Engagement is the Key, But Here’s How You Can Maximize Employee Retention

There are many factors that go in to an employee’s decision to leave their employer – the economy, compensation, work environment, personal aspirations, and so on.

You may never control every aspect of why an employee stays with or leaves a company, but you ARE able to affect how engaged they are while you have them, and hopefully, keep them around for as long as possible.

Engagement is turnover’s arch nemesis and retention’s greatest ally. Its goal is to keep employees genuinely connected with their jobs so they can tune everything else out, set roots, and focus on their work.

Currently only around 32 percent of U.S. workers are engaged. Worldwide, that engagement number drops to around 13 percent. But remember: If it were easy, everyone would be doing it well.

How to maximize employee retention

To retain employees, you must genuinely engage them — and that’s always easier said than done.

Just so you don’t have to ask, here’s what you can do to maximize retention:

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  • Be nice – Say please and thank you. Help out when the going gets tough. Don’t judge too quickly or too harshly. Listen first. Observe the Golden Rule. People like working for nice people, not mean ones.
  • Be consistent – Keep your promises and follow through on them day in, day out. Make a genuine effort to build trust. Trust can take a long time to achieve, but a healthy sense of trust between employee and employer has been shown to dramatically reduce voluntary turnover.
  • Be supportive – There is a strong correlation between recognition and retention, so make appreciation a priority in the culture. Give credit where credit is due. Get excited about employee achievements. Have a multilayered recognition program that reaches all of your employees with varied options for recognizing each other.
  • Emphasize the manager-employee relationship – Managers are notoriously undertrained. But an employee’s relationship with their direct supervisor is a top driver of engagement, and also a top reason why they will decide to leave. So make sure they have training in things like emotional intelligence, change management, and communications.
  • Offer a competitive salary and benefits – If the pay isn’t there, the employee has even more of an incentive to leave. Compensation is a top driver of employee attraction, retention, and sustainable engagement, so track and compare respective salaries and benefits in your market and stay competitive.
  • Have a few unusual perks – Do something a little out of the ordinary to make your workplace stand out. Things like game tournaments, an onsite green space, or regular company outings can build teamwork skills, reduce stress levels, and give your organization more character to latch on to.

Big choices

You may not retain every employee you wish to keep, but staying focused on engagement and creating memorable experiences lets them know how much you care.

When employees know how much you care, they are more apt to give three weeks’ notice and have the potential to turn into valuable rehires or connections down the road.

Successful engagement requires long-term planning. Choosing whether to stay or leave a job is a huge choice for people, so the investment in retaining them should be equally as large.

This was originally published on the Michael C. Fina blog.

Cord Himelstein has helped HALO Recognition become one of the leading providers of employee rewards, recognition and incentive solutions. Since 2007, he has been responsible for leading the company’s strategic marketing initiatives and communications efforts. Cord works closely with customers to help them develop measurable workforce recognition strategies and create memorable experiences for their employees.

Cord is also a recognized thought leader in the human resources community, and is a regular contributor to the company's corporate blog, where his articles have enjoyed national exposure through major HR publications including SHRM, Workspan, TLNT, Smartbrief, and Entrepreneur. Prior to joining HALO Recognition, Cord worked in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years, where he held senior positions with Elektra Entertainment and EMI Music Group.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cord-himelstein-970b375


1 Comment on “Engagement is the Key, But Here’s How You Can Maximize Employee Retention

  1. Great article! I totally agree with all your insights but I would only add one thing: public recognition and praise! Studies say 64% of employees who quit their jobs didn’t feel recognized for their efforts. It’s very important to celebrate daily victories, especially if you are on a fast growing company where all staff is very focused at work. Don’t let them forget about having fun and saying thank you to their peers!

    We’ve experienced those growth pains inside our own company and so we’ve decided to create an app to solve our problem. It had such a tremendous impact on our culture that we decided, last year, to roll it out to the public. Hope you take a look at our solution for employee engagement and staff motivation and start giving recognition in seconds and with 3 simple steps.

    Build stronger teams – http://www.tapmyback.com

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