September 23, 2021
Best Practices for Employee Engagement and Retention
Several Actions That Promote Transparency and Optimism While Perpetuating Employee Engagement
Workforce stabilization, in this employee driven market, can be difficult to attain since many factors play a part in creating stabilization. Thankfully, for business owners and leaders, there are several actions that promote transparency and optimism while perpetuating employee engagement.
Building trust through transparency is fundamental for stabilization, and it starts early in an employee’s lifecycle with a company. Focusing on the candidate experience in the hiring phase will foster long-term employee engagement while impacting company culture. Applicants that receive frequent and honest communication through the application, interview and onboarding process formulate positive impressions of a company even if they are never hired. Contrarily, candidates who aren’t communicated with are more likely to share their negative impressions online or verbally, which can impact a company’s reputation. Best practices suggest, if you decide not to hire a candidate, inform them why they were not selected. This simple action is not only the right thing to do, but it enhances your brand and leaves candidates four times more likely to reapply with a company.
Once hired, make sure new employees feel welcomed, supported and wanted, especially during their first few days on the job. This is part of the new hire orientation process which should be standardized by position and consistent for all new hires. The employee onboarding process follows orientation and can encompass the employee’s first 90 to 180 days of employment. Onboarding is an excellent time to build deeper connections with employees by sharing company goals, objectives, values, mission and job/department expectations. To feel connected, employees want to be a part of something bigger than their immediate job or work group. So, it’s encouraged to include the new employees in meetings with different departments so they can meet coworkers and understand how various work groups are connected and supporting company initiatives.
If you hire a candidate for skills over experience, they are likely to appreciate that they were selected because of their high potential to develop and grow with your company. These individuals will benefit from immediate training opportunities and/or mentorships that layout a career path and professional development roadmap. Additionally, by following through on the intent to develop an employee, companies can accelerate engagement while deepening loyalty and commitment, all of which promote stabilization.
Building and growing a connection with existing/long-term employees can be more challenging. For these workers, fostering an on-going culture of collaboration and innovation is imperative. This begins with having consistent and transparent communication in the form of regular team meetings and/or one-on-one meetings that discuss short- and long-term goals, objectives, tasks, roadblocks, ideas, or concerns. Leadership can also enhance transparency by having regular “townhall” meetings to share what’s going on with the company and provide opportunities for feedback. Another option is to survey employees or host roundtable sessions whereby employees share what’s important to them and how they like working for the company. Employee surveys can be a powerful tool to identify areas for improvement and growth in the company. When employees see follow-through and action from these activities, it builds their psychological security and leads to higher levels of trust in the company leadership and the organization’s future.
In addition to communication and transparency, creating engagement programs that recognize the efforts and accomplishments of employees is an excellent way to promote loyalty. Recognition programs boost morale and productivity by creating achievable goals that employees can attain. Celebrating these accomplishments both internally and externally on the company’s social media channels strengthens company culture while also building brand in the community. Some simple ideas to implement include attendance incentives, an internal “Kudos!” webpage, a handwritten card from management, and an “Employee of the Month/Quarter” recognition or plaque. These are all low-cost, high-return efforts that can easily be implemented.
Why is all of this critical to a company’s success? Research has proven that highly engaged workers are safer, produce higher quality work, are more productive, and ultimately decrease costs and improve a company’s bottom line. Additionally, engaged workers are less likely to leave a company, which reduces turnover and the time and energy needed to recruit replacements. Employee engagement ultimately contributes to greater worker stabilization though improved retention and overall job satisfaction.
About the author:
Jim Howe is the Vice President of Workforce Solutions for LandrumHR. With more than 20 years of experience in the staffing industry, Jim works in tandem with his clients to implement workforce management solutions focused on attracting, engaging and retaining the right workforce. LandrumHR Workforce Solutions connects hundreds of companies with talented job seekers. If you are seeking employees, or looking for solutions related to high turnover, hiring, recruiting, safety, or managing multiple labor suppliers in today’s economic landscape, LandrumHR can help you improve retention, engagement, production, safety, efficiency and reduce labor cost per unit. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Read the article on scdigest.com.