Engagement – the Key to Employee Retention
According to BusinessDictionary.com, the definition of employee engagement is “Emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her employment organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. The more engagement an employee has with his or her company, the more effort they put forth. Employee engagement also involves the nature of the job itself – if the employee feels mentally stimulated; the trust and communication between employees and management; ability of an employee to see how their own work contributes to the overall company performance; the opportunity of growth within the organization; and the level of pride an employee has about working or being associated with the company.”
“Employee Engagement” has become an over-used buzz word that many business owners are touting in their businesses today. It is well known that engagement promotes retention, fosters good working relationships, open communication, encourages employees to provide input that can help the company and other employees and can improve overall organizational performance. Engagement is influenced by many factors including workplace culture; communication; managerial styles, promoting trust and respect, leadership and company reputation. There are various reasons employees choose to engage with their employers including agreeing with the company’s mission (purpose), access to training, career opportunities, work/life balance, and empowerment to make decisions to name a few.
To actually encourage engagement, leadership teams need to determine what employees need in order to connect to the organization. How do you know if you are meeting your employees’ needs? How do you know if employees are engaged? Are you wasting resources promoting programs you think will appeal to the majority but only impact a few, if any? You will not know the answers to any of these questions if you do not “ask” employees what is important to them in the workplace. Do not be afraid to ask for feedback, even if you hear comments you do not want to hear. Do not be afraid to utilize quick surveys, small group, and one-on-one meetings with employees to gather information on what is important to them.
It continues to be increasingly difficult to attract and retain good employees so employers have to actively recruit and continue to be creative in providing an atmosphere great employees want to join and stay at if they are currently employed at the company. In an effort to foster a culture of engagement employers should proactively measure and evaluate their company practices that help attract and retain talent with the skills, competencies and core values necessary for both the employees and company to be successful. With that said, do you know what it takes to incorporate employee engagement in your company?
Kay M. Riley
Director of Corporate Operations | Principal