Keynote Presentation at CHBA- Lethbridge on April 24th, 2017Written by Suzanne Marie
Employee engagement and retention is an issue that most businesses face when looking at long term sustainability in their workplace. Often times employers will find solutions they believe are the best but generate the same result as previously. When polled, 84% employers in Canada believe people will leave their workplace for more money. When asked, if the employees polled who have left their workplace, only 11% indicated that it was due to higher pay. So what does this mean? Why do people leave and what helps them to want to stay with their employer?
Aon Hewitt’s 2016 research indicated that high performers may be more likely to stay if they feel valued and view themselves as an instrumental part of the company. What we know to be true is disengaged employees are 2x more likely to leave than engaged employees. Although the high performers will stay due to feeling valued, most employers believe high performers may be more likely to leave the company because they know they have attractive alternatives elsewhere.
Specific drivers of engagement influence the intention to stay by high performers. These driver’s of engagement relate to the personal satisfaction and personal gain by employees for their professional development and sense of value in their workplace.
The top three of seven key drivers of engagement in order of priority are:
I am proud to be part of this organization.
Senior leadership is worthy of employees' trust.
This organization is considered one of the best places to work for someone with my skills and experience.
Overall, the way we reward and recognize people helps us produce the business results we want.
Personal aspirations, in order of priority, influence a high performer’s willingness to stay with a company:
I can achieve my long-term career aspirations at this organization.
I have appropriate opportunities for personal and professional growth.
In my current position, I feel there are sufficient opportunities for me to increase my chances for advancement.
Perceptions of career opportunities are important drivers of engagement and retention for ALL employees, but that importance is amplified for your high performers. Employees who have poor perceptions of their career opportunities are nearly twice as likely to leave compared with those who have positive perceptions. Research shows that high performers were 3x as likely to leave if they had poor perceptions of career opportunities. Career opportunities include not only advancement and recognition but also professional development and continuing education.
Traditional career pathing may not always work and sometimes action is easier said than done due to a variety of reasons (size, scope, short/long term budgets, restructuring, etc.) The question then becomes, "How can we improve our employee, and in particular the high performer, with perceptions of career opportunities in the absence of any new job/position opportunities?"
Engagement and retention solutions:
- Individual professional development plans.
- Investments in skill building like training.
- Flexible learning options.
- Corporate team building activities.
- Tell your high performers they are important to the business.
- Clarify how they fit into the company long term.
- Foster positive affect.
Create a culture of engagement and retention through dialogue. Dialogue is affected by the communication systems that are set up in the workplace. Tell your high performers they are valued. Ask yourself, "Does an employee know if they are considered a high performer?" If not, tell them. It is important for employees to know that they are an important part of your present, as well as your future. Employees/People forget, especially in a largely task focused workplace.
Clarify how they fit into the company long term. Create a line of sight between an employee's job and the vision of the company. Ensure that, even if there are no promotions/career opportunities available today, your high performers see how they fit in and can grow. This communication is critical to employees, particularly if recent economic conditions have slowed your company's growth.
Foster positive affect. A positive affect, or mood, is not necessarily the same as engagement. In addition to clarifying their long-term goals, making sure that your high performers enjoy their day-to-day work in the present helps foster a positive sense of engagement.
High performers know they are important to the business and they rightfully expect good opportunities and want to be able to achieve their aspirations. High performers focus on job fit and being challenged in their work. This suggests high performers have a self awareness to know whether: their job is currently a good fit and their trajectory within the company aligns to their career aspirations.
Contact Suzanne directly to discuss having her present a Keynote at your conference: 587-220-7169 (text or call)
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Published Author, Academic Professor, Researcher, Course Writer, and Subject Matter Expert for Conflict Management in Canada.
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