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Five tips to improve your retention

07 February 2022 Hannelore Van Meldert Employers

The labour shortage is making itself felt in Belgian companies. Bringing new talent on board is no easy task, but retaining employees at your company is not easy either. How can you improve your retention? How do you keep talented employees in your company? Discover our five tips.

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Tip 1: Provide a positive employee experience

From the job interview to the hiring process, to perhaps even a promotion or job change, each employee departs on a journey, so to speak, within your company. This journey is also known as the employee journey . When your employee experiences that "journey" as positive, it will pay off. A good employee experience will make your employees happier, more engaged, more motivated and more productive.

How do you make sure that employee experience goes well? By giving adequate attention to each stage of the journey: onboarding, talent development, wellness or even the retirement. Map out all the processes properly, and make sure there are no gaps anywhere.

Tip 2: Respond to the basic needs of your employees

According to self-determination theory, employees have three basic needs: autonomy, bonding and competence (ABC model). If you fulfil these needs, your employees will be more motivated and happier.


  • What is it? Autonomy is the feeling of psychological freedom.
  • How can you respond to this? Let your employee have a say, give him/her choices.

You can promote autonomy in terms of working hours and location, for example: by introducing flexible working hours or teleworking, you give your employees more freedom and a better work-life balance. But you can also introduce freedom of choice in terms of remuneration, for example through a cafeteria plan.

Furthermore, you can also give the necessary autonomy and responsibilities to your employees at task level. Be clear about the expected outcome and outline the framework, but make sure your employee can still make choices within that framework.


  • What is it? Bonding is about positive working relationships.
  • How can you respond to this? Make your team strong and cohesive, create an atmosphere of trust and openness.

A key factor influencing motivation is the sense of belonging - feeling part of a team and having a common goal in mind. Strong communication is crucial in this regard. Do you communicate regularly and clearly to everyone in your company? Then each employee knows exactly where they stand and where the company wants to go. This promotes cooperation within your team and helps achieve common goals. By the way, don't forget to celebrate those successes with the whole team, that way you strengthen the team spirit even more.


  • What is it? Competence is about the feeling of being effective, being able to use talents and self-development.
  • How can you respond to this? To do this, you can foster a culture of knowledge sharing and self-development.

Investing in the personal development of your staff is investing in your business. In addition, more and more employees are finding it important to have learning opportunities. Therefore, have your employees take (digital) training courses or set up a system of internal coaching. Also consider having employees learn a new skill together, which strengthens the bond within your team and contributes to a good employee experience. Provide a match between the talents of your employees and the needs of your company. Reorient where necessary, such as through rematching.

Tip 3: Take care of the well-being of your employees

Employees who feel good mentally and physically enjoy coming to work. The Talent Pulse survey shows that the happiness of your employees depends to a large extent on the supervisor, more specifically on his/her people management skills. When the manager bets on the talents of his employees and is attentive to the development of the team, asks about their well-being and communicates clearly and transparently, your employees will be happier and less likely to change jobs. You recognize the basic needs from self-determination theory in this too, of course. What should not be overlooked, however, is that the manager plays a crucial role in this story.

Tip 4: Offer career prospects

Make sense of the possible career paths in your organization. Career paths are an overview of the various functions with logical arrangement by role and level. Movements within a career ladder with the same principal role continue to be logical and often build on already acquired knowledge, competencies and experience. Movements to a different career ladder with different main roles usually require different knowledge and competencies.

Career ladders provide insight into both horizontal and vertical opportunities in the organization, and offer perspective to your employees.

Through individual counselling and career coaching, you can guide your employees to get a grip on how they relate to a particular job, and what development steps they can take to get there.

Tip 5: Offer an attractive salary package

Even though pay doesn't have to be the first enticement strategy for recruiting, you better keep a close eye on the compensation of your existing employees. What you certainly want to avoid as an employer is that quality employees find greener grass elsewhere. Even though your salary is in line with the market, every employee is different and has his own specific needs. Therefore, respond to the individual needs of your employees with a flexible compensation system. By using flexible pay, you promote employee satisfaction and keep talent on board. Thus, a cafeteria plan is a viable option for both large and small businesses.

How to improve your retention?

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Written by Hannelore Van Meldert

Director talent acquisition & orientation, Acerta Consult

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