For Employee Engagement and Retention, What Is Missing?

A target is focussed on Skills and Job but employee engagement training shows you need more

Employee engagement training teaches that, when hiring, you must try your best to match the candidate’s skills to the job. But that is not enough. What critical piece is missing? The job seeker’s fit to your corporate culture.

No company wants high levels of disengagement or employee turnover. It costs too dearly!

The Cost of Disengaged Employees
Highly engaged employees correlate to 18% greater productivity, 12% higher customer satisfaction and

51% less voluntary turnover while disengaged employees create:

  • 12% lower profits
  • 19% lower operating income
  • 28% lower earnings per share

The Cost of Employee Attrition
By most estimates, each employee that leaves their employer costs the organization 1.5-to-2 times the employee’s fully loaded salary. And that doesn’t take into account the waning productivity before they left, the effect on the morale of others on the team, or the time off the job for those involved as the selection process begins again.

What to Do?
The best cure for high levels of employee disengagement and turnover is to understand why people are disengaged and leaving and then to do something about it.

Employee Disengagement
Let’s start with disengagement.  Employee engagement training experts know that the first step is to use a valid tool to measure level of employee engagement.  Our Best Places to Work Employee Engagement Survey breaks employees into four profiles:

  1. Highly Engaged: Those employees with highly engagement favorable ratings who:
    1. Are Advocates of the organization, its leaders, managers, employees, products, quality and future outlook
    2. Give high levels of Discretionary Effort and are always thinking of ways to do their jobs better
    3. Intend to Stay over the next 12-18 months because they feel loyal and connected and it would take a lot to get them to leave
  2. Moderately Engaged: Those employees with moderately favorable engagement ratings who are holding back where there is often the greatest opportunity for increased performance
  3. Barely Engaged: Those indifferent employees who lack motivation and are at risk for leaving
  4. Disengaged: Those employees with negative engagement ratings who lack commitment and are most likely impacting the productivity of others

The engagement survey results also identify the current top ten drivers of engagement and the top three actions most likely to significantly improve employee engagement and retention.  For example, one recent fast growing technology client had 32% of its population profile as Moderately Engaged and identified three action areas related to goal alignment, trust in senior leaders and feeling valued as the key areas to improve their levels of employee engagement.

Employee Retention
Employee engagement data shows that employees leave primarily because first they don’t fit into the organizational culture and second because they aren’t able to consistently succeed in their job role. And, of course, it is generally a combination of these two factors that are the cause of turnover.

Let’s look at four situations that might cause an employee to leave:

  1. A poor fit for the corporate culture and a poor producer on the job
    This is an employee you don’t want to stay. Even if you can boost their skills, they will never change enough to truly fit. Workplace culture matters as it accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. It is the way employees behave when no one is looking. It includes the norms and standards of behavior that permeate the organization…the unwritten rules of how employees get things done and how they relate with one another. A misfit will drag others down with the friction of their unacceptable modes of behavior.
  2. A poor fit but a high producer
    The good news is that they do their job well. The bad news is that they are most likely damaging the rest of their team. This was probably a hiring mistake where there was not enough attention paid to corporate culture fit and too much paid to the skills the candidate brought with them. These are often the toughest employees to let go because of their production, but their departure often brings a breath of fresh air for a team.
  3. A good cultural fit but a poor producer
    In this situation, there is a lot a good manager can do. Does the job role take into account the employee’s strengths and interests? Does the employee need additional training and coaching to develop relevant skills for the job? These are the employees where you look to provide the necessary support for them to lift their contribution.
  4. A good fit culturally and a good performer on the job
    Do whatever you can to keep this employee on board. What can you change to keep this employee from leaving? Evaluate the relationship with the manager; take a look at the job role and how it aligns with the overall business strategy; examine the rewards and recognition systems; be sure there is a path forward for high performing employees. These are all factors that help engage and retain top talent.

Smart hiring is the first step to employee engagement and retention. With a specific job profile based on high performing employees and your strategic direction combined with a clear understanding of the culture that works in your organization, you are in a position to engage and retain top talent.

To learn more, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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