Improve Your Employee Retention Rate Without Higher Salaries

3 min read
Oct 24, 2014

No matter what industry you’re in, high talent turnover is a major headache.And when you consider the time and money spent on recruiting and onboarding, that loss really hurts. 


The answer is not locking employees down with intense contracts. Sure a non-compete clause might seem nice, but they’re tough to enforce.  And c’mon, do you really want to be waving a stick when you could be dangling a carrot instead? After all, even if you get them to stay, unhappy employees are less engaged, less effective, and can pollute your work environment.

How do you get them to want to stay? 


These days, if you want to compete for talent you need to go above and beyond. It shows a huge investment in your employees, and can even buffer what might otherwise seem like a middling salary.

  • Don’t stop at maternity leave: We all know about maternity leave, but what about paternity leave? It’s still rare in the US, and it sure isn’t expected. Consider what a trailblazer you’ll look like if it’s part of your regular employee benefits plan.
  • Say goodbye to vacation days: The 9 to 5 workday is a thing of the past. Your employees are checking in on weeknights and weekends, and they’re probably even checking in during family time too. Proscriptive vacation days ignore this fact. Do away with set vacation days and trust your employees to take vacation when they need it. You get to stop keeping track of everyone’s vacation days and you get to show that you trust your employees to plan their own schedules.
  • Flex spending accounts, reconsidered: You’re probably used to having a flex spending account on top of a health plan, but why have both? Allocate a healthcare account to each employee, and let him or her make their own health, dental, and vision decisions. With the advent of healthcare exchanges employees can pick plans that actually fit their needs, not what their employer thinks is best.


There are tons of competitive workplaces out there. Create a perks plan that’s so stellar your employees won’t be able to help themselves but stay on board. Consider a few of these ideas.  You don’t have to pick them all, but think about tailoring them to your unique employee make up:

  • A place for the kiddos: Does your company employ a lot of parents? Then they’ll love onsite daycare. They’ll get incredible piece of mind knowing their children have a safe place to play and learn, and you won’t have to worry about losing them to stay-at-home decisions.
  • Free snacks: Yes, your employees can feed themselves. But if you make it a little easier to work through lunch, or stick around a little later in the day to finish up a project, isn’t that worth it? A weekly Costco run isn’t a major operating expense when you consider that an army marches on its stomach.
  • Keep ‘em healthy: Healthy employees are productive employees. So make it easier for them to be healthy. Find gyms that offer corporate discounts, and offer up a great deal to your employees. A little exercise before, after, or even during the workday goes a long way to feeling refreshed and energized.
  • Monthly bus passes: It’s not a big expense, but it’s appreciated. And when you consider that bus passes (or train passes) can usually be used during the evenings and weekends, your employees will appreciate you every time they swipe their card.


Good management isn’t just about telling employees when they’ve done a good job – it’s about listening to whether or not employees think you’re doing a good job. If they have complaints, they need to feel empowered and safe to express them. If they have suggestions for improvements in culture or in operations, then those voices should be heard too.

For significant improvement to employee retention, you need to have an effective way to listen to their needs. This means a tool that offers anonymity and collects actionable feedback. TINYpulse does both, offering employees a safe place to speak out, and managers a reliable resource to measure employee sentiment.

With attentive management, real-time employee feedback data, and creative perks and benefits, you can build and maintain a strong team that will thrive for the long term.




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