje kondolencje
praise – pochwała


download lesson (pdf)



Ex. 1
1) performance
2) to retain an employee
3) to begin with
4) prospective
5) to overlook sth
6) MBO
7) top-notch
8) seniority
9) benefits

Ex. 2
1) employee turnover
2) financial repercussions
3) a credit record
4) supply and demand
5) the deciding factor
6) a retirement savings plan
7) home office
8) skills enhancement
9) a compelling reason to do sth
10)a stay interview

Ex. 3
1) vetting
2) a hurdle
3) to seek employment
4) perks
5) to give a boost to sth
6) employment law
7) in the loop
8) to implement sth
9) perhaps
10)sorry for your loss
11)to accomplish a goal
12) praise

Ex. 4
1) Rarely have I seen …
2) Hardly had I gotten …
3) Barely had we started …
4) Seldom do you meet …
5) Scarcely are marketing specialists bothered …
6) Only if you pay off the previous one will we give you a loan.
7) Only when he showed it to me in practice did I understand the process.