Unemployment is at an all-time low. As a result, employers are focusing their attention on retaining their current employees. The 2019 G2 Crowd Employee Engagement Report revealed that 88% of HR departments consider employee engagement a strategic priority for their company.
One of the most effective means of retaining employees is by developing a strategic engagement plan.
Improving Employee Engagement
There is no simple solution to resolving the issue of a lack of employee engagement. Companies must make a concerted effort to investigate what is preventing their employees from being engaged, and then take steps to correct the issues.
To combat a shifting workforce, employers must address the common reasons employees give for leaving their job. Here are three common reasons:
Gallup polls revealed that 50% of employees left their jobs for reasons that directly related to their manager. Make the wrong choice in management, and it can adversely affect your employees.
Make the correct choice and your organization can exceed expectations. Evaluate the leadership within your business to ensure that management prioritizes employees and supports the values of the company.
Lack of Communication
The foundation for an engaged workforce is trust. One of the essential ways to develop trust is to open the doors of communication between employees and management. By prioritizing transparency, employees will feel a sense of loyalty and respect for their manager.
Minimal or a Lack of any Training
Employees who feel unprepared to handle the responsibilities of their job are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. Offer employees a comprehensive onboarding program designed to equip the employee with the skills they will need to start in their new position.
Follow it up with incremental trainings to address any facets of the job they may be lacking, or to provide cross-training in other areas. Take the training a step further by providing leadership training as appropriate.
The by-product of addressing why people leave is an increase in employee engagement. By solving the issues that create a disconnect between employees and management, employee engagement will naturally improve. To supercharge the engagement strategy, institute company-wide changes that are designed to affect positive results. Here are some ideas:
How to Improve Employee Engagement
Put Employees First
Great managers know that their priority is their team. By taking care of their employees through training and empowerment, they create an environment where employees can take care of their customers. Offer employees the ability to further their skills through development programs and goal-setting.
Cultivate a Welcoming Workplace
Companies are made up of individual employees. Management teams that recognize the importance of individuals will encourage creativity, value hard work and promote the development of teamwork.
Prioritize the development of a workplace that is diverse and inclusive. Diversity is an increasing desire of employees. 67% of job candidates expressed that they were looking for employment with a company that had a diverse workforce.
Establish Good Communication Between Employees and Management
The highest levels of engagement are found when employees have frequent communication with their manager. A combination of phone, electronic and face to face communication is ideal.
Employers who respond to employee inquiries within 24 hours are considered more responsive than their counterparts. Communication does not always have to be reserved to work topics. When an employer expresses an interest in the employee’s life outside of work, the employee is more likely to feel that they are valued for more than their work at the company.
Business leaders have a vested interest in improving the retention rates of their companies. The best way to encourage employees to stay? Create a workplace they won’t want to leave.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.