Retention does not seem to be a topic of great concern in this present economy. However, the economy will turn and hiring will accelerate. When this happens (hopefully sooner rather than later), retention will become a key topic for many companies.
In a surprising story, CNNMoney.com provides a brief description of a unique approach Chipotle uses:
Find incentives that work. The best Chipotle restaurant managers get the title “restaurateur” and a $10,000 bonus for each person they hire who starts as crew and goes on to become a manager. We have 170 restaurateurs out of 1,000 managers, and the turnover rate among them is very low.
Two things that work in this incentive plan are the status and recognition reward (“restaurateur”) and the material possession reward ($10,000). I suspect their turnover rate is quite low based on these two incentives.