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Driving Employee/Company Engagement and Retaining the Best

Hiring the right person is a challenge but can be more predictive of success with the tools we offer.

Retention – now that is another subject.

Retaining the best employees isn’t simply throwing money at them or having a picnic.

It is much more. Studies show that when employees are truly engaged in their work and their company, magic happens. They work better together. They provide better customer service. They are less likely to become disengaged in their job. And they are more likely to stay and not move on.

So, what is employee engagement? This is the best description so far (from businessdictionary.com):

Emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her employment organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. The more engagement an employee has with his or her company, the more effort they put forth. Employee engagement also involves the nature of the job itself – if the employee feels mentally stimulated; the trust and communication between employees and management; ability of an employee to see how their own work contributes to the overall company performance; the opportunity of growth within the organization; and the level of pride an employee has about working or being associated with the company.

Employee engagement goes beyond the company – it is also the engagement to the customer, and the service that is provided. More engaged customers – and that does mean happy – will lead to improved employee engagement and yes, let turnover. A recent discussion with an organization made it clear: “Our service levels needed to be improved as our employees were tiring of customer service issues we could make better. We worked hard to improve service levels and our employee engagement went up. As a result, turnover dropped from 14% to just under 4% and that is money, true ROI”.

Three Key Steps

There are three critical steps to implementing an employee engagement process:

  1. Understand management’s description of how they define the culture of the company – how people work with each other, communicate and work with customers. Asking the tough questions – and admitting that there are issues – is very important.
  2. Ask your employee’s the very same questions – and you might be surprised by what you learn; it could be quite different than you perceive. The differences between management perception and employee reality – well they are the “sweet spots” for change.
  3. Communicate what you have learned and begin taking small, incremental steps to change the culture where needed and improve employee engagement.

Think this is only for large companies?

Not so. Companies with 25 – 50 – 500 – 5000 and more employees can see dramatic results.