How to Retain Employees & Increase Engagement - Part 1

happy employee working on laptop at desk

Do your employees love what they do? Are they fully engaged? If not, as a business owner or manager, have you yet determined the best and most practical ways to build engagement among your staff?

Furthermore, is retention a problem for your company? Do employees come and go way more often than management would prefer? Do you understand why employees are leaving your place of employment after working mere months or a year, maybe two?

These are engagement and retention questions all hiring managers need to be asking themselves and then seeking appropriate solutions - if any level of maintenance is needed.

As you ponder upgrades to your current engagement and retention strategies, consider the following regarding employee satisfaction, salary and benefits:

When is the last time you did any of the following with your employees?

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  • Conducted an employee satisfaction survey?
  • Reviewed employee benefits to see what might be done differently?
  • Increased the benefits budget for your employees - to offer more perks rather than simply maintaining the status quo?
  • Spoken with each of your employees, whether employed for one year or ten, to review their position, job duties, aspirations, and level of satisfaction within the organization?

Please note the following 2017 statistics regarding both traditional and nontraditional benefits:

According to ICIMS, a software company, 92% of full-time employees believe that companies (which) offer nontraditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent.

Aflac learned that 96% of employees who are satisfied with their benefits are (also) satisfied with their jobs.

A Barclays survey revealed that 87% of employees from Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Generation Y (millennials born between 1977 and 2000) feel that their current benefits package is not sufficiently flexible to meet their personal and financial needs.

statistics - hand holding magnifying glass over people

Workforce 2020 conducted a survey to learn which benefits would increase engagement and loyalty among employees, and here are the prioritized results:

  • 40% - compensation
  • 36% - better benefits
  • 34% - career advancement opportunities
  • 31% - training/education
  • 18% - coworkers they like
  • 18% - corporate culture

Moreover, a CareerBuilder study suggested the following as the best ways to boost employee retention:

salary - cash in hand
  • 70% - increasing salaries
  • 58% - better benefits

Either way, it is obvious that compensation and benefits are of great importance to a majority of employees and potential new hires. That said, what is an employer to do?

Well, there’s a little bit of supply and demand logic that can be applied to this situation. You have employees who desire higher wages and better benefits. Perhaps the company has the money and cash flow to oblige these demands (a.k.a. felt needs) – perhaps not. However . . . 

Are you willing to reconsider ways in which you might “supply” the “demands” of your employees? Do the research. Survey your staff for their preferences and most pressing needs and concerns. Then (re)prioritize your company's budget and the effort to increase sales and profits so that you can meet real needs and share “more” with your employees.

Check out Part 2 of this article on Thursday, August 9.

Here's a preview of the introduction . . . 

After researching this topic of engagement and retention and reviewing the statistics, three avenues for resolving the issues stand out. They are the initial interview, the stay interview, and the inclusion of nontraditional benefits. When incorporated well into your hiring, benefit and retention methodologies, you should see improvements in both employee engagement and employee retention.