According to a study conducted by SilkRoad, 49% of 150 surveyed HR professionals noted that engaging and retaining employees was a concern. 52% of those surveyed mentioned that creating an attractive and engaging organizational culture was also a concern.
Even the government is having concerns with employee engagement. A December 2014 Gallup poll reported that 27% of federal workers are engaged, 53% are not engaged…and an additional 19% are actively disengaged. Lack of engagement from these workers can cost taxpayers an estimated $18 billion per year! So what can be done to improve employee engagement and retain talent?
Set Challenges / Achievable Goals
What is the purpose of the organization? How does the employee see where his / her actions affect the purpose and goals of the organization? A good way to keep your employees engaged is to help them see where they fit within the organization and grow professionally. Do you have a talent management system to record not only performance reviews but also goals? Are those goals progressive? Are they feasible? Did you include the employee in making those goals? All of these factors matter when setting goals that help an employee to feel involved and motivated.
Communication is closely tied to setting challenges and goals. How does your organization communicate? Is it strictly e-mail? Do you combine communication methods depending on the message? Do employees have a means to have their voices heard? How do you ensure that their input has been / will be considered? Employees should feel open to voice their concerns about their positions, the state of the organization, and their growth within the organization. The employee should be aware of the organization’s expectation of him / her…and the organization should be aware of the employee’s expectations. Such open communication allows for a cohesive environment.
Promote Work / Life Balance
Besides feeling part of an organization and feeling fulfilled in their position, employees also need proper work / life balance. Although a big part of this involves the employee’s being aware of his / her own limitations and home responsibilities, organizations can do their part in promoting proper home / life balance. Forbes magazine online highlighted a Glassdoor.com report on the top 25 employers for work-life balance. Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor, pointed out that everyone’s key factors in work-life balance are different. “For example, what work-life balance is to a young single person compared to a parent with two young children can be very different.” Appealing features of employers that made the top 25 were the following:
- Option to telecommute
- Paid Time Off
- Compressed Work Weeks
- Family Friendly Work Environment
Zupan also mentioned that top ranking employers also offered fitness amenities. A big stand out option for many of these organizations was the senior leadership’s support of proper work / life balance. Obviously not every organization can offer these options. But can some of these options be offered, even if only temporarily? For instance, during the holiday season can employees be offered a certain amount of time to telecommute? Are there options for flexibility in work schedule during the summer months?
As always, Astronology enjoys hearing from you! Does your organization have different strategies or features to keep your employees engaged? What features are you looking forward to implementing in 2015? Contact us to share!