How to hold on to good employees – Part 1

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If you want to attract and retain good employees, you need to (1) understand why employees leave a company, and (2) implement employee retention strategies to get them to stay. This article examines the reasons why employees leave their companies. In my next article, I will set out five strategies for keeping hold of your good employees.

Why do employees leave?

The five main reasons employees give for leaving a company are:

  1. “It doesn’t feel good around here.” This statement probably reflects concerns to do with the corporate culture and/or the physical working environment. Issues may include the corporate mission, culture and value system, the safety of the working environment, and the company’s operating policies and procedures.
  2. “They wouldn’t miss me if I were gone.” People say this when they don’t feel personally valued. If your employees don’t feel engaged or appreciated, all the money in the world won’t hold them.
  3. “I don’t get the support I need to get my job done.” When someone wants to excel at their job but feels as though their boss won’t let them, they feel frustrated. When their frustration reaches a certain point, they will up sticks and leave.
  4. Lack of opportunity for advancement. This usually relates to personal and professional growth, rather than promotion. Personal growth is a very strong driver in the workforce of today – particularly in the case of the younger generation. College leavers will often choose their first employer principally on the basis of training opportunities. But hard times have prompted many companies to shrink or even close down their training departments. These companies will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to recruiting high-calibre young people.
  5. Inadequate employee compensation. Of course people want fair compensation, but money rarely comes first when an employee is deciding whether to stay or go. Contrary to the outdated notions that many executives cling to, the majority of workers look at non-monetary reasons first. While a certain proportion will always chase more income, most people actually want: opportunities to grow and learn; to advance in their careers and to work on challenging and interesting projects; to be recognised and appreciated for their efforts, and to feel a part of something that adds value to their community.

In my next blog article, I’ll be offering you five corresponding strategies to deal with the above issues. They will increase your chances of getting good people onto your payroll – and keeping them there.

About Terry Irwin

About Terry Irwin


Terry Irwin is the founder and CEO of TCii Strategic and Management Consultants. Born and brought up in Wales, he studied Economics and Marketing at university, followed by an MBA.

Before setting up TCii, Terry spent over 20 years in the corporate world with GSK and Henkel, managing consumer goods and services businesses, living in 14 different countries and working in 30 in Europe, North America, Asia and the Russian Federation. He has also served as a UK Director of Carphone Warehouse and as a Non-Executive Director of Holt Lloyd.

Terry has consulted for a wide range of businesses, from multinationals to start-ups and growing organisations. He has a “hands on” approach and stays involved with client projects through to the achievement of agreed results.

His areas of expertise include:


·         FMCG/services/telecoms

·         Business and strategic planning and implementation

·         Business turnaround, outsourcing and cost reduction

·         Acquisitions, mergers and post-acquisition integration

·         International trade and distribution

·         Venture capital

·         Exit strategy

·         Organisational development

·         Succession planning

·         Board-level executive coaching

·         Sourcing key people – both executive and non-executive – for clients.





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