All Employee Engagement tactics contribute to creating an environment in which employees see the value of their work and a connection between their success and the success of the organization. The key to creating a culture of employee engagement is recognizing that their performance and contributions really “matter” to the organization.
Trusted organizations reap many rewards—attracting talented people and retaining more engaged employees are two of the most highly valued. So why would companies and their leaders in recent years failed to commit to high integrity? Employees experienced and witnessed enormous breaches of trust during the collapse of the financial system, government bailouts, and massive layoffs a few years ago. With this still fresh in their minds, the result is organizations may now be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion.
When faced with a fierce and competitive environment, companies tend to abandon essential values like trust. Yet an organization that makes employee engagement and retention a priority knows that in the best and worst of times, trust is essential for high morale and productivity, and the absence of trust causes confusion, detachment, and fear.
To create this culture of engagement, retention and engagement must be viewed as a broad organizational and cultural strategy involving all levels of the organization. This means leaders at all levels in the organization must build trust, in order to reduce employee disengagement and unwanted turnover. To accomplish this they must be equipped with the leadership retention and engagement competencies critical for creating committed work forces.
To make sure that leaders “own” the retention and engagement mission, they must be held accountable and be given an incentive for the responsibility of employee engagement.
But retention and engagement are not just the domain of the leaders. All employees, including front-line employees, need to be retention and engagement advocates, encouraging colleagues to remain with the organization, letting leaders know about their frustrations and helping to build a strong climate of trust.
Keeping ahead of the expectations of new generations entering the workforce will require new and imaginative employee engagement ideas, as well as a strong commitment to making retention and engagement a top priority. This means we must innovate. We cannot expect to continue use the same methods with an changing workforce and achieve the same positive results.
The future will require creativity and inventiveness to combat the ever-present concerns of turnover and lack of engagement.