Employee engagement = retention?

70% of US employees don’t feel engaged at work. How can this be changed?

Employee engagement is a topic that’s always evolving. In 2017, we want different incentives than we did 10 or 20 years ago to keep us at one company. Currently, it’s a job-seekers market, and a key to keeping talented employees is ensuring engagement at work. The rise of the gig economy can demonstrate how now, people want more flexibility and control over their working life. Keeping employees engaged at work can enable an employer to increase their retention rates.

What is employee engagement? An engaged employee can be defined as “[An employee who] works with passion and feels a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.”

70% of employees in the U.S don’t feel engaged at work. And, 76% of full-time workers are either actively looking for a job or would be open to new opportunities. These are statistics that SymbaSync wants to lower, as by getting a job that you actually like and are engaged with, the less likely you are to want to leave soon after starting!

So how can employers create a work environment that increases engagement for employees?

Through research into this question, Gallup offers three main ways for employers to increase engagement at their workplace:

1. Hire the right talent

This may seem obvious, however one person may excel in a certain workplace, but in another feel hindered due to environmental issues, or perhaps they don’t function well with the management style. A company needs to make sure it’s new hires function well in the business, to avoid culture clash that will lead to more turnover. Employers should also avoid relying too heavily on their personal networks, as just because you know someone, it doesn’t mean they’ll be the best person for the job. Furthermore, due to people’s nature to gravitate towards people similar to them, a company risks having an environment that doesn’t promote different perspectives or ideas — which are vital for innovation! Every new employee has to add value to the company in some way!

2. Nurture their skills

Opportunities for personal development are really important! In fact when it comes to corporate culture, personal development is consistently listed as a key factor contributing to happiness at work (it’s not just about having free food, or a ping-pong table in the office — although they probably don’t hurt)! It builds employees’ sense of purpose, as well as abilities.

3. Enhance their well-being

This could be through policies such as flexible hours or the ability to work remotely, if they want to in order to remove the added stress of out-of-work responsibilities. Employee wellbeing will benefit everyone in the company. Employees who are both motivated to work, and don’t feel the need to be job-seeking at the same time will benefit a company greatly.

How can people avoid joining a company they won’t enjoy working at?

Employee motivation is (unsurprisingly!) reduced when people are disengaged, i.e. not enjoying their work. The bottom-line for managers is that overall organizational performance is negatively affected by disengagement. As well as this, high levels of employee disengagement will lead to increased, and costly levels of turnover in the workforce — this results in high costs, thanks to the sunk cost of salary payments, plus the time it will take for a new employee to get up to full productivity. We think that companies should be doing what they can do ensure employee engagement, and create positive results at work!

However, it’s a two-way street. Job-seekers have to ensure that the companies and roles they apply for will actually keep them engaged for the long term. You can do extensive research into a company, network with, and talk to people from a certain company, however this can be time consuming, and information still has personal bias. One person could love working somewhere, while another might hate it — we’re all different. SymbaSync removes this job search problem, by giving people the chance to choose the type of work environment they work well in, and like to be in!

When researching companies, job-seekers & employees place importance on certain attributes of a company & role. A Gallup survey found that these 5 things are the most important factors for people when looking for a new job:

1. The ability to do what they do best

2. Greater work-life balance and better personal well-being

3. Greater stability and job security

4. A significant increase in income

5. The opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation

However, it’s difficult to determine some of these aspects before someone actually takes a job. For example, personal well-bring may be affected by the workplace culture, or the type of management someone works under. To solve issues like this, employees have to be honest about their company, and transparent about the job requirements.

So, for employees to really begin to feel engaged at work, managers and organizations have to create an environment that’s both stimulating and focused on development. As well as this, hiring based on both merit AND an individual’s fit with the role they’ll be doing, in the environment they’ll be working in will help create workforce that’s engaged, and that wants to stick around.


If you liked this article, don’t forget to visit SymbaSync.com to find out more about making great hiring decisions!

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