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Who Owns Retention? It's a Team Sport!



Today, I emphasize the collective responsibility in employee retention, spotlighting the collaborative spirit of executives, mid-level managers, and frontline employees. The article brings to light the instrumental roles of the Human Resources, managerial, and training departments in cultivating a positive work environment and tackling employee concerns.


Now let's dive deeper.

Who owns retention?

The phrase “Who owns retention?” is often tossed around in company corridors, and it's a question with no easy answer. The responsibility of keeping great employees on board falls on everyone’s shoulders, from top executives to the newest hire. However, how this plays out can vary based on a company's size, structure, and culture. Let’s break down this collaborative endeavor and pepper in some data to give us a clearer picture.


At its core, retention is a team effort. It starts with the big bosses, who show their commitment to keeping good employees by investing in programs and initiatives that make people want to stay. This positive vibe trickles down to middle managers, who play a crucial role in keeping their teams motivated and feeling good about their work. And let’s not forget the frontline employees - their dedication to their jobs is the real deal when it comes to retention.


Now, retention isn’t a solo act. It's a company-wide gig that covers everything from hiring and onboarding to training and fair pay. So, it’s a bit narrow to say that one department or person “owns” retention. It's more like a shared custody arrangement.

Yet, not all departments are on an equal footing here. The HR folks often find themselves in the spotlight since they craft policies and run programs that help keep people on board. They're also the go-to for employees thinking about hitting the road, helping to sort out any issues that might be bugging them.


Besides HR, managers and the training department are big players on the retention field. Managers need to keep their teams engaged and pumped to excel, while the training squad ensures everyone has the skills they need to succeed.

Digging into some data, a TINYpulse survey highlighted that the top reason people pack up is a lack of growth opportunities. This nugget of info ties back to how crucial the role of training and development is in the retention game.


Also, the well-regarded Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement survey echoes the sentiment that keeping employees engaged is a big win for retention. It’s not just about liking the job, but enjoying the whole ride at the organization, which is a shared goal for all.


Recap: Retention isn’t a one-person show; it’s a collaborative venture. While HR and a few other departments are often at the forefront, everyone in the organization has a part to play in this drama. The quest for solid retention is a group project, underscoring the idea that it’s not about who owns retention, but how we all contribute to keeping good people on board.

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