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What is retention?

Employee retention is a systematic effort by employers to encourage valued employees to remain with their organisation.

A large part of keeping valued employees is attracting the right people to the organisation in the first place by the use of an effective workforce plan and recruitment and selection practices.

Once you have attracted the right people some methods used to help retain them include:

Effective employee supervision and support

  • Initial support to help the employee socialise within their new team and the organisation.
  • Access to policies, procedures and instructions needed to perform their role.
  • Regular supervision meetings and performance management reviews.
  • Regular feedback including thorough feedback on the performance of new staff during their probationary period.
  • Maintaining motivation and morale.

Professional development, education and training

  • Induction training.
  • Ongoing professional development and training (on and off the job).

Rewards and recognition

  • Awards and celebrations for achievements.
  • Thanking employees for a job well done.


  • Competitive pay rates.
  • Discounted insurance, financial advice and shopping etc.
  • Tax minimisation options including salary packaging and novated leasing.

Encourage a work / life balance

  • Flexible working hours and rosters.
  • Access to extended leave options and leave without pay.
  • Flexible work structures including working from home (if possible).
  • Family friendly benefits including access to childcare and school holiday programs.
  • Free counselling for staff experiencing a crisis.

Effectively address Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) issues

  • Reduce workplace physical and psychological injuries.

Ensure Equal Opportunity

  • Victorias Equal Opportunity Act (1995) states that it is against the law to treat an employee or potential employee less favourably because of a personal characteristic that is protected under Victoria's equal opportunity laws.

Providing opportunities for career progression and promotion

  • Ensuring that the steps for career progression and promotion are clear to employees.

Conducting exit interviews and surveys

  • These will help you find and why employees are leaving and will give you an opportunity to address any issues which are leading to unwanted turnover.


Related links

Links to websites with information about retaining employees:

  •  Recruitment and selection
    Resources to assist with job role definition and getting the right person for the job.
  •  Work health
    Resources to support knowledge development and sharing between Community Service Organisations to enhance organisational sustainability, viability and efficiency in managing workplace health and safety.
  •  Workforce planning
    Resources to assist organisations and managers to plan for the future, anticipate change, manage the workforce and meet business goals and seeks to align the workforce with the strategic goals of the organisation.

The material on this page has been adapted from the Home and Community Care (HACC) Community Care Worker Human Resources Kit 2007 (external link - opens in a new window).

Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).