Employee Retention and Engagement: A Quick Guide for Employers

— January 17, 2019

Over the last decade or so, the engagement and retention of employees have been an area of focus for a majority of businesses around the world. Many organisations are actively working on developing strategies to help them get the most of their employees.

But what exactly is employee engagement? Why are businesses so concerned about it? How does engagement impact employee retention?

This article will offer some implementable times to businesses trying to improve their employee engagement efforts.

What is employee engagement and why is it so important?

Acas defines employee engagement as the extent to which a company’s values and vision aligns with their employee’s personal interests and goals.

Engaged staff members are committed to the goals and values of their company, they are also motivated to work harder to contribute to the overall success of the business.

Engagement Vs Retention

Retaining an employee involves keeping them on your payroll for as long as possible. This can be done by implementing a pay & benefits scheme that increases their pay based on the length of service or offers rewards based on performance.

In terms of its connection to engagement, while you may be able to retain your employees by offering perks, it doesn’t mean that they like the company or the bosses. And when an employee isn’t engaged with the values or goals of the company they’ll be less productive which could be harmful to the company.

Both engagement and retention in today’s working environment mean employers understanding the need for flexibility, creativity and purpose among their employees.

How do you keep employees engaged?

Managers trying to engage with their employees can implement any of the following methods:

Show you care – For employees to really care about their work, they need to know that their employer cares about them. Find out what matters to each employee in their personal and professional lives. Ask questions and listen to feedback.

Perks and benefits – A great way to improve engagement among employees is by adding monetary incentives to regular pay packages. Consider introducing programmes that reward hard work and recognises employees that go the extra mile. Positive feedback and recognition for a job well done goes a long way to creating an environment of professional engagement.

Frequent communication – Regular communication between management and employees is the key to creating an engaged workplace. You should also promote transparency among staff members, they are only truly engaged when they can open up to you without fear of repercussions.

What are the components of employee engagement?

There are three major components of employee engagement, validation, recognition and feedback. When combined together, these three components play an integral role in improving performance and accountability.

Validation – Validation should be offered in spite of individual employee performance. It involves listening and responding to their problems. Little things like offering greeting every day, asking employees about their health, family, weekend, holidays and more goes to show employees that they are valued.

Feedback – Regular feedback on employee’s behaviour, performance, attitude and attendance contributes to fostering the personal development of that employee. Constructive feedback provides an insight into what they’re doing right and what they could improve on.

Recognition – Recognising or praising employees based on their performance, behaviour or attitude serves as a bedrock for cultivating a high-performance culture.

Tips for engaging your employees

Provide training – most employees are looking for a company culture that promotes training and development. It is important to provide regular training to employees to help them gain more skills. This way you’ll be the first to benefit from the newly acquired skill.

Provide the right tools to work with – you should provide all the necessary tools required to enhance your employee’s output.

Promote company culture – Highlight the importance of a positive company culture and encourage employees to familiarise themselves with it. Having a defined company culture encourages employees to try to fit into the system. Your company culture should reflect the goal, mission and value of the company.

Promote work-life balance – introducing work from home schemes and flexible working times gives your employees the freedom to work from anywhere. Providing this option creates happy and engaged employees as opposed to those that are unhappy working a 9-5.

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Author: Ibrahim Kareem

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