People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!
~Peter Senge

With the turmoil and challenges that can occur during times of change, for organizations, it’s not uncommon for employees to “look for greener pastures.” How do organizations retain their employees during times of change? Following are four ways to keep your employees around for the long haul.

  1. Money - To stave off a mass exodus of key people, some organizations try the age-old strategy of throwing money at the employees they feel that can’t afford to lose. Although money is a significant motivator, especially when tied into the end result of the change, in today’s economic times, it may not be financially feasible for an organization to do this.
  2. Opportunity – For many employees, opportunity to grow and build their career is even more important than a few extra dollars in their paycheck. Tying opportunities, in the form of increased responsibilities and/or promotions, with the successful completion of the change not only helps retain those employees, but also gives them a vested interest in the change’s success.
  3. Development – For those who are not in the position to receive promotions or immediate career advancement opportunities, career development programs, as an incentive to remain with the company, are often effective. Although not a direct advancement, the employee values the education and experience they are receiving via the development program, and they understand it will eventually help advance their career.
  4. Appreciation – It may seem like commonsense that showing people how much they and their efforts are appreciated, especially during times of change, is critical to retaining employees. However, for many business leaders, the day-to-day tasks, coupled with the newly added challenges of change management, mean showing appreciation is too often forgotten. Showing your appreciation won’t just help retain your employees, but it will also motivate them to be even more productive in the future.

Targeting those employees who are critical to retain is an important part of the development of effective retention incentive programs. Don’t simply look at the Top Gun employees. Instead consider which positions are going to be most instrumental in implementing the change and ensuring it gets off on the right foot.

Also, understand that not all employees are alike. For this reason, a “one-size-fits-all” approach likely will not work for everyone. Instead, think about a combination of financial and non-financial incentives tailored to the individual employee for the greatest success!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.


Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.