Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 ways to improve employee engagement and retain your valued people

employee engagement 2It’s sad to say, but it’s true – it’s becoming more and more difficult in today’s business climate to ensure employee retention and productivity. Staff members everywhere are becoming disengaged. They’re less motivated by their work than they’ve been traditionally, and they’re increasingly open to leaving their current jobs to find new opportunities.

In short, the challenge for employers is to increase engagement. If you can get people passionate about their jobs again, you can reverse the worrisome trends that are currently spreading across the business world.

According to a Brightmove blog, there’s a great deal of financial incentive for companies to focus on engagement. Jaime Spuhler, marketing coordinator for the organization, notes that engaged employees add to a company’s bottom line in two big ways – one, they work more productively which helps add revenue, and two, they keep job turnover low, which means big savings on recruiting costs.

“High turnover is expensive,” Spuhler explained. “Easy networking and a ‘grass is always greener’ attitude make talent an easy target for poaching by a competitor. When innovation and experience walk out your door after their exit interview, your challenge is to replace your employee – and prevent it from happening again soon.”

Unfortunately, though, it’s tough to increase engagement. A recent Gallup poll revealed that most American workers remain disengaged – only about 30 percent of U.S. employees say that they can “find value in their job beyond the money.” Their reasons for struggling with this are wide-ranging – they include the workplace environment, managerial impact and a lack of career development and recognition.

So what can HR do? There are a lot of ideas that can potentially work, but the following four strategies have proven to be most effective:

Build a stronger company culture
“Company culture” is a vague phrase that can mean a lot of different things, but in terms of driving employee engagement on a daily basis, here’s what matters – what are the norms surrounding work? Do people communicate well? Do they work together? Do they take pride in each other’s successes?

Restore pride in the employer brand
This is another aspect of culture that’s equally important. Are people proud to work for your company? Would they recommend it to their friends? Do they boast about it on their resumes and through social media? If someone has a job that they take pride in, they’re far more likely to stick with it.

Communicate with real authenticity
When your corporate leaders communicate with the rest of the staff, what’s their tone like? Do they seem honest or slimy? Are they presenting information in a straightforward way, or are they using spin? Authentic communication is key to gaining the trust of the workforce.

Add value beyond just money
Obviously, everyone comes to work because they want a paycheck. But the best jobs are the ones that add value to a person’s life in other ways, too. Are your employees building long-lasting relationships? Are they gaining valuable skills? Look for any way possible to enhance people’s lives besides giving them money.

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