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So you want to engage and retain your people?

3 Quick Tips To Get Started

We know talent is pivotal for organization transformation and success. We also know the trends on the Great Resignation or Great Reshuffling are real; more people are re-evaluating their lives and wanting change. Many organizations are working hard to engage and retain their people. Yet one key leverage is forgotten.

We forget that engagement is 1:1.

However, it is possible to fix it if you, the manager, human resources or management team, take action now.

First, let’s see where your organization is in terms of engagement and retention efforts. Put a tick to each question if your answer is YES:

If you check all the items, congratulations, you’re one of the top 5 to 10% of the organizations with highly engaged and committed employees. You understand engagement is 1:1; we need different strategies for different staff, because we all have different priorities and values at different stages of our careers.

If you check only a few of these items, it’s good that you’re on the right track to engage and retain your people. And, there are opportunities to be better.

If you check none of these, it’s alright, you’re likely to be amongst the majority of the organizations. It’s obvious and yet too many organizations fall into the wheels of KPI measurement, task management and organization-level interventions.

Engagement is 1:1. Survey results and organization-level intentions are useful. But ultimately the experience of individual staff influencing their intention to stay is personal, influenced in large part by the manager.

Here are our top 3 proven ideas:

1. Help your managers realize it’s within their control to influence the engagement and stay intentions of their staff.
They do that by understanding and meeting the values and stay drivers of the staff. It’s not just about pay; pay is good to attract someone but other factors, like challenging work, learning opportunities, being appreciated, supportive management, relationships, and flexibility become more important after a staff joins. It is not sustainable to compete on pay.

2. Teach your managers when and how to have Stay Conversations.

These are different from performance task-oriented conversations. It’s about the individual, their happiness level, their values, needs, aspirations, family, and health. It’s understanding the whole employee. Employees appreciate being heard and valued. In addition, have the will and skill to ask a pivotal but courageous question, “What will cause you to look out?”

3. Equip them with practical strategies to engage different staff.

It could be finding opportunities to help the staff grow, assigning interesting projects, connecting them with mentors, injecting fun at work, showing care to their family, understanding their passions, sharing information on upcoming changes, or leveraging generational differences. The list goes on. For more, refer to our blog on the A to Z strategies on employee engagement in the workplace.

Your engagement efforts does not guarantee that no one will leave. But by taking these actions, at least you won’t be surprised by any eventual move because you would have known and taken actions to keep this staff. Don’t be discouraged, if you have built a supportive and people-focused culture and stay connected with the staff, some staff may come back too.

The key message here, engagement is 1:1. How can you activate your organization to meet these individualised stay drivers of each staff?

Wendy Tan

- Author, Keynote Speaker & Managing Partner of Flame Centre | Future Skills Institute


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