Does your business need to worry about employee engagement and retention? Perhaps you haven’t assessed the effects of having employees engaged in your company’s culture, processes, and visions. Low engagement can account for high staff turnover, something you know is costly and time-consuming.
Employees deeply connected to the business and its goals are your most valuable resource. Still, how do you ensure they are fulfilled in their job roles? Considering that employees spend around eight hours at work, do they get along with colleagues and enjoy the workplace? If not, why not? What’s going wrong, and how can you improve the situation?
This post explores the correlation between engaged employees and retention rates. Moreover, we will provide ten practical steps that can help improve employee engagement and reduce staff turnover. In addition, you will discover how investing in employee development is an excellent decision for improving retention and engagement. As the demand for Web3 candidates continues increasing, with sought-after top talent, it pays to look after your best employees.
What is Employee Engagement and Retention?
Employee engagement simply means that your employees connect to the company and its service or products. They believe in the vision and goals and feel a strong drive to play a vital role in the business’s success. In addition, they enjoy the workplace culture, get along with their colleagues, and are confident to approach management with issues or concerns, knowing that their opinions matter. Teach your management team to how to be the manager people won’t leave.
Employee retention is about keeping your employees and reducing costly staff turnover rates. Time and money spent on finding and hiring new employees could be better spent on engagement processes to prevent your best employees from leaving.
There is a saying that employees don’t leave a bad job, they leave a bad manager, but that’s not always the case. If employees feel disconnected from their jobs, co-workers, or management, it’s almost a given that they will seek alternative employment.
A top-down approach to developing a work culture is the key to improving employee engagement. For instance, do you keep employees informed of business progress or issues? Often, CEOs try to handle difficulties by working with upper management, not considering that company employees may enjoy helping the company tackle challenges. Human beings, by nature, are problem-solvers. We all like to feel we are making a difference, so a more cohesive approach presents psychological benefits to employees.
Why is employee retention important?
Firstly, companies can save unnecessary costs by improving staff retention. In addition, the time costs of onboarding can be high when staff turnover is out of control.
Secondly, are you losing your best and most experienced employees? They know your business inside out, providing a valuable contribution to customers and co-workers, including training new employees. Teams can become fractured and less productive when long-standing employees leave and must adapt to new team members.
Moreover, a workplace with a high staff turnover is unsettling for new hires. They may overhear employees complaining and wonder if they made a good move working for your company. A workplace culture with happy, engaged, and long-standing employees is an excellent foundation for employee engagement and retention.
Start retention training for increased employee engagement: 10 steps
Investing in employees pays off and sometimes is quicker than expected. You’ve identified a problem with the company’s retention and engagement strategies, and now it’s time to make positive changes.
#1: Improve the onboarding process
Companies that invest in their employees have better retention rates, beginning with the onboarding process. For many companies, a “let’s see how it goes” approach leaves a new employee feeling frustrated and confused. As part of your employee investment, develop a comprehensive and linear onboarding process so that, from day one, your new employee feels connected and engaged with the company processes.
Here are a few onboarding ideas: –
- Assign specific onboarding staff: Ideally, a long-standing and friendly staff member with good communication skills
- Create a company handbook: Ask employees to help create a company handbook. They know best what details they wanted to know when they joined the company
- Notify staff of a new employee: Send an email introducing the new staff member. If possible, share a few personal details. For instance, if the new employee has a dog, ask if they are happy to share that information. A warm introduction acts as an opener for existing employees that also have dogs. It shows the new employee that you are investing in your people by helping them to transition into the company
- Introduce the new employee: Arrange for the onboarding staff to give the new employee a tour of the workplace, introducing them to everyone
- Have a welcoming ceremony: It could be something simple like a welcome card on their desk on day one, or a little gift
New employees may be nervous when they first arrive, so a positive onboarding process is one of the most critical employee engagement and retention strategies.
#2: Create a welcoming company culture
What is positive company culture, and does it matter? If unsure about the perceived culture, send out an anonymous survey to every employee and act on the feedback. In addition, asking new employees about cultural expectations can provide ideas for improvement.
What constitutes a positive company culture: –
- Can employees easily understand the organisation’s structure?
- Is there a dedicated team or person for new employees to ask questions?
- Are the management team referred to by their first name? When management insists on employees referring to them by surname, it creates a divide between them and us
- Are employees encouraged to report mistakes knowing their report is without fall-out?
- Is the company openly accepting of gender, race, age etc.?
- Are there incidences of workplace bullying? If so, does the company take prompt action?
- Are employees encouraged to have a friendly approach to working relationships? Overly formal workplace culture can feel stifling to employees
- Do you have a process for stress management? If not, assign a dedicated and qualified person who can help employees navigate stress. It may seem like an extra expense, but it can cut down on employee stress-related sickness, reduce workplace stress levels and improve retention rates
- Do you invest in your team of people openly?
#3: Reduce employee overwhelm
When employees feel overwhelmed, it leads to a stress response. An example of company stress is that instead of replacing employees when they leave, they hand the work over to another employee.
Employees suddenly find they must complete the work of three people and still produce good results. It’s an unacceptable situation that will 100% guarantee a stressful, toxic workplace culture and high employee turnover.
Here are a few ideas to show employees you care about their well-being: –
- Hire a meditation teacher or stress management consultant for relaxation sessions
- Hire a qualified massage therapist for 30-minute sessions
- Invest in stress-management, counselling or coaching sessions for employees
- Allow people time off if they are stressed or grieving
Be creative or send out requests for employee ideas
#4 Listen to your employees
You may think everything is going well and your employees are happy. But there’s no way of knowing unless you ask them. Place a feedback box somewhere discreet in the workplace. Alternatively, ask employees to complete an anonymous survey asking them for feedback about their workplace, jobs, culture, etc.
After assessing feedback, act upon it. After that, organise a gathering or email telling employees how their feedback led to positive changes.
#5: Keep employees informed
Humans dislike uncertainty, and when rumours start in a company, it can lead to stress and anxiety. Keeping your employees in the loop is an effective way to create engagement and reduce stress-related anxiety.
Assign an employee to create a weekly or monthly newsletter distributed to all employees, keeping them posted on company information. In time, the company newsletter could include new employee details, promotions, success stories, articles, competitions, an employee of the month, or anything else that helps to create employee engagement.
#6: Make your employees feel valued
Employers often fail to give recognition to employees, who lose motivation when their efforts aren’t acknowledged. Create a workplace environment of praising success, even for a job well done or completed on time. Never assume employees don’t need a word of praise just because they have done the job you pay them for.
A simple “thank you” for work handed in on time uplifts an employee, leaving them feeling motivated to work harder. However, when praising an employee, tell them precisely what they did well. For instance, “Lisa, you’ve done a great job. The data in the document is easy to understand, and the PowerPoint presentation was exceptional. Well done, keep up the great work.”
Building a thriving success culture encourages employees to support and champion each other’s success. It creates a positive and cohesive environment where everyone feels connected to each other and the company.
#7: Create employee growth opportunities
When an employee seeks new employment, the resignation letter often cites a lack of growth opportunities as a reason for leaving. Not every employee focuses on career progression, but it’s critical to identify the employees driven to improve, learn new skills, move into management, or sidestep into a new role.
One way of doing this is to set up regular appraisal meetings with employees to discuss their work and explore growth opportunities. It need not be more than 15-30 minutes to highlight whether the employee is happy in their role. Explore training requirements to benefit their job function and ask if they want to progress within the company.
This time invested in employee development is one of the best employee engagement and retention strategies you can deploy.
#8: Schedule social events
Scheduling regular social events helps employees get to know each other and let their hair down in a social environment. Events need not be complex or costly and could include fun get-togethers such as: –
- Karaoke nights
- Christmas party
- Quiz nights
- Games: from board games to fun sporting team games
- Casual clothes days
- Bring your dog to work day
- Themed fancy dress days
- Celebrate employee birthdays
Create a calendar of events so employees can structure their time and look forward to a fun event.
#9: Organise an employee recognition programme
For example, you could deploy an employee of the month award for above and beyond service. Ask employees for ideas and what incentives motivate them to make the extra effort. Example incentives could be additional holidays, bonus pay, a trophy, cash prize or team reward etc.
#10: Reward excellence
Some employees exceed the scope of their jobs and are excellent role models for the rest of the workforce.
Whilst it’s not a good idea to set different salary levels for employees doing the same job, there are other ways to reward your best employees: –
- Set up a bonus package
- Vouchers for a weekend break
- Pay for employee training of their choice
- Gift vouchers
Be creative or ask employees for suggestions. Another idea is to set up an employee voting system so everyone can decide which employee contributes most to the company or team. A little competition is healthy and can be fun, motivating employees to step up to gain recognition and a prize.
How to retain your best employees
It is incorrect to assume that a company offering the highest salary will retain their best employees. Often, people want to grow within a role or a company and want the chance to learn. Motivation is different for everyone, so the preferred way to establish what your employees want is to ask them.
Occasionally conflicts occur between management and employees. This situation can lead to intolerable working conditions for both. Train your management team for conflict resolution and how to be an inspirational leader rather than a dictatorial boss. If a conflict exists, bring the two parties together with a mediator to create a structured plan to improve the situation.
Equally, micromanaging employees leads to a breakdown in trust and an increase in stress. We understand that some employees test the boundaries in a workplace. Still, your best employees must feel responsible for their results and trusted to do their best work without constant supervision. Team leaders can bring their teams together weekly to catch up, have a coffee, and isolate issues to help employees problem-solve.
The importance of investing in employees
Investing in employees has little to do with setting a budget aside specifically. The best thing you can do for your employees is to listen, give them your time and let them know they have a voice in your organisation.
Treat every employee respectfully, whether a high-level manager or an employee who distributes the post. Everyone matters. Appreciate that employees have a personal life, and all have different personalities. Encourage feedback on workplace politics, passive-aggressive behaviour, bullying or other issues so the company can promptly address situations.
When employees are not working, let them rest. If you have remote workers, it’s easy to slip into the habit of contacting them at inappropriate times. In addition, establish a preferred time and method of contact. Some people prefer phone contact and others prefer to communicate via email.
Conclusion: Employee engagement and retention: 10 best strategies 2022
Failing to implement employee engagement and retention strategies can have long-term disastrous results. As more employees become dissatisfied with the workplace, they leave, often joining forces with your competition. An unscrupulous employee could take sensitive data such as your customer list.
Ex-employees may spread the word that your company has a toxic workplace or doesn’t care about its employees. Unfortunately, bad news tends to spread faster than good news.
Employee retention and engagement strategies begin by hiring the best candidates that are fully informed about the company policies and expectations for their job role. Filtering potentially problematic applicants is the first step to increasing retention rates. After that, freedom of expression in the workplace helps employees feel heard. Employees can help identify errors early if they feel confident about exposing issues without fear of retribution.
Retention and engagement increase when your employees know your organisation cares about their well-being. Employees are naturally more engaged with their jobs, colleagues, and the company if the working environment is relaxed and positive. Equally, if you have strict policies for lack of performance, poor timekeeping, disruptive behaviour etc., employees will respect the rules and do their best work.
CB Recruitment works with some of the top talent in Web3. Contact the CB Recruitment team to discuss your requirements if you are looking for the best candidates. We will do our best to help.