The Secret to Better Employee Engagement and Retention
This month’s HR Tuesday is a reprint of the opening pages of CEDR’s new Retention Guide… Opens in a new window to cedrsolutions website… .
This new resource from the HR experts at CEDR HR Solutions… Opens in a new window to cedrsolutions website… was designed and created to help managers and practice owners understand how you can develop a culture that attracts top employees, encourages them to stick around longer, and actually supports your bottom line, all without spending another dollar from your budget in the process!
The guide is broken down into bite-sized pieces of education and ideas that help you connect the dots between HR, your plans to run your business and building a team of highly engaged Difference Makers. We hope you enjoy reading it and find the information and ideas helpful. And, if you do, please share it with your friends, colleagues, and study clubs!
The Key to Retention: Employee Engagement
It’s harder than ever to find and hold on to great employees (what we at CEDR call “Difference Makers”).
Turnover is expensive. It’s stressful. And, when people leave, it causes grief for owners and managers while putting more pressure and stress on the rest of your team to pick up the extra work.
Of course, the easiest (and least expensive) hire you will ever encounter is the one you don’t have to make again. With that in mind, it’s clear that one of the most important things you can do as a manager or owner of your business is to put more effort into hiring the correct people in the first place (we have a great guide dedicated to that subject here… Opens in a new window to cedrsolutions.com website… ) and then retaining those employees who are great at what they do and support your business and your goals.
Retention is a complicated machine, and it’s not something that you can “do” to your team once and then expect it to become self-sustaining. Rather, retaining great employees is an ongoing process that requires you to set your vision and communicate your goals, and then find ways to accomplish those things in a way that supports both your team and your business.
When it comes down to it, getting your business to reach its maximum potential depends on building a team of Difference Makers that work with you towards a common result. And the key to keeping Difference Makers on your team comes down to Employee Engagement.
- Is my team on board?
- Did they help me co-create what we want to accomplish?
- Do they have the tools and ability to accomplish what we are setting out to do?
- Are we measuring our progress?
- Are we celebrating our successes?
What Is “Employee Engagement”?
(Hint: It’s not all about the money…)
Employee Engagement (definition): “The level of an employee’s commitment and connection to your business and its goals.”
People are looking for three things in a job: good pay, flexible working conditions, and meaningful work.
When faced with unexpected turnover, most employers assume that employees usually leave because they were offered better pay, better benefits, or additional incentives somewhere else. That said, the knee-jerk reaction is often to go into replacement mode and address the first two items in the list by looking at increasing compensation and benefits offerings.
Of course, you need the pay and benefits you provide your team to be competitive, but you don’t have to be the top spender… Opens in a new window to gallup.com website… in your area to hold on to great employees. In fact, increasing pay to bring in new hires can create its own set of problems with existing employees.
The surprising truth is that, while pay does matter, and higher compensation can help bring applicants in the door and boost spirits in the short term, pay is not even in the top 15… Opens in a new window to sloanreview.mit.edu website… on the list of things that cause employees to leave a job.
What makes employees want to stay in a role is that third item – a belief that their work is meaningful. And, as an owner or manager, you probably have more influence in this area than you realize.
An employee doesn’t have to love everything they do in their job to be excited to participate and engaged in their work but, at some point, the things that matter most to your employees go beyond simply collecting a paycheck.
When an employee is “engaged,” it means that they understand and appreciate their role in your business and the importance of that role in helping you to meet your business goals. Engaged employees don’t just come to work on time because they will be punished if they show up late.
They come to work on time because it’s important to them to show up for their team each day and to be where they need to be when they need to be there to support their patients or clients.
When your employees can see themselves in and understand their contribution to your business goals and its greater purpose, they feel invested in its success and want to do their part to make that success a reality.
Now let’s talk about what you can do to increase engagement at your business.