A recent article published by Gallup referred to the problem of employee retention as a “war of talent.” While this may seem like a hyperbole, employee retention should be an organizational worry. An industry report conducted by Glassdoor found that when employees are ready to move on to a more challenging role, more than 70%  leave their employer. This is, plain and simple, a hyper-competitive market to contract and keep employees. The good news is that employee retention has some simple answers. Extensive industry research has continually proven that the key to employee retention is keeping employees meaningfully engaged.

Money Can’t Buy Love

Initial findings pointed to money being a huge leveraging factor on whether an employee would leave an organization. For obvious reasons, an employee would leave their job for the opportunity to make more money. What’s more, findings show that there is a 20% pay increase promised when an employee jumps ship, versus only a 4% increase in a year if they stay. But the clutch is that money isn’t the be all end all. The report found that even with the promise of a 20% pay increase, employees who were genuinely engaged with their companies, would not leave.

Employee Engagement is Key

Employees who report being meaningfully engaged in their workplace has been stagnant for more than a decade. The number worldwide falls at around 13%, and as the report points to, engagement is created by concrete activities and clarifying work expectations, not just an abstract sentiment. But, how is this accomplished, and for major corporations, what channels do you use to speak and hear numerous employees? In our recent webinar, we touched extensively on the importance of a branded online community for employee engagement, and our key findings brought to light how engagement helps bring about wonderful holistic changes for the entire company.

Engagement Activities

Simple engagement activities, such as getting to know the personal tastes and preferences of employees—surveying questions on favorite vacation spots or ideal places to live—have proven to bring invaluable insights. Brands are always surprised at how much the employee wants to divulge and fostering conversations brings an inherit investment.  Our clients have tested brand perceptions through numerous different activities and the results have been game changing. In one instance, through the community, a brand wanted to know what employee perception was on a recent company PR fiasco.  They asked their employee’s how willing they were to represent their company through their social media profiles and most employees flat out stated they would not want to publicly support the company. This was due to very specific reasons that the brand pinpointed and then created systematic changes to try and combat. Keeping a pulse on employee sentiment should not be considered a side-note but a part of the general overall well-being of a brand.

Ultimately, what employees really want to feel is that their efforts are being noticed. Employees that feel heard and recognized will naturally care more about their work. Brands can’t afford not to create employee engagement investments, without them, the problem of employee retention will never improve.