Increasing financial compensations or offering a benefits package is not the most efficient way to retain employees. It also gets very costly, especially for a small company. Employees also want more than financial benefits from a job. Their priorities are corporate culture, values, and employee engagement. Read about how important it is to have a strong corporate culture in retaining employees, here.

This article gives you insight on how to improve employee retention by focusing on employee engagement.

Make Employee Engagement a Priority

What is employee engagement? It is a reflection of the level of commitment and productivity of the employees. Corporate culture is about how one conducts business. Employee engagement is about how employees feel about the way business is done and how they act upon it.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

First of all, a disengaged team directly affects your business and increases the turnover rate. A study from Dale Carnegie shows that companies with engaged employees outperform those without, by 202%. However, 71% of employees are not fully engaged at work.

Other studies show that increasing employee engagement translates into companies attracting new talent, having a good customer service and a low turnover rate. Plus, over the long run companies that have a strong employee engagement are more profitable.

Cultural values and engagement are more important to employees than pay benefits. This says a lot!

Engagement holds great importance to employees all over the world. Therefore companies everywhere have to take it into serious consideration. And more companies do try to focus on improving engagement.

How Can you Make Employee Engagement Better?

It all starts with better measuring. Measuring employee engagement is a daunting task for management.

According to research made by Gallup (research company), only 13% of the workforce is “highly-engaged” and only 7% of the organizations questioned think that they are good at measuring and driving engagement. Some of the questioned organizations say they have a poor engagement measuring strategy, or no strategy at all.

So how can you engage your employees and at the same time measure engagement?

Solutions for Better Employee Engagement through Idea Management

One major improvement that drives employee engagement is a better communication of the overall goals of the company. Keep employees in the loop and make sure they know exactly what their tasks are. This way, they feel motivated to work towards a common goal. Encourage better communication between employees and managers, start at the top. Implement decisions with ease for everyone involved.

You can easily achieve an improved communication state through an idea management platform. A digital platform allows access to everyone in the company at any time, from anywhere. Invite employees to share ideas and prove their problem-solving abilities. This type of involvement triggers the desired effect that leads to employee retention:

  • Through an idea management platform, employees are always aware of what the goals of the company are. They know what are the challenges that company is facing and they feel like their work has more meaning because they have a contribution to solving this.
  • When employees clearly know their role, have what they need to fulfill their role, and can see the connection between their role and the overall organizational purpose, that is the recipe for creating greater levels of engagement”. (Harvard Business Review)
  • An idea management platform promotes transparency. Openly communicating with the employees about ideas and solutions proves that you stick by your corporate values and you have a strong organizational culture.
  • You modernize and improve the way employee engagement is measured. An idea management platform allows you to observe the way employees engage and how often.
  • You offer flexibility and an opportunity for development – an idea management platform offers ease of access for everyone in the company. Moreover, different departments of the company can communicate and work towards solving a problem. This means that employees stay challenged all the time. An opportunity to develop is what keeps employees satisfied and what ultimately leads to employee retention.

You can read all about the benefits that an idea management tool brings to the organization, here.

Offer your Employees the Opportunity to Develop

In order to retain employees and decrease employee turnover, you have to give them the chance to grow while working in the company. The importance of employee development is stressed more and more in the corporate environment. As mentioned before, employees want more than a 9 to 5 job, they want to be engaged and constantly challenged. Especially when it comes to retaining millennials, you need to create the means for them to improve their skills and create an environment that promotes growth.

Focusing on employee development will translate in:

Investing in training for your employees has a high return on investment in the long run. Your team becomes more and more skillful which makes them more efficient.

In order to drive this change, a boss has to become a leader. Therefore, he/she encourages development and creates a strong relationship with employees by taking a genuine interest in their growth.

An idea management platform encourages employee development. How? The employees have the opportunity to get involved in multiple projects either outside or in their own field. This ideation process promotes engagement, drives growth and breaks the routine. Also, it challenges the employee to be outside its comfort zone and to think outside of the box.

At the same time, a company that encourages employee development will also attract talented people as these are the people who chase constant growth.

Treat employees as individuals, act as a team

“Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”

Results of a Fierce survey show that 75% of employees feel like their personal connectionwith their bosses has a direct influence on their job satisfaction. “*By opening up and connecting with them, you’ll build their trust, improve workplace morale, and be able to better relate to them as people and as co-workers.” *(themuse.com)

Treat employees as individuals as opposed to knowing them by their job title. The person sitting next to you is not just your sales manager, but also a complex individual. Take the time to connect by communicating to your employees and listening to them. Take the time to ask how they’re doing outside work and really be engaged while doing it.

Here are some aspects to focus on in order to create a strong connection with employees:

Give and Receive Feedback

One way you can strengthen your connection is by allowing employees to express their opinions and concerns. Take their input and ideas into consideration. At the same time, give them feedback on their activity. 80% of Millennials prefer frequent feedback to traditional performance reviews – fortune.com

Create a Feedback loop within the company. An idea management platform allows you to implement this with ease. You allow employees the opportunity of giving their input on important matters and at the same time, you can show your support towards their input or easily express your opinion about it.

Here‘s an example as shown by Deloitte: ” A food retailer that operates coffee and food services around the world began soliciting anonymous employee feedback. Through this feedback, the company found that the drive-through window was chronically understaffed, forcing teams to run back and forth between different types of customers, which reduced quality while adding stress and extra work. A store manager implemented a dedicated drive-through role, dramatically improving engagement and productivity.” This type of problem is easier to identify through an idea management platform.

Appreciate and Recognize your Employees

An Aon Hewitt study from 2015 shows that 42% of Millennialswant public recognition and 53% appreciate a “thank you” from their peers or managers. Another study made by PwC shows that 41% of Millennials want to be recognized at least once a month.

Recognition means that you take the time to look into your employees’ work and you acknowledge their efforts.

You can emphasize on this whenever you give out a task. For example, you can say: “I think you did very well on your last task of managing the project and we need your skills for this next task”.

Another way is to single out people who perform really well by offering them a day off, or anything that makes them feel appreciated. You can do nice things for your team in order to boost their morale. However, when you offer the same praise to your new intern as to your most productive employee, it can get a bit confusing. Recognize and single out individual efforts as well as you do with teams.

Recognition leads to employee retention and job satisfaction. At the same time, it provides the amount of confidence that employees need in order to perform well and take initiative.

Recognition can easily be done through using an idea management platform. You are able to observe who are the employees that are the most involved on the platform, or the ones who have really good ideas. Thus, you can praise them depending on their performance.

Takeaway

Employee retention improves when you pay attention to employee engagement. You can easily assure employee engagement through idea management. An idea management platform gives your employees the opportunity to develop. This trait is important to employees and the lack of it causes high turnover. Other important factors to employee satisfaction and therefore employee retention, are constant feedback and recognition. Through idea management, assuring either of these factors becomes easy.

Constantly check how engaged your employees are. Encourage communication and idea sharing. Ask for feedback and give feedback. Communicate goals and tasks clearly to make sure you are working towards the same common goal. Make your employees feel irreplaceable. Acknowledge their efforts and make sure to offer praise. Sounds like a lot of work. However, it can be just at the tip of your fingers. An idea management platform allows you to engage from wherever you are, at any time, as long as you are connected to the internet. This article gives you insight on how to improve employee retention by focusing on employee engagement.

Lastly, keep in mind that employees are more than just a job title! They all have different personalities and backgrounds. Try to get to know the individual in order to perform the best as a team.

Implement these strategies today and enjoy the benefits of a company full of engaged employees who come to stay.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how to ensure employee retention. What other strategies do you know to increase employee engagement?