Ideas on how to retain your best employees

Jun 29, 2023 | Blog, HR

Need ideas on how to retain your best employees?

Retention strategy typically incorporates a number of different strands. The key starting point is to understand what matters most to your team. If you can understand what’s important to them, you can implement initiatives that reward, motivate and retain your best employees.

There are risks to taking a “one size fits all” approach. Ideally, a variety of benefits and options could be offered with at least one or more benefit appealing to each member of your team according to various factors like age, personal circumstances etc.

Early finish Fridays

This idea could involve staff finishing early on Fridays but without any deductions from salary, effectively working less hours over the week being paid the same.

Leave and Pay

Typically, this would involve:

Reviewing leave entitlements. Typically, holiday entitlement is the main one to look at but might also want to look at enhancing maternity/paternity/adoption leave pay.

There is an increasing view (thinking about recruitment rather than solely retention), that statutory is not enough and that really, only very small businesses or start-ups offer the statutory minimum.

Sick pay. Do you want to consider offering a certain number of paid days of sick leave in a year? Perhaps up to 1 week of paid leave with any remaining time being at SSP rate.

Birthday day off

It can be a small thing for a business but a big thing for an employee to have a paid day off on their birthday. Easy to set up too!

Pension contributions

It’s worth looking at enhanced pension contributions as an option to reward and retain employees. It’s clear that this will be more appealing to some than others; however, it could be an option that would work well for at least some of your team.


If not already offered then some form of healthcare option could be offered across the team. Employee Assistance Programmes generally include both physical and mental health support options which can be really helpful. This could be an area to explore in more detail.

Salary sacrifice schemes

The usual salary sacrifice schemes relate to childcare costs but there is also the option of a cycle to work scheme for example.


If it would appeal to your team, there is the option to put in place a volunteering policy, i.e. a paid day or two a year to carry out voluntary activities (also great PR for the business!).


There are sites such as Perkbox which is a benefits and rewards platform. You sign up as a business and then your team can have access to various different benefits/rewards, such as discount codes, supermarket vouchers etc. This type of thing can give some real benefit to the day-to-day cost of living and purchases.

Gift cards

You can give gift cards up to the value of £50 without the employee paying tax on it – this is called trivial benefits. I believe you can do this up to 4 times a year which again, doesn’t sound like a lot but if people had £50 off their weekly shop every now and again, it might mean a lot to them.

Profit share

From a financial point of view, you could look at introducing a discretionary profit share scheme, along the lines of the bonus scheme you already have in place. This would make a direct link between the amount of profit the business makes and the bonus paid out to the team, enabling you to emphasise how each person’s performance influences the bottom line and ultimately, the amount of profit share they might receive.

Positive working environment

In addition to the above suggestions and ideas to look at, people tend to stay where they feel respected, supported and valued and where they work well with colleagues.

That being the case, there are a number of options you could consider around teamwork opportunities. Ideally, it would be helpful if the activity appealed to different age groups and different genders too.

There are lots of different options out there but how about:

  • Something involving food – cookery, food tasting, cocktail making;
  • Something involving brain power – escape rooms, challenges, treasure hunt, pub quiz;
  • Something relevant to your business – job shadowing or job swapping for a day!

Need some help on what to choose or how to implement your strategy?

Get in touch – we’d love to help!


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