Bersin by Deloitte just published a research report outlining their Predictions for 2014, and their research indicates that in mature markets like the US, engagement and retention is the number two rated issue, second only to leadership gaps.
In 2013, Gallup announced that 70% of employees at companies in North America are disengaged. As economies pick up and social recruiting tools make it easier to find new opportunities, highly skilled workers are going to find it easier to change jobs. Naturally, companies need to shift their focus to engagement and retention if they want to achieve growth.
So, what can you do to engage and retain employees in 2014? There are a variety of factors that contribute to retention, but we are going to focus on three main things you can do to engage and retain your top talent in 2014.
1. Become better managers
People leave managers, not companies. So, if you want to engage and retain your talent, you need to become better managers.
As a manager, you can only solve issues if you actually understand what your employees’ do and how they do it. Don’t be a micromanager, but instead you should have a thorough understanding of their role so that you are able to coach your employees when they come to you with a challenge.
Also, make sure your team understands the company vision and the roles they play in bringing the company vision to fruition. Without clarity, you can’t expect your employees to do a good job, and without a clear vision, you can’t expect them to be inspired.
2. Recognize and reward your employees
Employee efforts need to be recognized and rewarded in a timely manner if you want to engage and retain your top talent. Identify the traits you value and the goals for each project, so that employees have a clear understanding of what they need to do.
The key here is to provide feedback / rewards in real-time – remember to thank them for their efforts and give employees’ credit if they come up with great ideas or ways to solve a problem. Reward them with a gift as a token of your appreciation for their exceptional work.
3. Provide a flexible work environment
In a flexible work environment, employees are more likely to be engaged and productive. You hired your team, so you also need to trust them to get the job done. Let them take vacation when they want to, don’t be a pain about sick days (their health is more important!), let your employees work from home if they want to.
A flexible workplace gives employees the freedom to get the job done on their own terms, and as a result, it reduces stress and improves productivity. In fact, telecommuting alone cuts absenteeism by nearly 60%!
Do you have any suggestions on how to engage and retain employees? We’d love to hear them!
This post is featured in the January 15th edition of the Carnival of HR. You can check out the complete round up of articles over at the Dovetail Software blog.