Employee Engagement and Retention
I attended an HR Roundtable sponsored by Resourcefulhr in Seattle today. A group of HR professionals met to discuss challenges and ideas for enagaging and retaining employees.
The major topics that we discussed included:
- Finding certain specialized talent in the high tech fields where the larger companies are able to entice employees with large salaries, benefits and the prestige of the big name corporations.
- Retaining employees in companies where the hourly salary is very low due to economic constraints.
- Engaging employees and keeping them loyal and happy.
- Dealing with generational differences including things like social media, work ethic, expectations and more.
- Work life balance.
Research has shown that unless the salary is very low, financial incentives are not always the way to reach the hearts and minds of employees. Appreciation, acknowledgement, and recognition will go a long way towards keeping employees motivated to perform. A sense of belonging to the community in which they work, feeling valued and supported by their employer are important to keep employees loyal to. Low- cost benefits like health club membership discounts, wellness and worklife programs and employee assistance programs can be implemented for a great return on investment.
The members of the roundtable discussion offered some great ideas that worked for their workplaces. Some of these included:
- Hosting a community garden which provided a place for employees to plant, tend, weed and water flowers and vegetables and then reap the rewards of the garden by picking flowers for the workplace or making a salad with the fresh picked vegetables.
- A monthly theme such as wellness or “stress less”, where speakers, massage therapists and other professionals were brought in to assist with the theme and provide benefits for employees.
- A “Rock Star” program where decorated rocks with positive sayings would be passed to deserving employees who were nominated for certain acts of kindness, good performance or when they were going through a tough time.
- A book club meeting weekly to read and discuss books relevant to the workplace or personal interests.
- Webinar trainings or onsite trainings on new technologies such as Linked in, Facebook and Twitter, for the older generations to help bridge the generational gap.
- Social media policies to clarify the use and time spent on social media in the workplace.
- Nominating employees for exceeding performance, helping others, etc and then entering the nomination into a monthly drawing for a prize.
- Host meetings to listen and hear employee concerns and to solicit ideas for improvement, change, etc.
All of these are fabulous ideas for keeping employees engaged. We all know the cost of recruitng and retraining new employees, so we need to be sure we keep our current employees happy.
Do you have any other ideas to contribute to this list? We would love to hear from you!