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How to Incentivize Retention

We retain employees when we provide value to them that meets or exceeds the value they provide the organization. Value is individually perceived, and therefore it’s critical to have regular conversations with employees to get to know them and understand what they value so that you can deliver on it.
Jessica Liu
Employee Benefits Broker, Bolton, an IMA Company
Pasadena, California
Vistage member since 2014
Be the person you would want to work for, be the company you would want to work for. That’s what we try to do.
Preston Cross
President, Four Cs Construction
Fresno, California
Vistage member since 2020
Sprinkling small incentives along an employee’s career path — such as additional paid time off, access to new educational resources, getting a mentor, joining a committee, receiving unique perks like free oil changes, passes to the zoo, etc. — can be more enticing for lower-wage workers. For higher-pay SMEs, consider offering a onemonth paid sabbatical after so many years of service.
Cara Silletto
President & Chief Retention Officer, Magnet Culture
Louisville, Kentucky
Vistage speaker since 2015
We start with culture, making sure that we are intentional with our team about issues that impact culture. We optimize transparency by identifying issues, which issues we are addressing, and presenting the culture plan to all employees with milestones and outcomes. For key employees, offering a deferred compensation package provides an incentive to stay and have more financial security.
John Schwanke
President, Lakeview Industries
Carver, Minnesota
Vistage member since 2022
Focus on aligning employee values with company values. Hire for values and purpose alignment. Those things are way stickier than a few dollars.
Jonathan King
Founder/ CEO, Lean Leaders
Frisco, Texas
Vistage speaker since 2017
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