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From Onboarding to Career Development: How to Retain Top Talent for the Long-Term

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In today's competitive job market, retaining top talent has become more critical than ever.

Employee turnover can be costly, both financially and in terms of lost productivity and institutional knowledge. 

According to Zippia, the average annual turnover rate in the US was 47.2% in 2021.

On average, companies lose 18% of their workforce each year due to turnover, with 12% being voluntary and 6% involuntary (such as layoffs or terminations).

In 2022, the cost of voluntary employee turnover was estimated to be over $1 trillion. Furthermore, 31% of employees leave their jobs within the first six months of employment.

From onboarding and performance feedback to career development opportunities, there are many strategies that companies can use to retain their best employees for the long term.


In this article, we will explore these strategies and more, helping you to create a work environment that supports and retains your best-performing employees.

Strong Onboarding Process

A strong onboarding process can go a long way in retaining top talent. It should include orientation to company culture, policies, and procedures, as well as introductions to key team members and an overview of job expectations. 

An effective onboarding process can help new employees feel more connected to the organization and its mission, reduce anxiety and uncertainty, and improve their confidence and productivity. 

It also allows employers to demonstrate their commitment to employee growth and development, improving retention rates and creating a more positive work environment.

Clear Career Paths

Providing clear career paths and growth opportunities can significantly impact employee retention. It can help employees understand their current and future roles within the company, which in turn, provides a sense of direction and purpose. 

This also helps employees see that their contributions are valued and that their future with the company is secure. Employers can provide various opportunities such as training, workshops, job rotations, and mentoring to help employees develop their skills and gain new experiences. 

Regular Performance Feedback

Regular feedback and performance reviews can be crucial for employee retention. They provide employees with a clear understanding of their performance, expectations, and how they can improve. Employers should consider using a 360-degree feedback survey, which allows employees to receive feedback from their manager, peers, and subordinates. 

According to G-360 surveys, this type of feedback provides employees with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. It also helps employees understand how their performance impacts their team and the company. 

Regular performance feedback and 360-degree surveys promote employee growth and development, leading to increased job satisfaction and decreased turnover rates.

Professional Development Opportunities

According to Business News Daily, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2022 found a connection between high employee turnover rates and inadequate career advancement prospects.

The study, which surveyed 6,627 non-retired Americans, found that 965 of them left their jobs in 2021. Of those who quit their jobs, 33% cited a dearth of opportunities for career growth as a significant factor in their decision to leave. An additional 30% said it was a minor factor, bringing the total to 63%, making it the second most frequently cited reason after inadequate compensation.

Providing professional development opportunities can help retain top performers by allowing employees to learn and develop new skills. This could include training sessions, mentoring programs, and educational courses. 

Professional development opportunities show employees that their employer is invested in their growth and development, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty. 

Additionally, offering professional development opportunities can benefit the company by increasing employee skills and knowledge, leading to improved productivity and overall job performance.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

According to The New York Times, the recent surge in resignations has been overshadowed by reports of layoffs. Companies such as Amazon, Meta, Dell, and Microsoft have led the way in cutting jobs, along with BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, and layoffs are planned at McDonald’s too. However, resignations still greatly outnumber reductions, with people quitting at a rate three times higher than that of layoffs.

Providing comprehensive benefits packages can improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, as well as attract new talent to the company. In a competitive job market, offering a strong compensation and benefits package can be a key factor in retaining employees, as well as attracting and recruiting new ones.

Work-Life Balance

Providing work-life balance options, such as flexible schedules and remote work options, can help to retain top talent. Employees who feel supported in balancing their work and personal lives are more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal to their employer.

Additionally, offering work-life balance options can attract new talent to the company and improve the company's overall reputation as a desirable workplace.

Employee Engagement Programs

Employee engagement programs can help create a positive work culture, improve morale, and promote teamwork. By offering wellness initiatives, such as gym memberships or mental health support, employees can feel valued and supported by the company.

Social events, like company outings or volunteer opportunities, can also promote team building and strengthen connections among colleagues. Team-building activities can also be used to help employees develop new skills and build relationships. 

Implementing these engagement programs can create a workplace culture that fosters a sense of community and shared values, leading to greater employee satisfaction and retention.


Retaining top talent is crucial for the success and growth of any organization. From the onboarding process to career development, companies must implement strategies to keep their best employees engaged, motivated, and fulfilled in their roles.

Investing in employee retention not only improves productivity and reduces turnover costs but also creates a loyal and committed workforce that contributes to the overall success of the organization.v

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