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5 Common Retention Problems and How to Solve Them

Retention is a common issue that every manager has to face. When your talented employee walks away, you have to spend lots of time and money to hire someone with equal ability and skills.

There are plenty of reasons why employees choose to leave your company. To retain your workforce and save turnover costs, you need to identify possible reasons why your employees choose to leave and address them quickly.

Here are 5 most common retention problems and simple solutions for business owners.

1. Lack of Recognition

retention problems happen due to recognition problems

Recognition is an important factor in employee engagement and retention. Everyone loves to be acknowledged and praised after their outstanding work is done.

According to a study by Gallup, only one in three US workers said that they have received recognition for their performance in the past week.

In many cases, employees feel that their best effort is completely ignored by seniors and management. This will discourage them and make them feel undervalued. And it results in the decision to quit.

Recognizing your employees’ effort is a vital step that can take you far. You can do this by saying thank you or encouraging employees to keep it up. For challenging work done, you can reward bonuses to motivate your employees.

2. Trust Issues

All relationships arise from mutual trust. And relationships in the workplace are no exception. When trust in leaders is broken, it’s hard to repair. Employees may lose their trust when management fails to:

  • be transparent about company decisions, payment, etc.
  • provide a fair and ethical work environment
  • involve employees in important discussions
  • listen to employees’ ideas and acknowledge their contribution

When staff don’t trust their management, they’ll only do the tasks required, but not strive to go beyond and offer more. Some even stop sharing ideas and making contributions.

The solution for trust issues is simple—be transparent and caring. Explain and discuss important matters clearly with your staff. Listen to their sharings and show your recognition. Be fair and ethical when managing your business.

3. Management and Leadership

retention problems happen because of the leaders

Most people don’t quit their jobs, they just leave their managers. Management and leadership are the top causes of employee resignation.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the right staff assigned for the task, and give enough support so that they can complete the task well?
  • Do you care about internal communication and relationships at your workplace?
  • Are your staff’s suggestions and concerns listened? Do you take action to solve the issues?
  • Is recognition and respect communicated towards your staff?
  • Do you make promises to your staff and actually keep them?

If you’re saying No to many questions above, you may need to adjust your leadership and management style.

If you show meaningful support to your employees, they’ll appreciate your effort. Once they’re satisfied with their management’s decisions and actions, they’re more likely to stay.

4. Unclear Promotion Roadmap

unclear promotion roadmap can lead to retention problems

Another reason why people don’t stick with the business is that they feel their career path doesn’t go according to their plan. The job should bring clarity and value to your employees; otherwise, they’ll seek opportunities somewhere else.

The promotion roadmap is totally necessary to assure your employees that they’re taking the right path with your company. Organize candid discussions with employees on all issues related to the promotion path. You should be flexible on this, because each employee will have a different choice and your job is to understand them all.

From there, you can establish a clear promotion roadmap for your staff. Start to hold orientations and training to help your employees improve themselves. This will stimulate their engagement and motivate them to work harder and better.

5. Rigid and Inflexible Policies

The company’s rigid policies on working hours, absence as well as working attitudes make employees feel that they are being forced and micromanaged. Employees today prefer flexibility, and many of them will react negatively if they feel like you’re controlling them.

More companies have started to allow remote working and flexible hours to retain good employees. Some business owners treat employees as friends and equals instead of as subordinates. This makes employees feel comfortable, feeling like they’re making their own decisions and being treated decently.


So here they are, 5 most common causes that lead to retention problems, along with simple solutions for them. Make sure to upgrade your management styles and skills because how you manage and treat your employees will affect their decisions to stay or leave.

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