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10 Reasons Employee Retention Strategies Fail

August 3, 2020
Successful Employee Retention Strategies

Employee retention has always been a major headache for companies, big or small. 

We’ve been helping clients from various industries within human capital management for years. Most of them talk of one of the most challenging areas of talent management—employee retention.

Years of data on case studies and results have had us compile the following list to help you understand the root cause of the problems in retaining your employees.

In this article, we will talk about ten reasons why you may be struggling with employee retention.

1. Hidden Untapped Potential 

We know everybody has a unique set of skills and talents. These combinations are what make them invaluable to a company when fully unleashed optimally. 

Sometimes, both the supervisor and the talent are unaware of the employee’s knack to outperform in certain tasks. 

When your staff isn’t reaching their full potential, you can tell from their work performance. 

If left to its own device, soon you will have a very unhappy disgruntled employee that eventually leaves.

2. No Career Development or Growth

Letting your employees focus on only work is good for business. Most hard workers are fine with that. 

But, you also have those ambitious, high performing employees that are constantly challenging themselves to higher goals.

And you need different types of employees for different job roles. If you don’t help the career-oriented type to grow and achieve their career goals.

Eventually, they would move on to other companies that care about the employees, their career, and life goals.

3. Bad Employee Engagement & Poor Communication

Confusion. No updates and involvement. No sense of ownership of their work and to the company. 

4. Toxicity Not Removed in Time

The saying, “one rotten egg spoils the entire basket” definitely rang true here. Many employers or managers cannot imagine the damage a toxic individual may set upon a company.

5. Unidentified Turnover Reason

You know the number of turnovers. But, do you know why?

Many companies stopped at just knowing how many and work to improve their numbers. What’s missing in the equation is the why.

In other words, solving the root cause of the turnover.

People analytics is one of the most important data for companies to use in their employee retention solutions.

6. One Solution for All

It is a fact. You can’t apply the same solution to all problems. 

The same goes for your employee retention strategies. You need to identify clusters of employee types. Understand the problems for each cluster and what solutions will work on them.

7. Conflict Undetected

Where there are people, there are problems. Conflicts are inevitable. We are all unique. Therefore, differences in opinions and actions are normal. But conflicts that are left to fester will eventually create toxic that drives employees turnover.

8. Inconsistent Leadership


  • the immediate supervisor and the boss give off conflicting messages,
  • managers exercise different rules and solutions for different people or matters,
  • favouritism occurs, or
  • double standards are applied.

Not only confusions are created, something stronger will fester and grow, namely disgruntled employees, hatred, and more.

9. Underappreciated

Global studies revealed that 79 per cent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving.

The problems with many companies are that efforts are rewarded subconsciously as a means to keep many underperforming employees motivated. 

So, instead of rewarding employees with results, they ended up with unintentional results.

Employees who have shown tremendous results using work hacks, which means not much of the efforts required, would feel the unfairness.

10. Train for the Job, Not the Future

Initially, training your employees just for the job is good. You’ve helped them accomplish their job well.

However, in the long run, without further growth, your employees may feel stagnant and not progressing.

Consequently, that could lead to high turnover.

Final Thoughts

The saying, “employees leave bosses, not the company” rang true. 

All companies leave most of the subordinates’ management and decision making to the immediate boss. 

Don’t get me wrong. This strategy is not the issue. 

The issue is when most companies do not inculcate strong cascaded visions and positive culture from top to bottom and horizontally, managers are not equipped to help you retain talents.

You need to give your employees a safe, positive environment with a strong culture that aligns with the company vision. Keeping your employees engaged and informed while focusing on the same goal creates a strong organization.

It is time you do something to keep your talents. Check out our next article on retention strategies to keep your star employees from leaving.

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