The slower economy is prompting many employers to boost wages and other retention strategies in a bid to hold on to their best employees, a new survey reports.

Of 530 hiring managers surveyed by Personnel Decisions International, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm, 93 percent said keeping talented employees during a slow economy was important. The survey included HR personnel from 34 countries, with U.S.-based employers making up 46 percent of the sample.

Offering competitive pay was cited as the most popular retention strategy, with 78 percent of survey respondents saying they've taken this approach. Another 71 percent said they had provided training opportunities for workers, while 70 percent said they kept a list of top employees on file.

Other approaches included providing non-monetary awards for high performance, involving employees in company decisions, offering flexible hours, and selecting workers with long-term retention in mind.

"Even in a tight economy, there are steps that companies can take that make a big impact without costing money," Tommy Daniel, the firm's senior vice president, said in a statement.

Daniel said senior leaders should make an effort to speak one-on-one with key employees, and let them know how much the organization values their contributions. They should also invite top workers to participate in strategy discussions in order to make them feel more invested in the company, he said.