How to Increase Employee Engagement and Retention in Your Workforce

  • August 12, 2021

While it’s important to recruit candidates that have the right expertise, skillset and experience, it is equally important to have retention and engagement strategies in place once you’ve hired the candidates to establish a sense of loyalty to the organisation. Arguably the best way to ensure you retain your star employees is by making sure they feel valued and satisfied in their role and in the organisation. Like Richard Branson famously quoted, if you take care of your staff they will stay within your organisation: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.”

Here are a few tips on how to ensure your employees feel your organisation respects them and wants them to thrive.

1. Be transparent

Be honest with your employees about what’s happening in the company, whether or not it directly affects them. People feel more valued when they’re clued in about what’s going on. There is definitely a balance to this – if your organisation is facing financial difficulty or instability, this may not be empowering for your employees. However, trusting your employees with inside information will demonstrate your respect for them as an important part of the organisation and will make them more likely to be loyal to you.

2. Recognise and reward employee achievements and excellence

Many employee engagement strategies rightly focus on making people feel appreciated and valued, rather than just another cog in the machine. Some popular ways of doing this include awarding an employee of the month or offering bonuses and incentives. While monetary bonuses or rewards can be effective, even just letting people know when someone has done an excellent job or finished an exciting project will show you value their work and want to celebrate it. Inc.com shared how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recognises great work to foster a culture of high standards across the organisation, which in turn motivate others to try harder. Staff recognition goes a long way and will help your organisation attract and retain the best employees.

3. Be flexible

It is important that you recognise that your team have lives outside of work. By providing flexible working and accommodating personal appointments or emergencies in return for their loyalty and hard work can be a great way to build trust and motivate your employees. Let your employees work from home once a month, leave early for a doctor’s appointment, or have a long lunch when it’s their birthday. These relatively minor things can show that you appreciate your employees and see them as people and want to make their lives easier where possible.

4. Ensure fair compensation and benefits

Everyone wants to know they are being treated fairly and equally. Salary banding is becoming more common in the public sector, as it provides transparency, gives clear room for progression and ensures a basic level of fairness is being maintained. This can also be done with allocated annual leave, private health insurance, and other benefits. Make sure if there are discrepancies, be transparent about why different employees have different benefits, and how they can get to that level if desired.

5. Foster open communication

All employees want to be heard. Creating an environment where voicing your ideas and opinions is not only allowed but actively encouraged will demonstrate that you value your employees’ ideas and expertise, whilst also helping your organisation to continue to meet customer expectations. Bring your employees regularly together to encourage them to share their ideas and create an innovative workplace. Make sure everyone has regular one-to-one meetings with their managers to voice concerns or issues, and have senior management operate an open-door policy. A visible senior management team within the workplace is also helpful as it makes them more approachable and in sync with what’s going on with their employees. These small changes will ensure any issues don’t fester longer than necessary and good ideas don’t go unnoticed.

6. Invest in your employees’ career development

Many managers and organisations don’t have a training budget or fear investing in employees career development will result in them moving elsewhere. A great way to motivate and retain your staff is to offer to pay for them to get their next qualification, allow them time out to take courses or volunteer and give back to their community. Particularly as the not-for-profit sector attracts people who want to make a difference, granting them a few days a year to contribute to causes or other organisations will make them value your organisation more and increase their job satisfaction.

7. Encourage good mental and physical health

As well as being invested in your employees’ careers, it can also be beneficial to everyone to demonstrate your investment in their wellbeing. This can be done in many ways that don’t have to cost your organisation loads of money: for example, offering an allotted number of home-working days for when employees feel under the weather or burned out, supplying healthy snacks, or giving financial contributions to activities for their wellbeing such as massages or ergonomic office equipment.

8. Value fun

Lots of organisations value professionalism and output over fun, but for employees spending a large portion of their lives in your organisation, fun can be just what they need to increase their engagement and satisfaction. Again, these don’t have to cost the organisation money. For example, having an office sweepstake for big sporting events, hosting quarterly awards that employees vote on or arranging social activities for teams to spend time together outside of work. These will encourage comradery in your organisation and will increase employees’ loyalty to you and alleviate stress that can reduce productivity.

If you are looking to recruit quality candidates to flourish and deliver great work for your organisation, contact one of our experienced consultants today.

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