Development & Retention: Employee retention for winners

The 7 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle
(Part 2)

Great: You have drawn attention to your organization (attraction), convinced top talents (recruitment), trained them and integrated them into the team and the corporate culture (onboarding). Your next task with regard to new employees is: Retain them in your company. In today's shortage of skilled workers, they will otherwise be poached again faster than you can say "Welcome aboard". That is, of course, if you do nothing to make your employees feel comfortable in the company.

Stations 4 and 5 of the Employee Lifecycle

Station 4: Development

One keyword to support retention is "development". This is precisely why the fourth station of the Employee Lifecycle bears this name. Other terms that also apply are performance management or personnel development.

As soon as a new talent is in the company permanently, a continuous process starts, which recurrently includes the following elements:

  • Development discussions 
  • Joint goal setting 
  • Mutual feedback loops 
  • Analysis and solution finding in case of challenges

One of your tasks is to keep a watchful eye on the potential of your employees and offer them the opportunity to build on their strengths, for example through coaching, further education or training. 

When your employees can develop, grow and evolve, creativity and productivity increase. An investment in the growth of your employees is also always an investment in the entire company, because this increases the internal expertise, commitment and loyalty of your employees. Development is therefore not a one-way street.

Station 5: Retention

The word "retention" means something like "preservation". So, in addition to providing opportunities for development, what can you do to ensure that your employees "stay" with your company?

Top talent stays with an organization because it provides them with the best possible support, but also because they are particularly satisfied there. Satisfaction comes naturally from advancement and growth, but there are more pieces of the puzzle to true job satisfaction.

General measures that can increase job satisfaction:

  • Positive working environment
  • Work-life balance
  • Health promotion (e.g. through company health management, massages for desk work, coaching, etc.)
  • Benefits such as participation in the cost of public transport, childcare or sports activities
  • Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries
  • Home office arrangements
  • Sabbatical option
  • Team events

In addition to general measures, it is always worth taking a look at individual employees. Ask yourself what your employees personally value or are committed to. For one manager, a company share is a great recognition, for another it is the possibility of a 4-day week. Still other employees may be politically involved - in climate protection, for example - and appreciate being able to participate in large demonstrations and then flexibly make up work time. There are numerous ways to create individual added value.

Forever together?

Unfortunately, no. Even the most satisfied and dedicated employee has to leave at some point - namely, at retirement age at the latest. And no matter how much effort you put into employee retention, it's virtually impossible to please everyone all the time (even if that might be your aspiration, of course). 

Therefore spoiler: Employees will leave your company. And they will always do so. 

But whatever the reason, make sure it's an appreciative departure. How exactly you do that, you will learn in the third part of our article series "The 7 Stations of the Employee Lifecycle": Exit, Alumni: Ciao (for now)! Exit, Alumni: Ciao (for now)!


  • DevelopmentHiring is just the beginning. Offer your employees opportunities for professional and personal development. Set goals together with them and hold regular development meetings.
  • Retention: Take a holistic approach to staff retention and ensure a positive and appreciative working environment in addition to training opportunities. You can achieve this with general and individual measures that strengthen and increase the commitment, satisfaction and loyalty of your employees.



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