There is an important balance that employers need to maintain when running a business: productivity and purpose. While many people that are the progenitors of an idea for a company that become the owners and CEOs etc. tend to know this because they are generally a part of the gestation process, sometimes that purpose can be lost along the way. 

As a result, when the time comes to start hiring people to fill the positions needed to see a dream and product come to life, individual satisfaction and purpose can tend to fall much lower on the list of desired traits for applicants. The consequences of this are not usually visible in the beginning stages of a person’s employment, but as most people who work in HR may be able to share, a lack of employee satisfaction can manifest suddenly, sometimes quite quickly. 

The consequence of this poor fit of a person to organizational purpose is one of the most insidious and costly effects on business today. It’s called employee attrition. The task of human resource professionals to understand and communicate the necessity of job satisfaction as a top priority in the workplace has collected a greater pressure since the pandemic.

safe and motivating work environment
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Shifts in Culture

In the wake of what is being coined the Great Resignation, where over 4 million people quit their jobs in 2021 and 2022, one of the key motivators that appeared to be a determinant of this behavior had to do with work/life balance and employee satisfaction. Simply put, COVID exposed the already present emotional undercurrents that people were holding inside. Whether it was an unhappy marriage, or dissatisfaction with the idea of working long term with their current employer, people had a lot of time to seriously reconsider their life goals. 

This prolonged thoughtfulness has inspired a tide of new motivations and expectations from employees, and the business world is having to respond in alignment with these new ideas. Otherwise, businesses run the risk of becoming not just understaffed, but an undesirable place to work. 

With the availability of hiring platforms and the very visible reviews that current and past employees can leave critiquing that company’s culture, there is a new pressure to keep up with the demands of the times. 

At the end of the day, business workplace trends are showing consistent trends of what aspects of business and workplace culture have negatively and positively affecting employee retention. At the end of the day, companies that can facilitate safety and satisfaction are not only going to have a better product or service, but they will be able to hold on to talent. 

The following are some ways the business can boost retention rates by creating safe and motivating work environment. 

Factors in Employee Attrition

The ability of a business to retain its employees by reducing turnover is crucial to that business’s long-term success. Employees can leave a job for any number of reasons, and while not typically just one factor is the primary motivation, there are a few factors that seem to be of greatest concern for employees’ determination of if they want to stay or leave. 

A recent collection of data gathered by the CRM giant HubSpot found that some of the highest markers were as follows: 

  1. Lack of work-life balance
  2. Inflexible work schedules
  3. The feeling of a lack of opportunity for growth in career
  4. Interest by the employee to pursue other passions or career paths. 

Employee retention tends to begin with the complex challenge of being able to sort through and find the right employee for the job. However, there are other ideas— like digital marketing strategies—  that can be implemented and encouraged to be maintained by the HR team to help with retention. 

Strategies for Employee Retention


A breakdown in communication, regardless of the community or relationship types, all tends to have the same effect: misunderstanding. For this reason, clear communication should always be a top priority for management, especially for higher-level executives. When people understand what the goals and expectations of a role are they are much more likely to feel confident in taking ownership and responsibility for a project. That ownership translates to passion, and passion becomes hard work.  When people are settled in what those expectations are for them, they feel more prepared. 

Additionally, when management takes the time to communicate regularly and honestly there is a trust that is fostered which creates space for questions to be asked, and concerns to be voiced when an issue arises. If people don’t feel safe to communicate their thoughts, feelings and concerns— whether that is about the difficulty of a project or risk of accidents—  to other team members or, worse, their bosses, they tend to shut down. 

If this happens consistently enough, the silence eats away at their ability and willingness to contribute to the company mission regardless of the department. 

Effective Manager Training

When employees don’t feel respected, heard, or supported in their roles (among many other things), they leave. Simple as that. One way to help mitigate against this caustic effect is to invest in initiatives and training for managers so they are regularly reminded and further equipped with knowledge, techniques, and resources to strengthen their leadership. 

Whether that means helping them to become more visible in the workflow process, become more inclusive in their language use, or just better communicators, the provision of regular and effective manager training is another great way to help with employee retention. 

Flexible Schedules 

Harkening back to the HubSpot data, the top two factors which contributed to employee attrition was a lack of work life balance (at 32%) and the lack of flexible work schedule (29%). Another recent survey completed by FlexJobs, considered a number of the contributing factors to the Great Resignation. Near the top of the list showed that same factor of flexibility with work schedules as being at an even higher rate of 41%

While flexibility may come in many forms of requests, and certainly goes against the long-standing traditional models of the 9-5, the majority demand for this aspect of work culture has made itself a clear point in employee retention. The availability of employers to offer greater flexibility has a number of benefits like increased motivation, productivity, lower stress levels, and greater work satisfaction. These collectively add up to the all-important factor of greater mental health, another major component of employee satisfaction. 

Regardless of what steps companies make, HR’s ability to communicate and maintain the delicate balance between honoring company goals and employee satisfaction will be made a bit easier in the long run by implementing such strategies.