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.
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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