In the final installment of my series on The Keys to Employee Retention, we will discuss the third component that comprises a good retention strategy: Engagement. Working in tandem with recognition and development, high engagement can help drive your employees' motivation to perform above and beyond. In fact, a Gallup Organization analysis asserts that organizations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.1

Engagement to Drive Results

According to a Society for Human Resource Management webcast2 titled, "Energize and Engage: How Inclusion Supercharges Employee Satisfaction and Performance," the five most common mistakes of leaders as they relate to engagement are:

  •        Failure to provide feedback
  •        Failure to listen or involve others
  •        Inappropriate use of leadership style
  •        Failure to set clear goals and objectives
  •        Failure to train and develop their people

Bob Kelleher, president and founder of The Employee Engagement Group,3 provides us with an engagement model in which we look at what an employer gives and what your return from the employee will be. Are you providing respect, values, opportunity? If so, in turn you will receive commitment, loyalty and accomplishment.

Assess your environment to determine engagement levels by reviewing results such as sales growth, turnover, employee development, staffing levels and customer experience to determine if you have opportunities. Your people are driving these results, and if they are not engaged with your mission, values and goals, you will see evident shortcomings. Are the front line employees showing signs they are not connected to your business? Dig deep and look around, talk to people informally and be a listener. Are you asking your new hires about their perception of you and what is reality? Validate this and keep improving based on the information you receive.


Retaining top talent is no easy task - if it were, I might sleep a little better at night. No matter what industry you're working in, finding top talent and keeping them is and always will be a challenge. But with the right approach and the development of a sound strategy, you will find success. When we do find and retain that top talent, it is a win-win for all - the organization, the customer and the employee.

More from the Series:

The Keys to Employee Retention, Part 2: Development

The Keys to Employee Retention, Part 1: Recognition

Resources: Photo credit. (1) Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity(2) Energize and Engage: How Inclusion Supercharges (3) The Employee Engagement Group