No Image Available

Charlie Duff

Sift Media


Read more about Charlie Duff

Engagement top priority to aid retention, says survey


The top priority for a huge two thirds of HR directors over the year ahead will be boosting employee engagement in order to improve retention rates as businesses start moving out of recession.

Second on the list is being able to demonstrate a return on investment on proposed HR projects, which are under more scrutiny than ever, while a third focus is improving business intelligence. The aim here is to mine and analyse data more effectively in a bid to identify staff trends and enhance business practices.
These are the findings of a survey undertaken among 450 UK HR directors by HR software provider, NorthgateArinso.
According to a new report by Kingston University on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, however, HR professionals are right to focus on employee engagement as a key issue.
Its study, entitled ‘Creating an Engaged Workforce’, indicated that such personnel perform better, are more innovative and are more likely to want to stay with their employer. They also enjoy higher levels of personal well-being and perceive their workload to be more sustainable than staff who are not motivated.
The single factor most likely to encourage such engagement, meanwhile, is providing workers with the opportunity to get involved in work-related matters and allowing them to freely express opinions about different aspects of their job. It is crucial that such involvement is meaningful, however.
Kerstin Alfes, the project’s lead researcher at Kingston University Business School, said that employee engagement was particularly important during a recession. “Engagement means that staff are willing to go the extra mile to get things done and, if an organisation is struggling, that could make the difference between whether or not they survive”, she added.
The report also found that the vision of senior managers and their ability to communicate were other key drivers of engagement, while a positive perception by individuals of their line manager also helped.
HR practices per se had no impact, however, although ensuring that staff were well-matched to their job and the style of line management they were subjected to was important.

2 Responses

  1. The last paragraph holds the key to this..
    The key to this is mentioned at the end of the article – having a workforce matched to the right roles. To attempt to engage misfits in this context is costly and futile. You can’t engage and motivate a hammer to saw a piece of wood. To get the right match is the responsibility of both candidate and recruiter although many candidates do not know how to properly identify the right fit. Neither do many recruiters. It’s during this window of decision that the levels of engagement are pre-set. Perhaps more attention by everyone is needed here?

  2. …and

     …what about all the other functional folk in the business? Yes retention is an issue for HR, and it’s an issue for Ops, Sales, Service, hey it affects everyone! I get a bit miffed when this gets portrayed as a problem for HR to solve. We’re all in this one together, and the quicker folk look to work with HR and fix engagement challenges, the better off we’ll all be.

    Signing off for a lovely weekend, hope yours is too.

    Cheers – Doug

No Image Available
Charlie Duff


Read more from Charlie Duff

Get the latest from HRZone

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.