Someone has failed, failed miserably. I say to bishops throughout the world that with all you have to do — and we recognize that it is much — you cannot disregard the converts. Most of them do not need very much. As I have said before, they need a friend. They need something to do, a responsibility. They need nurturing with the good word of God. They come into the Church with enthusiasm for what they have found. We must immediately build on that enthusiasm
-Gordon B. Hinckley
President Hinckley has given the church three simple axioms upon which we base the current retention program of the church. The purpose here is to provide some practical expansion of these three areas, in an effort to further strengthen the retention efforts of the church.
While the ideal is that someone has had a spiritual and rational conversion to the Gospel, and their relationship with God rests within themselves, it can not be ignored that oneâ€™s relationship with God and oneâ€™s relationship with the community of the Church are not synonymous. That being the case, a social assimilation is typically needed as well to effectively hold someone in the church. In fact, in another Christian denomination, a survey of churches with successful retention rates cited the main reason for success in this area to be positive relationships between members. The note that â€œthe development of these relationships with new members best takes place before the member joins. If the new member has no relationship with a church member when he or she joins the church, it is exceedingly difficult to create relationships. Such is the reason why it is critically important for church members to become highly intentional about developing relationships with unchurched persons before that person ever visits the church.â€ And further that â€œthe most effective assimilation group is the Sunday schoolâ€¦ A person involved in a Sunday school class is five times more likely to be active in the church five years later, than a person who attends worship services alone. â€œ
It is important to remember that the church is a volunteer organization. Church membership was not the placement of a name on a roll; the clear expectation for converts needs to be that the member is to make a difference through the ministries of the church. One Church did a 2 year study of churches with successful retention rates which showed that churches with clear expectations of service within the church.  So first and foremost, Involvement in volunteer activities needs to be implicit in membership in the church. Since members are coming to the church because they want to help, it is essential that you do everything you can to give them work to do as soon as possible. Underutilization create serious retention problems, because motivated members who are trying to be of assistance will feel useless if they are not actually involved in doing something. They will also lose any sense of relationship with the organization over long periods of non-involvement. 
Also, it is vital to not just assign members callings at random in the church, but to talk to them for their input on how they would be interested in serving. This includes identifying the right job for the volunteer, but it also includes identifying what it would take for the volunteer to feel successful in the job. It is advisable to hold such interviews periodically, a the motivational needs of members will undoubtedly change over their lifetime and during the course of their relationship with the church.  One Major obstacle the supervisor must overcome is the natural tendency of some to not be forthcoming with problems or concerns related to their volunteer work, due to the religious nature of their volunteer commitment. It is up to the supervisor to encourage an environment where appropriate candor is valued more than forbearance.
One Interesting Survey recently asked what things were most important to volunteers in general. Itâ€™s results were very interesting.
Colony, Chen, and Andrews
Rank and Mean Scores of Individual Items for All Volunteers 
Colony, Chen, and Andrews Rank Item Mean 1. Helping others 3.83 2. Clearly defined responsibilities 3.58 3. Interesting work 3.53 4. Competence of supervisor 3.51 5. Supervisor guidance 3.47 6. Seeing results of my work 3.46 7. Working with a respected community organization 3.43 8. Reasonable work schedule 3.41 9. Doing the things I do best 3.39 10. Suitable workload 3.22 11. Freedom to decide how to get work done 3.21 12. Chance to make friends 3.20 13. Pleasant physical surroundings 3.17 14. Opportunity to develop special skills/abilities 3.09 15. Challenging problems to solve 3.05 16. Convenient travel to and from volunteer work 2.94 17. Opportunity to work with professional staff 2.88 18. Volunteer recognition 2.49 19. Adequate reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses 2.07 20. Chance to move to paid employment 1.50
Rank and Mean Scores of Individual Items for All Volunteers
Colony, Chen, and Andrews
Clearly defined responsibilities
Competence of supervisor
Seeing results of my work
Working with a respected community organization
Reasonable work schedule
Doing the things I do best
Freedom to decide how to get work done
Chance to make friends
Pleasant physical surroundings
Opportunity to develop special skills/abilities
Challenging problems to solve
Convenient travel to and from volunteer work
Opportunity to work with professional staff
Adequate reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses
Chance to move to paid employment
Note that of the top five highest priorities, The supervisor has direct control of three of these elements and indirect control of the other two. The more able and enabled a supervisor is to meet these needs of volunteers, the greater their success in volunteer retention will be.
Nurturing by the good word of God:
While not many studies have been done on effective ways to spiritually nurture either volunteers or participants and how this affects their retention in an organization, it is obviously a tenant of our religion that itâ€™s members should have a rational as well as spiritual conversion to the faith and that every effort ought to be made to provide this to the member and to teach the member to provide this for themselves. Often in the online LDS community this topic is handled in different ways, whether it be by suggesting must-read materials that provide answers, or by espousing â€œinoculatingâ€ members to the more controversial issues of the church. While these are good suggestions, they are both incomplete, as you can never produce enough books fast enough to answer all the questions in every way they are being asked, and you can never do enough inoculation to insure no one ever gets sick. And the aim should not be to give every answer or dispel ever issue, but to instill faith in members of the church that there are answers to their questions and that they will always have sources to seek out these answers, even if that source is only direct revelation from God. Thus every sacrament meeting talk, every Sunday school lesson, and every other moment of communal church activity should be used to create an environment where the spirit can communicate with the individual. All these events should also take every opportunity to present concepts that are clear, honest, and compelling to the intellect.
If you can’t tell, I am not quite as empiracel on this third point. Any help would be appreciated here. 
- from here (It should be noted that the Sunday School mentioned here was typically a small group)
- from here
- If you are wondering, Yes I am EXTREMELY proud of the fact that I figured out how to put a table into this post.