The 4 Biggest Hurdles to Effective Employee Retention

The 4 Biggest Hurdles to Effective Employee Retention

by Dr. Rick Goodman on October 7, 2015

Employers and HR representatives pour countless hours into each employee—grooming them, training them, investing in them, making them into integral members of the team. But sometimes, just when you turn a good employee into a superstar, that employee jumps ship, heading to a different company and leaving you back at square one.

If that’s not the most frustrating part of team leadership, it’s got to be high on the list. Of course, you probably do what you can to enhance employee retention—but sometimes that’s easier said than done, and the hurdles to proper retention are numerous.

It Starts with Hiring

The first big hurdle to employee retention is bringing on the wrong employees in the first place. Teambuilding starts with the hiring process—and if you’re recruiting employees who are a bad fit, don’t be surprised when they don’t stick around for the long haul.

Are you experiencing a lot of employee turnover? That may mean you need to go back and reflect on your hiring standards. Make sure you have clearly defined job descriptions and a clearly articulated company culture, and that you hire with both of these in mind.

Employees Want Training

Another hurdle to retention: Employees who get hired but then quickly realize that they have no clear way to advance in the company—and no clear future with your organization.

Employees want to know you’re investing in their career development; showing them that, though, can seem tricky. What’s an employer to do?

Two things, actually. One, check in with employees regularly to talk about their career goals, and to be open with them about possible avenues for advancing in the company. And two, make sure to invest in team training—a great way to show employees you care about their development.

Communication is Everything

Another hurdle to retention is lack of proper communication. Employees like to know that they have an open dialogue with the boss, or at the very least with the HR manager. It’s important that you keep those channels of dialogue open.

Having an open door policy is helpful, but one formal step you can take is to implement an annual review process and really take it seriously—a great way of showing employees that you have an ongoing interest in them.

What About Benefits?

Often, the biggest hurdle to retention is just money. You want to provide your employees with enticing benefits and competitive salaries, but sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow for it.

That’s when you have to get creative with some cost-effective employee benefits—like flexible scheduling, work-from-home options, professional development events, and more. I’ve blogged about this stuff before!

It’s not easy, boosting employee retention—but when you get a good team in place, it’s very much worth the effort.

Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally.

He is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM, and Hewlett Packard.

For more information on Rick’s speaking programs, audio programs, and learning programs, contact (888) 267-6098 or, or visit

Dr. Rick GoodmanThe 4 Biggest Hurdles to Effective Employee Retention