Improving Employee Engagement
A detailed analysis of over 5.5 million employees worldwide has identified the key factors affecting employee retention. The study found that confidence in leadership, opportunity for career development, autonomy, a supportive work environment and appropriate compensation are key factors in employee engagement and commitment:
‘With retention a growing concern, organisations must guard against the significant costs associated with hiring and training new employees, as well as potential talent shortages, by focusing on retaining key staff. Robust Succession Planning processes and identifying and developing high-potential talent from within the business is now essential. Organisations also need to understand which key factors keep their employees engaged and respond accordingly.’
Recent studies by Harvard Business Review have found that many talented employees leave their companies to join competitors, not for a salary increase, but often because they don’t feel they are learning or developing quickly enough; this is particularly true for younger staff.
To avoid this pitfall and ensure your employees feel valued, Erika Lucas, a writer in HR and Management Press, suggests the following:
1. Create a Learning Environment by providing opportunities for employees to develop their skills and Competencies in projects that stretch and empower them
2. Provide Mentors: Lack of access to a business Mentor has been identified as one of the top two reasons people leave their jobs. Mentors can be internal or external, such as Executive Coaches
3. Discuss Career Progression and Talent Management by communicating the company strategy with employees and by being honest about future career prospects
3. Prioritize regular Performance Reviews: Employees don’t find an annual Appraisal adequate enough to monitor their progress. Weekly or monthly 1:1s should be diarised to review progress and ensure employees receive regular constructive feedback on their performance
4. Build Effective Relationships with direct reports and find out what motivates them. Communicate regularly regarding their career aspirations
5. Analyze data regarding Employee Retention and identify trends and problem areas/departments with online tools.
Coaching is proven to improve employee engagement and aid retention and can work at all levels within an organisation. It helps employees identify their unique strengths and key opportunities for development and link them to their personal and career aspirations. A Coach can encourage employees to establish long-term development goals and help them create a SMART Coaching Action Plan for attaining them. In addition a Coach can provide constructive and challenging feedback and Coaching Assignments for individuals to work on developing specific tools and techniques which assist them in improving their key Competencies to make them more effective both in and outside work.
At Natural Talent our Coaching focuses on immediate work-related tasks as well as personal development and therefore results in improved business results. Individual Performance Coaching helps build commitment as the Coaching clients feel that the company is investing time and money in them and consequently they tend to improve discretionary effort and performance, which all impact positively on the bottom line.
Coaching works exceptionally well with high potentials or when the individual has identified development needs or blind spots and is keen to improve performance, learn new skills and subsequently has the possibility to attain a promotion. In order to ensure that the client does not ‘revert to type’ under pressure and return to old behaviours from before the Coaching, individuals are encouraged to obtain ongoing constructive feedback from a work ‘buddy’, as well as enlisting the support of their Line Manager to keep monitoring the actions from the SMART Coaching Action Plan.
ROI from Coaching interventions tends to be very high, compared to the significant financial loss associated with high attrition rates, the costs of recruitment, on-boarding and training, added to the decrease in productivity whilst new hires get up to speed.