You want your highly talented, top producing employees to stay? Give them more money, right? Well, not necessarily. Sure offering a fair, competitive salary will help attract great talent. To retain great employees they need to be engaged (no, not to each other). What is an engaged employee? Here is how Gallup defines the levels of employee engagement8.
• ENGAGED employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
• NOT-ENGAGED employees are essentially “checked out.” They are sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but not enough energy or passion into their work.
• ACTIVELY DISENGAGED employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
- Just a 5% increase in your employees overall engagement converts into a 25-85% increase in profit.1
- Companies with a high percentage of engaged employees have almost FOUR times the “earnings per share” growth rate as other companies in their same industries.2
- Companies with high numbers of engaged employees have 13% lower turnover rates.6
- Increases in recognition and praise leads to higher employee engagement which leads to lower turnover, higher customer loyalty, and increased overall productivity.2
- 66% of employees cited “appreciation” as very significant motivator to performance.6
- Engaged employees are twice as likely as those who are actively disengaged to recruit people to their company. 2
- 72% of American employees are either “Not Engaged” or “Actively Disengaged”.2
- 79% of employees who quit cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.4
- 70% of top salespeople say they left because of a breakdown in their relationship with their manager.3
What Causes Employees To Become Disengaged?
Through research, Gallup has identified 12 questions that they’ve shown relate to employee engagement (The Gallup Q127). Do you think your employees would answer “yes” to these?
Do you know what is expected of you at work?
Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
At work, do your opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
Do you have a best friend at work?
In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
Not sure how engaged your employees are? A good place to start is to survey them. You can create a survey at no cost at www.surveymonkey.com. Or, do an internet search for employee engagement surveys as there as scores of companies who specialize in this area.
20 Ways To Increase Employee Engagement:
Here are some no-cost or low-cost ways to increase employee engagement. Not all of these will be right for your particular situation, but some of these are things that everyone could, and should, be doing.
1. Give each employee a sheet to fill out and ask them what are the ways they like to be recognized (public, private, peers, managers, CEO?) and 5 ways they like to be rewarded.
2. Give meaningful, specific, timely, sincere THANK YOU’s to your employees on a regular basis. EVERY EMPLOYEE SHOULD RECEIVE SOME SORT OF RECOGNITION OR APPRECIATION ONCE EVERY 7 DAYS AT A MINIMUM.
3. Peer-to-peer recognition. Allow your employees to award “bonus bucks” of play money to co-workers for a job well done, helping others, reaching a goal, etc. Create a “prize closet” where employees can choose prizes with their accumulated “bucks.” Prizes can be movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, company shwag, car wash coupons – get creative!
4. Post thank you notes to a person’s office door or cubicle.
5. Reward a job well done with a special parking place. Maybe yours?
6. Reward employees by offering to do one job task that they dislike the most in their jobs, for one week.
7. Write a note to the spouse of a high performing employee, praising the great job he or she is doing.
8. Create an “ABCD” award – going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
9. Publish individual as well as team accomplishments in a company newsletter.
10. Establish a company social network (see www.Yammer.com) where employees and management can communicate successes and important information.
11. Put up a large bulletin board and allow employees to post things of personal interest, successes, and notes of thanks and encouragement.
13. Create a traveling “trophy” that can be passed from employee to employee for meeting certain criteria.
14. Celebrate employees’ hiring anniversaries with the company – reward retention and loyalty.
15. Recognize a great performance with a standing ovation.
16. Give certificates for free car washes – or wash the car yourself! Great for salespeople.
17. Create a “recognition book.” This can be as simple as a spiral bound notebook. Employees write a thank you and give recognition to a co-worker and “pass it on.”
18. Put up a large whiteboard with dry erase pens. Employees can write successes, thank you notes, or encouragement. Erase it each week and write new ones.
19. Have the managers cook breakfast at work for a team that hits a particular goal.
20. Make sure each employee has a weekly individual meeting with his or her manager where goals and expectations are being discussed as well as asking employees for input and ideas.
”It’s time for us all to stand and cheer for the do-er, the achiever – the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.” -Vince Lombardi
1People Metrics Employee Engagement Report, http://www.peoplemetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2011-Employee-Engagement-Trends-Report_PeopleMetrics.pdf
2Gallup’s Engagement Survey 2011, http://www.gallup.com/poll/150383/Majority-American-Workers-Not-Engaged-Jobs.aspx
3Gallup, Inc. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/157223/building-world-class-sales-force.aspx
4O.C. Tanner Company’s Carrots.com survey, http://www.carrots.com/resources/white-papers
5Gallup, Inc. Research Whitepaper, http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/126806/Q12-Meta-Analysis.aspx
6 Watson-Wyatt Research firm research cited by carrots.com whitepaper
7Gallup Inc. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/121535/Employee-Engagement-Overview-Brochure.aspx