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Employee engagement and retention

Why has looking to attract, hire and retain the best talent been a struggle for employers?

Employee engagement and retention are the two most significant drivers of business success. Engagement and retention have been a more talked-about topic in the workplace over the last few years. Fuelled by events like COVID, working remotely and resignation are rising.

Employers need to understand what their employees need to stay content and thrive within their metaphorical walls. A recent report by Gallup indicated that 85% of the world’s workforce is currently disengaged. It’s a staggering statistic that organizations need to consider if they want to attract, hire and retain the best talent.

Why is employee engagement so meaningful?
Engaged employees are passionate about their work; they care. However, organizations that can’t (or don’t) ensure that their workforce is flourishing and enabled for success in every aspect will lack productivity which translates into a reduction in revenue and profit.
So many benefits connect to employee engagement, such as:
• Increased productivity
• Reduced absenteeism
• Greater profit margins
• Lower employee turnover
• Better job satisfaction
• Improved communication
Engagement and retention are intrinsically connected. The labour market is very tight right now; to have vital success, employers need to find ways to fight above the noise and become a destination. If your talent doesn’t feel valued and is frustrated in their role, the scope to leave and find a better alternative is vast.
According to research, it takes more than a 20% pay increase to lure most employees away from an employer. Low engagement teams typically endure turnover rates of 18% to 43% higher than highly engaged teams.
How engaged are your employees right now?
Research shows that two in every five employees do not feel fully engaged in their work. That’s a sizable amount for any company to contend with. So what is causing this discontent? Some of the reasons put forward by employees are change in priorities post-COVID, poor leadership, lack of flexibility and autonomy.
The outbreak of covid 19 threw up opportunities for hybrid and remote work, bringing about modification in the working landscape with employees demanding change. And it is the organizations who are willing to adapt and understand these concerns that will ultimately foster more engagement.

Employees are leaving organizations in huge numbers fueled by the lack of engagement as there is an increase in the motivation to seek out fulfilling roles that serve a renewed set of needs. Be it more structures for development and growth, a proper work-life balance, or empathetic leadership; employees are not afraid to leave to achieve these outcomes.

How can organizations improve employee engagement?

There are several essential motivators for building employee engagement. Employee engagement is all-encompassing, and there is no one single solution. Here are five ways to improve employee engagement:

  • Career growth opportunities
  • Salary and bonuses
  • Employee recognition and value
  • Work-life balance
  • Internal mobility

Organizations need to promote internal mobility actively and harness its power. Internal mobility is crucial for driving engagement and success in business. Organizations that promote internally are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their hire. 

Retention should undoubtedly be on the minds of employers as it’s an essential and strategic priority. Organizations can stem the tide of employee turnover by making talents aware of growth opportunities, minimizing company politics, creating a culture of communication and recognition, allowing employees to move into appropriate roles, and not overlooking or undervaluing them.

Throwing money at the situation is not the solution; while that might work in the interim, it doesn’t get at the root cause – engagement. Employees want opportunities, flexibility, and development. They want inclusive cultures that encourage their passion and understand their humanity. So if retention is a peak aim for organizations, perhaps they need to first look at team engagement.

The immediate takeaway from this points to the overall employee experience. Money may be a deciding factor in where and how employees work, but it is also interesting to note that the other components relate more to their day-to-day operations in the workplace. They want to be in a company that values them, endeavors to grow their career, and doesn’t overlook the importance of life outside the office. Could these be the driving factors behind effective employee engagement?

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning."

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