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Engagement is key to loyalty

Thursday October 30, 2014 Written by 
Employers should do more to increase employee engagement if they want to avoid the high costs of turnover, low commitment and potential brand damage.

Key findings from the annual Pulse of Talent survey, commissioned by Ceridian, show that although organizations have made significant progress when it comes to facilitating employee engagement, this is still an important workplace issue that affects the bottom line.

The survey found that only 44 per cent of respondents believe the work they do is valued by their employer. In light of this, perhaps it's no surprise that 22 per cent of respondents are poorly engaged, and five per cent of respondents are completely disengaged in the workplace.

“Organizations with high levels of engagement have less absenteeism and higher productivity than those with high levels of disengagement,” says Dave MacKay, president of Ceridian. “Also, organizations with high levels of engagement have fewer concerns with retaining employees. Employers risk losing significant payroll dollars for every disengaged employee who is present at work but not invested in making the effort to produce results that advance the business. There is clear value in sustaining engagement over time.”

Recruitment policies critical

A positive employer brand is crucial to attracting top talent. Even the smallest mistakes, such as neglecting to communicate with the candidates at every stage of the job application, can have negative consequences on a company’s brand reputation.

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents say that neglecting to notify candidates of their application status leaves a negative impact on their overall impression of the company. About half of all respondents (52 per cent) say they are less inclined to apply for other job postings in those companies that neglect to notify candidates of their application status.

Forty-four per cent of respondents say that they will be less inclined to buy the company’s products and services if the company does not communicate with the candidate about their application status throughout the hiring process.

Development drives retention

Employers who provide an environment where employees can develop and be promoted internally are able to develop and retain more highly engaged employees.

Only 38 per cent of all respondents believe their employers prioritize internal employees for available positions. Among highly engaged respondents, a majority (59 per cent) felt their employer focused more on internal promotions - a figure four times higher than among disengaged respondents

Loyalty tied to engagement

High engagement levels play a critical role in improving retention rates and reducing turnover.

An overwhelming majority of highly-engaged respondents (68 per cent) would like to stay with their current employer for five or more years, compared to 55 per cent of all respondents and only 14 per cent of disengaged employees
   
Only 14 per cent of highly engaged respondents are actively looking for a new job with a new employer. This figure jumps to 63 per cent of disengaged respondents.

Employers should also note that more than half of highly engaged respondents (56 per cent) are not considering a new job or position outside of their company. This rate is only 16 per cent for poorly engaged respondents and zero per cent for disengaged respondents.

Consider the entire employee lifecycle

A multifaceted approach to increasing employee engagement during the employee lifecycle from recruitment and onboarding to career pathing and retirement can take on several forms.  Communication is key. Organizations should look to redefine their internal and external candidate experience and keep candidates up to date and engaged throughout the whole employee lifecycle in order to protect their brand reputation. For current employees, better communication around job expectations and recognition for good work is important to keeping workers motivated.

“Other facets to a well rounded employee engagement strategy include keeping employee career progression in mind with increased opportunities for learning, job growth and overall career development,” said MacKay. “Employers should also consider offering an employee assistance program - a valuable resource that helps address employee wellness needs while helping improve workplace productivity.  All of these employee engagement considerations can help strengthen an organization’s reputation as an employer of choice.”

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