Five ways to improve employee engagement

A Gallup study released in 2013 showed that only 13% of employees worldwide were engaged, whereas the vast majority of employees were either not engaged or actively disengaged in the workplace.

This means that nearly nine out of 10 workers are either just going through the motions of their daily jobs or actively looking for a new job.

To maximize employee engagement and retain top talent, consulting firm PI Worldwide suggests employers take the following actions.

  1. Design jobs with growth opportunities. People flourish in environments that support learning and development with continuous skill growth as part of the overall package. When creating job descriptions, articulate a clear path to promotion, opportunities to work on teams, to receive feedback from others, and to grow outside of the organization.
  2. Monitor job satisfaction.A robust and consistent finding in organizational psychology is that satisfied employees are less likely to leave. Monitor employee satisfaction with frequency using both quantitative and qualitative means.
  3. Maximize “employee embeddedness.” Evaluate the level of connection each employee has with the organization and job, which includes fit into the workplace, richness of personal connections and what a person would have to give up if he or she left. The more embedded the employee, the more likely he or she will stay.
  4. Manage early interactions. New impressions are formed fast, and events that occur in the first hours and days can strongly predict turnover six to 12 months later. It is best to provide clear and early communication about culture and values, combined with frequent check-ins from multiple sources.
  5. Develop great leaders. Employees want leaders who are committed for the long haul and to their own personal growth. A significant predictor of employee longevity is the longevity of the employee’s direct manager.

With significant projections regarding employee churn noted for 2014, PI Worldwide says most companies will benefit by taking proactive steps to retain their valued employees—ultimately saving the company costly salary and training expenses.

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