Who is Responsible for Employee Retention

4 min. read

The topic of employee retention is more popular today than it’s ever been. How do you keep the talent, and who is responsible for employee retention?

With employee retention being a top concern of many businesses today, one of the questions we are often asked is, “Who is responsible for employee retention?” Is this something HR should be in charge of? Is this a top-down initiative that the C-Suite should be leading? Do we need a special committee to focus on retention?

When you’re making decisions about not only who is responsible for employee retention, but also how to keep those employees happy, it’s essential to start from the beginning.

Hire New vs. Improve Employee Retention

People often talk about the importance of employee retention, but to play devil’s advocate: is employee retention really that important? After all, the pool of potential new hires is enormous, with so many companies offering remote work. Without geographic boundaries, many companies find they’ve got a seemingly countless supply of potential new hires. With this new reality, would it make sense to replace employees instead of spending money to keep them?

Why Employee Retention Makes Sense

The research shows that keeping your current employees is by far the more cost-effective option. Of course, there are cases where an employee should be terminated, but this is a conversation about retaining employees you genuinely want on your team. Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding a new employee often costs months, if not over a year, of that person’s salary. On the flip side, you could spend substantially less on experts and initiatives to retain your valued employees and not need to worry about hiring replacements.

What Department is Responsible for Employee Retention?

Once you decide that putting resources — whether time, money, or both — towards employee retention is a good business move, you’ll want to figure out who should be responsible for employee retention.

There is not necessarily a single answer across the board. Some companies choose to have Human Resources lead their employee retention initiatives. Since HR often has the most direct responsibilities regarding hiring, onboarding, termination, and company culture, it makes sense that this same department would focus on retention. At a minimum, it often makes sense to put HR in charge of the data-gathering phase of improving employee retention: figuring out how to measure your baseline. We often work with an HR Director to kick off employee retention surveys.

Even if HR is in charge of collecting data and implementing changes that can help improve employee retention, it’s critical to realize that many people at the company are responsible for retention. These include:

  • Direct managers: anyone who manages another team member has a close hand in employee retention because how they interact with and manage that employee has a bearing on their happiness.
  • Top execs: regardless of who they manage, every leader in the company is responsible for employee retention. Their attitudes, willingness to praise others, transparency, kindness, and work ethics have a trickle-down effect that can both positively and negatively affect employee retention.
  • Every employee: it’s not an exaggeration to say that every employee can play a vital role in a company's culture. Employees who feel a connection at work, who have pride in their work, autonomy, flexibility, and compassion can strongly influence how other team members feel.

Knowing that employee retention is a complex and important facet of any business, you’ll want to work with an expert, like Amazing Workplace, who can ensure your efforts are effective and efficient. Contact us to schedule a demo and find out how we can help you better understand who is responsible for employee retention, and the steps you can take.