Engaging and retaining employees globally
2/THE DIFFICULTY OF ENGAGING AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES GLOBALLY (topic eMPLOYEE retention)
Posted by Shirien Elamawy
A recent financial article titled “Global organizations face looming crisis in engagement and retention of employees, according to Deloitte survey” states that 87 percent of business and HR leaders agree a lack of employee engagement is their primary concern. What’s more, while the percentage of leaders who stated engagement was very important doubled from 26 to 50 percent from last year, an overwhelming 60 percent said they didn’t have specific processes to measure and enhance employee engagement.
These numbers are disturbing, especially when you consider that employees are most companies’ primary resource. A lack of engagement signals a lack of motivation and retention, resulting in reduced productivity, costly turnover and the inability to successfully and continuously expand business operations. Moreover, according to Achieve Global’s report “Worldwide Trends in Employee Retention – How to keep your best employees in any market,” talent mobility is on the rise. In the United States alone, 23 percent of workers plan to leave their current jobs within the next 12 months. This level of attrition is concerning, especially since replacing employees is a lengthy, costly process. And though many companies are streamlining their recruitment processes in order to minimize recruitment and return to productivity time, these types of measures can’t be effective without addressing the lack of employee engagement.
Obviously, for companies looking to enhance engagement and retention, it’s key to understand employees’ motivations for remaining satisfied with their jobs and their companies. And this is where some interesting facts become clear. According to Towers Watson’s research, the factors that influence engagement include leadership’s sincere interest in employees’ wellbeing, a healthy work-life balance, flexible work arrangements and reasonable workloads. In other words, employees who feel supported by their companies’ leaders and whose jobs allow them a reasonable work-life balance are far more likely to be engaged than those who don’t. Other factors that influence retention include a good understanding of a company’s goals and how a job contributes to those goals; a company’s public image; and empowerment (i.e. that management actively seeks out employees’ opinions in decisions that affect them).
When it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining top talent, employers around the world are advised to adapt their talent management strategies to better meet their employees’ expectations. Without taking this all-important step, employees are far more likely to look elsewhere when their job experience isn’t as good as expected. Adjusting talent management strategies can involve a number of steps, including providing more transparency about the company, creating more flexible work arrangements and facilitating a more collaborative work environment.
Another aspect of enhancing engagement involves providing the best relocation experience possible for relocating employees. When talent feels supported by their companies during the demanding and often stressful time surrounding an relocation, they’re more likely to settle into their new positions smoothly. And that in turn greatly enhances the chances of them being engaged for the long term. Of course, enhancing engagement and retention isn’t a process that happens overnight. By continuously staying abreast of talent trends and assessing why employees leave their companies, employers can gain the insights necessary to adapt their strategies to better engage and retain top talent.