Posted by: Bill von Achen | January 13, 2011

Your 2011 Employee Retention Strategy

So the new year has begun.  If you’re like most successful companies, you spent time during the last months of 2010 hunkered down with the members of your company’s executive team formulating your business strategy for 2011, identifying new product and service opportunities and new markets to explore, developing sales projections, and creating pro-forma financials, including capital and expense budgets.    

But, in addition to all of the above, did you formulate a strategy to retain and enhance your company’s most important asset, that is, your employees?

If not, here are five key ingredients to consider as part of an employee retention strategy for your company in 2011:

Revisit job compensation levels:  The current employment outlook may restrain increases in overall compensation levels, but there are still certain key positions where the demand for quality employees outstrips supply.  In such an environment, it’s important to evaluate your compensation plans against prevailing market rates, and make adjustments where necessary.     

Reinvigorate performance evaluations:  Employees crave regular feedback on their performance.  Regrettably, more pressing priorities in the past two years have resulted in the temporary shelving of formal performance evaluations at many companies.  It’s time to not only dust off your company’s performance evaluation program, but to ensure that it’s designed to provide the consistent, quality feedback necessary to drive results.       

Revive professional development programs:  Nothing communicates your company’s commitment to your employees more than giving them access to professional development opportunities.  Each employee should have an individual professional development plan as part of their annual performance evaluation, which identifies specific skills for development and the activities (e.g. workshops, one-to-one training, etc.) that are available to them. 

Retool your employee succession plan:  Employee succession planning is essential for business continuity, but it’s also a powerful retention strategy.  That’s because it creates a clear career path for valued employees, and sends a strong message that you’re committed to the continued growth of your company through the growth of your individual employees. 

Reinforce employee morale:  You don’t need a big budget to have a big impact in this area.  In fact, the most powerful way to improve morale is the spontaneous gesture that acknowledges a job well done or an outstanding contribution.  See my blog posting, “The Power of Informal Incentives,” at, for more.

What employee retention strategies will you be implementing in your organization this year?  What approaches have worked for you in the past and, equally important, what hasn’t worked?  Post your comments here.  Thanks!


  1. A great review. Well explained. The biggest asset an organization has is its’ employees. Organizations should focus more on developing the employees and motivating them as, motivated employees will provide their maximum to the organization.

  2. […] in employee retention means implementing a plan. According to Business Strategist Bill von Achen, sending a “a strong message that you’re committed to the continued growth of your […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: