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Employee Retention: Strategies & Trends in 2022

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Hiring and maintaining talent is a high priority for employers in 2022 as managers and HR departments strategize different approaches to fill roles. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November – continuing the steady shift to a candidate-focused market. In 2022, employers need to continue taking care of their team members. 

With recruiting being extremely competitive and employers focusing on maintaining current employees, strategies in 2022 are ever-evolving. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has reprioritized many aspects of life, shifting perspectives and attitudes on a number of issues. Well-being and self-care have been put to the forefront of candidates’ minds – encouraging companies to reprioritize as well. If employers are not actively working to do this – finding talent will be difficult – and maintaining talent could become an issue. 

Importance of Employee Retention 

Employee retention is essential to any organization that desires to grow. With the U.S. experiencing a current talent shortage, employee retention has increased in importance for many business leaders. It can be affected by various factors and the most important include: the recruiting process, education and career advancement opportunities, work-life balance, and benefits. 

1. Retention Begins with Recruiting  

Employee retention starts with the recruiting, application, interview, and onboarding processes. 

In a poll of over 4,000 people, nearly 73% of respondents said a bad recruitment experience would harm their relationship with that brand. 33% of candidates would be less likely to use a brand’s products or services in the future, while 38% of candidates said they would share a poor experience with their friends and families. A bad experience during the recruiting process affects potential candidates and current employees.  

2. Education and Career Advancement Opportunities 

When employers provide a clear path to greater responsibility and show personal and professional growth potential at an organization, employees feel valued and essential. Investing in educational resources for employees promotes a positive candidate experience. 

According to Gallup’s latest report – How Millennials Want to Work and Live, 59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. Millennials are deeply passionate about development opportunities.  

Internal Mentorship Programs 

Starting an internal mentorship program is an additional strategy to encourage education and career advancement, propelling employees forward. Pairing less-experienced team members with more-experienced mentors allow for deep, meaningful, developmental 1-on-1 coaching – holding both the mentor and mentee accountable. This mentor-mentee relationship is extremely important and can be instrumental in developing short-term and long-term career goals. 

3. Employer Provides Flexibility  

Remote work encourages employee retention by providing individuals with opportunities to work in a way in which they are most productive and healthy. In a survey conducted by Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago, 30% of respondents indicated they were more productive and engaged while working from home. Work flexibility allows companies to retain employees through supporting each individuals’ needs – especially by caring for employees outside of work. 

Flexibility also includes the ability to take paid time off (PTO), sick leave, bereavement, paternal/maternal leave, and other benefits. By providing this dynamic flexibility, companies encourage employees to take time to rest, relax, and recharge.  

Additionally, as 73% of employees want flexible work options to remain after COVID-19, companies are required to adapt to this candidate-driven market by becoming more dynamic and flexible. If this is not managed correctly and remote work as an option is not considered, employers risk losing valuable talent to companies who are catering to these ‘new requirements’. 

4.Compensation and Benefits   

Leading the always-changing and ever-competitive job market with an all-encompassing benefits package will ensure companies stay ahead of the curve. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee benefits reduce the likelihood an employee will leave for a better opportunity elsewhere. Organizations can encourage employee retention by incorporating these strategies: 

  • Linking rewards to retention (vacation hours to seniority, etc.) 
  • Researching competitive benefits at other organizations 
  • Encouraging new, unconventional benefits and compensation structure 


Employee retention is an evolving issue that organizations are trying to solve. With the current, candidate-focused market, employers are having to meet the ever-changing demands of candidates while balancing other goals. Individuals are seeking businesses that incorporate these strategies and trends in 2022. 

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