30,000 reasons employee engagement is more important than ever

Regardless of their contracted hours employees should find their time at work rewarding, challenging and engaging most of the time – if it’s not don’t be surprised if your staff turnover shoots up!

The cost of replacing a key member of staff can be astronomical in comparison to the cost of some small tweaks you can make to your company ethos to ensure you retain them.

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According to Recruiting Times, it costs the average company over £30,000 to replace a key member of staff - you can lose £5,000 during the recruitment process, and once you’ve found them, you’ll need roughly £25,000 to get them up to speed.[1]

 

So what does employee engagement mean, and why should I care about it?

An engaged employee is someone who is passionate about their work and believes in the company they work for. In short, this means they are enthused about doing their best for the company, but will also embody the brand’s core values, as well as extolling the virtues of the company to anyone who’ll listen. This is not only good for productivity, but also for your bottom line.

Employee engagement is a by-product of job satisfaction, so if your staff turnover is high, this is definitely an area you should look at closely. Ask yourself:

> How many staff have you lost in the last year and what were their reasons for leaving?

- Was it lack of opportunity to move up or around within in the company, or lack of challenges and motivation?

> Do your line managers understand how to retain employees?

> Are your staff willing to ‘go the extra mile’ or do they just turn up, clock in and clock out?
 
> Are your staff happy and satisfied with their roles?

By asking these questions, you should be able to see if your staff are truly engaged.

 

How do you make it happen?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, employee engagement is closely linked with reward and recognition. Do you have processes in place to make sure pay, benefits and recognition are regularly reviewed and fit for purpose? If staff feel they will be rewarded for their hard work, whether monetarily or through a simple ‘well done’ they are much more likely to be engaged.

Having the opportunity to learn and develop is also crucial to engagement. Making sure your staff have access to training can make the difference between someone leaving to find the development they need and sticking where they are.

It’s also important that managers have good leadership skills and know how to successfully motivate and support their teams. A bad manager can wreak havoc on employee engagement, and will always be high on the list of reasons for people leaving a role.

If you’re still unsure if your employees are engaged, ask them! Short surveys, one to ones and employee focus groups can have a really big impact, and may shed light on areas you didn’t know were a problem. These often include things like work-life balance, the ability to work flexibly and employee benefits. For more on how to do this, and measure it, take a look at our blog post from 2016.

Remember: Employee engagement is a mutual relationship. It simultaneously meets the needs of the company to be successful, and the needs of the employee, for whom work should be both satisfying and rewarding.

 

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[1] http://recruitingtimes.org/news/5316/replacing-staff-costs-businesses-4-1bn-a-year/