Every successful company knows the key to employee retention is engagement, yet according to a study by Dale Carnegie & Associates, 71 percent of all employees are not fully engaged. That means nearly three-quarters of the workforce are not performing to their best ability, which negatively affects revenue and morale.
Employees want to feel valued and encouraged. Salary alone can’t solve the problem, because let’s face it: Dollars don’t buy happiness. In the words of reggae legend Bob Marley, “Money is numbers, and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
So, how do you drive retention through engagement and raise morale? Forbes magazine has a few tips worth your company’s investment:
- Create a culture for engaged employees.
Leaders should create a positive work environment where employees feel they are a vital part of something larger than themselves. You can do this by sharing them details of the company’s growth and how their work contributes to the organization’s overall thriving.
- Leaders must understand what their employees are thinking, openly and honestly.
A good way to do this is hold one-on-one meetings with employees, either on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis – whichever works best for your business. This will give you an opportunity not only to know how staffers feel about their job, but to answer their questions and address their concerns. Make sure the environment is comfortable enough for the employee to express true feelings without fear of blowback, as open and honest communication is key. Additionally, one-on-ones are a great time to set goals for employees, reinforcing the feeling that their leader cares about their success.
- Create a valued culture.
If it’s applicable in your workplace, allow your employees to decorate their cubicles and/or offices with photos and items that create a positive and happy environment, as self-expression sparks passion for the job. Bring in breakfast just because; little says “I value you” more than a dozen donuts on a Monday morning.
- Show appreciation of work, no matter how big or how small.
A simple “thank you” goes a long way. Whether someone has assembled an amazing marketing strategy or just typed a daily schedule in a Word document, let him or her know their work is appreciated by a truly thankful you. Everything counts.
- Support career path development.
Every good leader supports the growth of their employees. Mentoring staffers to reach their full potential is imperative to keeping employees engaged for eight or more hours a day. All employees want to know that their manager cares about the hand they have in achieving success in the company, so chart a path of development for them to show them that growth opportunities exist. By doing so, you may find your expectations exceeded.
Creating an environment full of engaged and empowered employees can be difficult to start; however, once you’ve laid a solid foundation, the results should be phenomenal as morale throughout your organization greatly improves. Indeed, happy employees make the best employees!