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How does engagement effect retention of staff?

Engagement Retention of staff

Dur­ing this time of greater than nor­mal staff turnover, you may be ask­ing your­self what is the most impor­tant thing I can do to improve staff reten­tion?’ Well we believe the answer is to boost employ­ee engagement! 

It might not come as a shock to hear that employ­ees who are engaged at work are less like­ly to leave their jobs than those who aren’t!

In fact a jour­nal arti­cle from 2020 tells us that meta-analy­sis of 130 stud­ies found that work engage­ment pre­dict­ed 32 — 44% of turnover intention! 

So we know engag­ing employ­ees pos­i­tive­ly effects staff turnover, but what can we do to boost engage­ment in an organisation? 

Build bet­ter rela­tion­ships between man­agers and employees

If an employ­ee doesn’t have a strong rela­tion­ship with their man­ag­er they may not bring up con­cerns / block­ers with their work. As a result they may begin to strug­gle and become less moti­vat­ed and engaged with their job. 

Feel­ing like this for a long peri­od of time could lead some­one to get dis­heart­ened and start look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties elsewhere. 

A study done in Tai­wan in 2015 with 512 employ­ees from a con­struc­tion com­pa­ny (an indus­try that gen­er­al­ly has high turnover) indi­cat­ed that a good per­son-super­vi­sor fit can medi­ate the neg­a­tive effects of low engage­ment on turnover. 

In oth­er words, peo­ple were more like­ly to stay at the com­pa­ny if they had a good rela­tion­ship with their line manager. 

To encour­age this engage­ment between man­agers and employ­ees, we’d rec­om­mend imple­ment­ing a per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem in which man­agers and employ­ees have mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions around once a month. These con­ver­sa­tions can cov­er a mul­ti­tude of things, but should always give the employ­ee an oppor­tu­ni­ty to bring up any con­cerns or blockers. 

Stop set­ting annu­al objectives!

For many years now man­agers have sat down with their employ­ees once a year and set them annu­al objec­tives. Let’s face it, most peo­ple will work on these for a month or two, then as time goes by they will lose moti­va­tion, start focussing on oth­er projects, and after a while their objec­tives will be forgotten. 

Some­times this will have neg­a­tive con­se­quences at their next annu­al appraisal, but often their man­ag­er has also for­got­ten the objec­tives, or in some occa­sions the objec­tives are no longer rel­e­vant, as pri­or­i­ties of the team and / or the organ­i­sa­tion as a while have shift­ed over the course of the year. 

So instead, start set­ting short term, dynam­ic goals. Set­ting goals that can be achieved in a mat­ter of weeks is a great way to re-engage peo­ple with their roles, it gives peo­ple some­thing clear to work towards, and they won’t get burnt out work­ing on the same objec­tives all year. They may also feel they are doing some­thing more mean­ing­ful this way, as the out­comes can be seen more quick­ly and they can bet­ter align to com­pa­ny pri­or­i­ties as they cur­rent­ly stand. 

Devel­op­ment conversations

As well as set­ting objec­tives that engage a per­son in their cur­rent role, encour­age set­ting devel­op­ment goals too. An employ­ee may become unen­gaged with their role if they don’t know where it’s lead­ing, and as a result might look to move to anoth­er com­pa­ny rather than stick with their cur­rent role. 

By set­ting out a clear devel­op­ment path with employ­ees, see­ing where they want to be a few months / years down the line and set­ting goals to help them achieve this, they will have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of where their career with your organ­i­sa­tion can take them. It’s no longer a case of doing day to day tasks, but instead a career jour­ney with a clear destination. 

How to best achieve all this?

By using a per­for­mance man­age­ment solu­tion like Clear Review, your man­agers will be prompt­ed to set month­ly check-in ses­sions with each mem­ber of their team, goals can be set, tracked and updat­ed reg­u­lar­ly, and open con­ver­sa­tions can be had about per­for­mance and devel­op­ment. For more infor­ma­tion about retain­ing your staff dur­ing the era of the Great Res­ig­na­tion, sign up here to receive reg­u­lar content.

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