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Staff turnover and retention: The importance of employee engagement

Being able to hold onto your best employees is a key factor in determining whether your business will be successful. Whilst competitive salaries and facilitating career progression are important in keeping your employees happy, improving your staff retention rate is about much more than that. It’s about making your employees want to stay. 

Of course, a certain amount of turnover is to be expected – people retire, change profession or, if they’re really lucky, win the lottery! But if your retention rate is low, it’s likely to be a sign that your employees are not happy, and it means that you will find it increasingly difficult to hold onto your best people. 

As mentioned above, a great salary can help to retain your employees, but there are more subtle things you can do at the same time. An employee retention plan should also address the workplace environment, the company culture and employee engagement. It’s the third point – employee engagement – where HR professionals like us can make a real difference. 

Essentially, if your employees are engaged and take pride in their work and in the wider organisation, they are more likely to want to stay with you. More than this, however, an engaged employee understands and believes in the direction the business is going and feels part of something bigger than themselves. 

An engaged employee also understands how their role affects and contributes to the organisation’s purpose, and they genuinely want the organisation to succeed and feel shared success when it does. All of this poses the question: what can you do to create high employee engagement? 

We often hear from clients that there isn’t always a budget for expensive initiatives designed to boost employee engagement. While sometimes those big, expensive projects can pay off, it’s often the low-cost, or no-cost actions that can have a bigger impact on how your employees feel. For example, one consistently high driver of engagement is an improved template and cadence for 1:1 conversations between managers and employees. 

Another inexpensive but effective tactic to improve employee engagement is to make moments matter by highlighting milestones for your employees. Set goals and expectations to motivate your people ahead of their mid-year and annual reviews, and discuss ways to progress in the company. 

Finally, it’s essential to keep communication inclusive and consistent, and enable two-way dialogue. Don’t forget to monitor your employee engagement in the form of weekly or daily calls, whether your employees are working remotely or in the office. 

For further questions and advice about how to reduce your staff turnover, email [email protected] or call 01242 500 557. 

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