Increase Retention With A Creative Engagement Strategy

It’s that time of year—love is in the air.

As well-wishes and boxes of chocolate circulate your office, it may be a good time to pause and inquire about the affection your employees feel for their work.

Do they love their jobs? Do they love working for your company? If not, red roses probably won’t fix the problem, but a creative engagement strategy may.

Employees who change jobs typically cite career growth opportunities, pay and benefits, management, company culture, and job fit as reasons for doing so.

To retain employees, especially top performers, employers often look for perks they can offer to make employment with them more attractive and to prevent good employees from leaving.

It’s true that incentives can encourage retention, but providing an assortment of distinguishing perks won’t keep employees long-term unless those perks meet essential employee needs—just like a dozen red roses won’t produce a successful relationship overnight.

The best way to retain employees is to remember why they became your employees to begin with: they have wants and needs, and employment with you enables them to meet those wants and needs. In other words, you’re useful to them, just like they are to you.

When your organization ceases to be useful or becomes less useful than another employer, employees might start looking for the next best (most useful) opportunity. The more useful you can be; the more inclined employees will be to stay with you.

Developing an employee engagement strategy that meets the needs of your employees can build a solid basis for long-term collaboration and shared success.

Below is a list of common needs and possible solutions to help give you a starting point as you seek to develop a creative employee engagement strategy and increase retention rates for your business.

If you need a business partner to help you discover your team’s needs, contact our HR Consulting team on our website here or call us at 502.753.0970.

Increasing Retention With A Creative Engagement Strategy

To meet a need for growth, provide educational opportunities.

Talk to your employees about what knowledge, skills, and abilities they think would help them do their job better or make additional contributions to the organization. Then, provide coaching and training opportunities that encourage the professional development of your employees.

Yes, training may make your workers more employable elsewhere, but it also prepares them for a better future working for you, adding value to your team and organization.

You can increase the likelihood that your employees will use the training they receive for your benefit by giving them opportunities to put what they’ve learned to immediate use and rewarding them when the new skills and extra effort pay off.

To meet a need for importance, emphasize meaningful work.

Many employees want to know that their work is meaningful, and you have the power to remind them that the work they do for your organization matters.

It is especially important to emphasize the impact of an employee’s work if their typical job duties feel mundane or uninspiring. Remember, if you’re paying someone to do a job, that job is essential to the mission of your organization.

Make sure employees know that their work, however repetitive or unexciting, brings value to the organization. You can show your appreciation by recognizing employees for going “above and beyond” in their work, which will remind them of their contribution to the success of the organization.

To meet a need for community, encourage socialization.

It may seem counterproductive, but you should encourage your employees to socialize with their team. While financial needs may be the primary motivation for people to get a job, it’s typically relationships with coworkers that motivate an employee to keep or leave a particular position.

People tend to seek social connections and enjoy interacting with others. They need to feel connected to their team, and typically enjoy making friends, building community, and collaborating on a meaningful enterprise.

You may sacrifice a certain level of productivity in the moment, but in the long-run, your employees will be more engaged in their work, more committed to your organization, and more motivated to work for you if they develop positive relationships with their teammates.

To meet a financial need, offer monetary incentives.

Consider offering bonuses when your company meets its financial goals and when employees meet their individual and team goals. Bonuses motivate employees to be more engaged and productive by rewarding them with a tangible return on their investment.

If feasible, offer raises to account for cost-of-living increases, job performance, and individual accomplishments. Like bonuses, raises encourage efficient and productive work by rewarding it.

Of course, huge pay increases simply aren’t an option for many companies, especially small to medium-sized businesses. If you’re unable to offer substantial raises or bonuses, the non-monetary rewards mentioned above become all the more useful and important.

Embracing Usefulness

There’s no guarantee that every hire will be the right fit and stay with your company as long as you’d like, but you can help improve retention and increase engagement by remaining useful to your employees.

Your employees want to succeed in their professions as much as you do in your business. By aligning their individual success with your organizational success, you give them a huge incentive to stay, improve their skills, and put those skills to good use in your organization.

If you’re not sure how you can be most useful to your employees, ask them. You can’t meet needs you’re not aware of, and who better to tell you what your team desires than them!

If you need a business partner to help you discover your team’s needs, contact our HR Consulting team on our website here or call us at 502.753.0970.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Fifth Third Bank and are solely the opinions of the author. This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, or other professional services by Fifth Third Bank, National Association or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, and are provided without any warranty whatsoever. Deposit and credit products provided by Fifth Third Bank.