Malta: The Importance Of Employee Retention

Last Updated: 18 May 2018
Article by Malcolm Pace Debono
Most Read Contributor in Malta, September 2019

Are Organisations Doing Enough To Retain Their Talent?

Employee turnover directly affects an organisation's bottom line. So, this begs the question:
Are organisations doing enough to retain their talent?

Employee retention has been a 'hot topic' across industries for a number of years. A Willis Towers Watson study in 2015 found that more than half of all organisations globally have difficulty retaining their most valued employees. This also proved true to the iGaming industry in a Survey conducted by KPMG's People and Change Advisory team at the 2017 Malta iGaming Summit – SiGMA, with 45% of respondents claiming that 'Talent Retention' is one of the industry's greatest talent challenges.

Employee retention strategies are viewed as organisational interventions implemented to prevent employees from leaving their jobs. Organisations should want to encourage employees to work as best they can at the organisation, for the longest time possible. Employee loyalty gives organisations an advantage over their competition, not only in the form of diminishing costs of recruitment and retraining, but more importantly, because retaining experienced and seasoned employees ensures that all of their know-how stays on board. Losing valuable employees can also have emotional repercussions on those who stay, directly decreasing productivity through diminishing morale and motivation. In fact, research suggests that a high employee turnover rate can cost an organisation up to 200% of an employee's annual salary, depending on the role and seniority. It is for all of these reasons that retaining key talent is mission-critical for organisational success.

Employee Retention through Employee Engagement.

The list of statistics goes on – but what do all these studies really tell us? They illustrate how evident it has become for employee retention and engagement to go hand in hand – an engaged employee is less likely to leave an organisation than a disengaged one.

Engaged employees are committed to their organisation, exhibit higher levels of performance and are overall more motivated to work and contribute to organisational success. Given that the performance of an employee is so crucial to the success of an organisation, it is ideal to have them functioning at their full potential. Employee engagement is what ensures that this potential is being unlocked and what will move an organisation closer towards reaching its business objectives and vision.

In Gallup's 'Work and Education Survey' in 2013 it was reported that two out of every three engaged employees would continue to work at their current job even if they won the lottery. One can appreciate that, despite the low probability of winning the lottery, these results shed light on the value that engaged employees place on their job and employer. It is for this reason that organisations with high levels of employee engagement, have lower turnover rates and less employee retention issues than those organisations that demonstrate lower levels of employee engagement.

Given the above, the KPMG People & Change Advisory team believes that measuring employee engagement is the first step to improved employee retention. Due to the importance of employee engagement, the People & Change team has developed the KPMG Employee Engagement Plus Index1 – an evidence-based diagnostic tool that enables an organisation to measure their current engagement levels. This tool provides metrics related to scientifically proven drivers of engagement, such as leadership and communication. Such metrics provide insight into the organisation's Talent Management related strengths, areas for improvement, areas of critical concern, and therefore, ultimately, supports the organisation in reaching its final destination of a highly engaged workforce by tackling the root cause of any issues rather than simply the symptoms.

In fact, the KPMG survey at SiGMA (2017) showed that, further to Talent Retention being identified as the largest talent challenge of the iGaming industry, over 51% of industry professionals flagged 'Communicating well throughout the organisation' as an area that their organisation struggles with, and almost 40% identified 'Leadership and Management' as an area that their organisation should focus on in order to encourage employees to go the extra mile at work.

It is for this reason that the KPMG Employee Engagement Plus Index was developed to allow organisations to, not only identify which drivers of engagement (such as leadership and communication) are the lowest scoring, but, further to that, look into what individual determinants of these drivers are influencing these low scores. Having this understanding of what is directly positively or negatively influencing your organisation in terms of employee engagement will then become crucial in guiding your employee retention strategy moving forward.

Therefore, further questions beckon: Should organisations first be taking stock and measuring their employee engagement levels before investing further in employer branding, recruitment drives, employee training and induction programmes? Does your issue of employee retention stem from deeper than you may think?


1. – You may find more information about the KPMG Employee Engagement Plus Index at

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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