I was recently asked by one of our clients, where does the link between employee engagement and retention begin? And what role will employee engagement play in retaining staff in the future? My answer really was simple, the key to retaining good staff is having a solid employee engagement strategy and this is why…
Employee engagement factors
Where is the Link Between Retaining Staff and Employee Engagement? It is easy to understand that happy, engaged staff are inclined to be loyal to their employer and be less inclined to leave but Gallup takes this a step further defining actively engaged employees as “loyal and productive.” By investing in employee engagement, not only can a company experience low employee turnover rates but they can reap the benefits of increased productivity too.
It is a common myth that employee engagement is about retaining staff once they’ve proved their worth and so often we see business leaders choosing to invest in their employees once the company is established and only once they need to enter the growth stage. I disagree with this approach entirely.
The key to staff retention starts with the very first interaction. It is a crucial stage for both the employee to share their excitement for the role and the company to gain commitment and buy-in before they even join. This stage in the recruitment process is the bedrock of long-term working relationships.
How engaged are employees in the UK?
According to a study by Qualtrics, approximately half of the workers in the UK are engaged. That puts us in sixth place on the list of countries with the highest engagement rates. The European country with the highest engagement rate is France at 55%. Companies that effectively turn feedback into action have an 80% employee engagement rate and highly engaged teams sell 20% more than teams with low engagement.
The UK’s average employee turnover rate is approximately 15% a year. Burned-out workers are 2.6 times more likely to look for another job and burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day.
High staff turnover, burn-out and sick days all significantly affect a companies’ bottom line and growth potential.
What role will employee engagement play in retaining staff in the future?
Employers need to take action now if they want to attract talent and retain staff going forward. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the working environment forever – it not only brought uncertainty for many businesses but also a huge burden of responsibility for their employees. From implementing remote working, to finding new ways to communicate on-top of the decision of when and how to utilise the Job Retention Scheme.
Now is the perfect time for business leaders to step back and look at their approach to employee engagement. It’s time to update their employee engagement strategy or start to create one. By investing in employee engagement, it is clear that companies can reduce turnover rates and reduce costs while also increasing productivity and therefore business growth and be in a better position to weather any future storms.
Scott Read is a results-driven business leader with a proven track record in helping employers strategise key business growth through employee engagement.