Higher Rentention of Employees 21 Top rewards Pivotal HR Solutions Blog

21 High-Impact Ways to Appreciate Employees: Retaining Employees Critical as Employees “Quit at Record Pace” (Polls)

A survey by DocuSign has found that the biggest worry that HR leaders have in 2021 is retaining their talent. And this objective is only going to get tougher to achieve in the months and years ahead, as employees are now quitting their jobs at a record pace. What’s more, many employees who haven’t (yet) handed in their resignation are open to switching employers — especially those who are being ordered to abandon their home and return to the office full-time.

21 Top Responses from Employers

Recently, a separate survey by OC Tanner asked employees to share what they believe are the most high-impact ways for an organization to appreciate employees, and give them reasons to stick around vs. head for the exit. The responses are below (with the percentage in brackets):


  • Highlighting professional achievements (83%)
  • Giving bonuses and pay rises (80%)
  • Extra time off (75%)
  • Saying “thank you” (70%)
  • Care packages (69%)
  • Team activity (68%)
  • Celebrating personal achievements (64%)
  • Mindful work/life balance (64%)
  • Early finish (57%)
  • Free learning opportunities (48%)
  • Games night (47%)
  • End-of-lockdown celebrations (46%)
  • Lunch dates (38%)
  • Coffee break (34%)
  • Employee appreciation cards (33%)
  • Mentoring opportunities (33%)
  • Updated work equipment (30%)
  • Team exercise activity (27%)
  • Employee-of-the-Month initiative (24%)
  • Employee awards ceremony (22%)
  • External perks (15%)

19 Do Not Involve Boosting Compensation

Perhaps what is most notable about these responses — and contrary to what some executives may have anticipated — is that only one of them involves boosting compensation. The rest are either free gestures (e.g. highlighting professional achievements, saying “thank you”), or they are activities (e.g. team activity, lunch dates) where the price tag is a fraction compared to the enormous cost of turnover. Studies have found that replacing an employee can cost about 20% of that individual’s annual salary. And in some labor markets where demand for certain talent far outstrips supply, filling a vacancy does not take day or weeks — it takes months, or even years.



Retain employees train reward Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
Retention of employees in the face of the anticipated Turnover Tsunami — indicated by polls showing a 50 percent intention to leave current employer.


Optimizing Retention

Ultimately, there is no generic template to optimize retention. Each organization must develop a retention strategy that makes their workplace attractive, and which also makes them competitive in their marketplace. However, at the root of any meaningful effort to retain talent is making employees feel valued. The options listed above can go a long, long way to helping organizations keep the talented people they need to succeed — and in the long-run, to survive.

Learn More in the PIVOTAL HR Blog


  • Discover the two types of employee praise that matter now more than ever: click here.
  • Learn how good HR management can breathe life into disgruntled and disengaged team: click here.
  • Get quick tips on how to keep employees engaged: click here.

Do you Need Expert Help Structuring Your Retention Program or Benefits? Contact the Experts at Pivotal.


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