The work world is abuzz with the not so quiet trend of “quiet-quitting” and the impact it has on the work culture, innovation and business value to customers. The truth is that companies and managers have been practicing quiet-firing for a very long time with the undesirable consequences of poor employee morale, performance and eventually an exit or worse, a lay-off.
Managers are entrusted with the responsibility of coaching and mentoring their employees to achieve their true potential through conscious & realistic goal-setting, learning opportunities and continuous feedback. However, most managers shirk these key responsibilities, leaving the talent to fend for themselves, feeling isolated, incompetent and driven to the point of finding themselves a new job or just leaving the indifferent work environment.
Talent being the most important assets of an organization, with a critical impact on the business and customer success, it is time for companies to have a comprehensive Talent Engagement Strategy to enrich their work culture with the right coaching and nurturing practices to effectively & meaningfully engage, motivate and retain them, enabling accelerated career trajectories leading to exponential business growth and value.
What is Talent Engagement?
Talent engagement refers to the holistic involvement of employees in all aspects of the company operations, from onboarding to collaboration and innovation to customer outcomes, inculcating in them a deep sense of purpose & belonging and a strong connection to the organization and its people.
Engaged talent are closely aligned to the company’s values and vision and tightly vested in the success of the organization. Companies that prioritize employees, their growth and well-being over short-term business gains stand to have great retention rates with a highly motivated and passionate workforce attracting other top talent to join.
Why is Talent Engagement critical?
Companies have to pay a heavy price for attrition with the average cost of hiring a replacement for an exit being twice their annual salary, not to mention the time taken to train the new hire and for them to be productive.
Talent engagement enables companies to retain proprietary knowledge and skills, saving them significant time and money in productivity and skill development.
In the highly competitive market conditions, retention of top talent via Talent Engagement becomes critical to companies to create and sustain differentiated, high quality products and customer service.
The key benefits of sustainable Talent Engagement practices are enumerated below:
Retention of top talent is one of the prominent advantages of employee engagement. Engaged employees have higher levels of motivation and loyalty to the organization, driving better business results. In high-turnover companies, investing in the career growth and progression of their talent helps reduce the attrition by about 18%.
#2 Customer Value
Engaged employees are passionate and committed to the work, with high levels of productivity and performance. This enables the companies to generate higher value for the customers, helping improve customer ratings by 10% and customer sales by about 18%.
Higher employee engagement in companies leads to consistent high performance in the workforce. Engaged employees have a higher productivity, with a 38% likelihood of having above average productivity. Companies prioritizing employee well-being with programs on health & wellness also see a marked increase in the overall productivity of the workforce.
#4 Innovation & Collaboration
Companies investing in the growth of their people through learning, stretch opportunities and other interesting projects help foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. This in turn helps create high value, high quality work positively impacting the employee and customer experience alike.
With the improved productivity, innovation and collaboration, companies with higher levels of employee engagement have a 23% higher profitability than their lesser engaged market peers.
#6 Enhanced Employer Branding
Engaged employees are proud of their work culture with a heightened sense of connection and belonging. Such employees would serve to be great brand ambassadors, promoting the organization on their personal networks and their social handles as their preferred choice of employer with credibility and authenticity.
A properly managed and enhanced employer brand will enhance the perception of the organization and helps attract highly qualified talent for future opportunities.
8 Ways for effective Talent Engagement
Talent Engagement is about building a collaborative and nurturing work culture, enabling employees to be involved, creative, motivated, helping drive great business results for the company and the customers by achieving their highest potential.
While all companies view and perform Talent Engagement differently, a few impactful strategies have been known to provide great results:
Clear and transparent communication is important to build a strong bond with the employees. Communicating key business updates with changes in strategy or priorities helps build trust and respect with employees, enabling them to align and contribute appropriately. Ensure seamless communication to all employees, including the hybrid workforce (gig workers, part-time workers, workers away in the field etc.), engaging and creating a sense of belonging.
#2 Internal Talent Mobility
More than a lucrative role, high performers are motivated with exciting and challenging work opportunities, helping them learn new skills and take on more strategic roles. As per LinkedIn, employees stay 41% longer at companies with strong talent mobility programs than those that have weak ones or none at all.
By creating an internal talent pool, high performers and high potential talent are provided the opportunity to move laterally or into higher outcome roles not only improves engagement and retention but also enables companies to grow strategically.
#3 Career pathways
Managers must help set clear and realistic goals with attractive career pathways for employees to feel motivated to take on higher responsibilities.
Frequent career conversations with feedback and coaching helps employees feel valued, competent and empowered. Clear career progression paths also provide employees better clarity on where and how they fit into the organization and the impact they have on the overall company growth.
#4 Learning opportunities
Companies that promote continuous learning and provide varied & innovative modes of upskilling and cross-skilling have higher engagement and retention rates.
In a recent survey, a staggering 94% of employees said they would stay longer at a company that offered more learning opportunities. This not only helps employees learn new skills and stay relevant but also helps companies utilize these skills effectively for succession planning or for new roles.
#5 Manager Check-in
Frequent feedback conversations between managers and employees is important to increase the level of engagement and motivation of employees. Discussions on challenges faced and tackled, ideas for innovation and aspirations, helps employees feel valued and invested in the company’s success. Regular feedback on the performance from managers and other stakeholders gives employees a sense of accomplishment and accountability.
#6 Employee Feedback
Companies that provide employees a platform to voice their opinions and concerns and are committed to resolving them judiciously have higher levels of employee satisfaction. Frequent touch-points to collect feedback from employees using tools and surveys help get a pulse on the employee morale and implement corrective measures.
Employees who feel their opinions are valued are 4.5 times likely to stay motivated at the workplace and less likely to look out for another opportunity.
#7 Rewards & Recognition
Companies must celebrate employees at every given opportunity, especially when they have had noteworthy accomplishments and milestones. Reward and recognize the key achievements of top performers on a prominent company platform, helping them feel valued and motivated to sustain and enhance their performance. Acknowledge the loyalty and contributions of long-standing members of the organization by celebrating the work anniversaries, giving them credit and prominence in the company’s growth and accomplishments so far. Per SHRM, 68% of employees confirmed the positive impact of rewards and recognition programs on retention.
#8 Compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
A compelling Employee Value Proposition is a key differentiator and often the most important factor in employee engagement and retention. Design a thoughtful and attractive EVP, centered on not just the employees but also their families to be able to genuinely support them:
- Design a fair, bias-free pay scale, based on skill, competency and merit. Frequent audits will help sustain this practice, correcting any pay inequities, especially for women, mothers of young children, employees with disabilities and from underrepresented groups
- Provide flexible work arrangements, with one of the lessons the pandemic has taught us being that people having a say over where and how they work from has minimal impact on business and higher impact on employee satisfaction
- Provide one-time cash incentives to tide over a personal crisis or pay loans, helps foster loyalty and feeling valued
- Design generous benefits for the employees and their families in terms of health insurance and access to valuable mental wellness resources
- Provide child-care benefits to working parents in the form of onsite day-care centers or cash subsidies for child care
- Lastly, create a diverse and inclusive work culture, giving the people a sense of safety and belonging, positively impacting the Employer Brand
Talent Engagement is a powerful retention tool, enabling the creation of phenomenal employee experience, employer value proposition and employer branding. Hence the importance of a comprehensive Employee Engagement Strategy aligned to the company vision and values, designed to create a safe and nurturing environment, with challenging and meaningful work, to guide and reward them, empowering them to create greater business value. Engaged employees are satisfied employees, proud members of the organization, motivated and committed to creating high quality products and services for their companies and customers through innovation. They also become the best brand ambassadors, helping enhance the Employer Branding through their authentic and credible work experiences, attracting highly qualified talent.
FAQs on Talent Engagement
What is the importance of employee engagement in an organization?
Talent engagement is a top retention tool as it helps the employees feel valued, stay committed and motivated to high performance, driving greater business outcomes for the organization. It helps improve employee productivity, collaboration, innovation, retention & company profitability. In the highly competitive market conditions, retention of top talent becomes critical for companies to create and sustain differentiated, high quality products and customer service.
What is a talent engagement strategy?
A talent engagement strategy is a systematic approach to enhancing talent engagement in an organization through innovative, value added learning & performance management programs reinforced by a compelling EVP. It should be aligned to the organization’s vision and values and focus on creating a phenomenal employee experience.
How do we effectively engage talent?
We can improve talent engagement through a comprehensive talent engagement strategy designed around employee experience, increasing productivity, innovation, customer value and profitability. 8 ways to effective talent engagement are given below:
Clear communication channels to foster respect, trust and loyalty
Allowing employees to take on higher or lateral roles through Internal Talent Mobility
Charting clear career progression pathways to motivate employees to perform better
Upskilling and re-skilling opportunities through high impact learning programs
Frequent manager check-in and feedback helping employees feel valued and competent
Collect and act upon employee feedback
Effective rewards and recognition programs
A compelling EVP consisting of generous benefits for employees’ holistic wellness
What is the importance of employees in a business?
Employees are the most important assets in a business, with a critical impact on the business and customer success. They understand the business objectives, translate them into monetizable customer services and products, driving up profitability and enhancing the employer brand to one of renown and prominence.
What are the different types of employee engagement?
The different types of employee engagement are cognitive engagement, physical engagement and emotional engagement. Cognitive engagement is about the employees being aware of and aligning to the organizational values, vision and business priorities, being engaged to deliver the required business outcomes.
Physical engagement is determined by the emotional and physical well-being of the employees and hence the importance of holistic wellness programs to enhance the physical engagement. Emotional engagement refers to the sense of belonging, motivation and value that the employee feels, helping them perform better with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.