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Employee Engagement: Techniques That Shift Turnover

employee engagement retention turnover May 30, 2023
Employee Engagement

In today's competitive business landscape, organizations face a significant challenge: high employee turnover. As a leader, you've likely experienced the issue and would prefer to have a plan in place that not only prevents employee loss, but also finds the right people in the first place. After all, the constant loss of talented employees not only disrupts workflow but also incurs substantial costs in terms of recruitment, training, and decreased productivity. So, how can companies tackle this issue and create a more stable and engaged workforce?

“High turnover usually suggests a problem with employee engagement. Engaged employees are generally happier, perform better, and stay with a company longer than disengaged employees.” WorkStride

The answer lies in employee engagement. In this article, we will explore various techniques that can significantly impact employee engagement and shift the turnover rate within organizations. From creating a positive work culture to establishing effective communication channels and providing growth opportunities, we will delve into actionable strategies that organizations can implement to retain their top talent.

By understanding and implementing these techniques, organizations can not only reduce turnover but also create a more engaged and motivated workforce. So, let's dive into the world of employee engagement and discover the techniques that can transform your organization's retention rates for the better.


Understanding Employee Engagement

Understanding employee engagement is crucial for organizations aiming to create a positive and productive work environment, in addition to reducing turnover. Here's why.


Definition and Significance of Employee Engagement

First, what exactly is employee engagement and why is it so important? Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment and connection employees have towards their work, team, and the organization as a whole.

It goes beyond mere job satisfaction and encompasses factors such as motivation, dedication, and involvement. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their roles, actively contribute to the organization's goals, and go the extra mile to achieve success. They feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their work, leading to higher levels of productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.

By understanding the concept of employee engagement and its significance, organizations can implement strategies to foster engagement, cultivate a motivated workforce, and achieve better outcomes.


Benefits of High Employee Engagement

High employee engagement offers numerous benefits to both employees and organizations. To start, engaged employees tend to have higher job satisfaction, leading to increased overall well-being and happiness in their work. They experience a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and connection to their roles, which positively impacts their motivation and commitment.

These types of employees are more likely to demonstrate higher levels of productivity and performance. They take ownership of their work, willingly go the extra mile, and actively seek ways to contribute to the organization's success. This increased productivity translates into improved business outcomes and higher customer satisfaction.

Organizations with high employee engagement have lower turnover rates because their employees are more likely to stay with the company, reducing recruitment and training costs while preserving institutional knowledge and expertise. Not only that, engaged employees become advocates for the organization, promoting a positive employer brand and attracting top talent.

Lastly, high employee engagement fosters a positive work culture and stronger relationships within teams. Collaboration, innovation, and creativity thrive in an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and supported. 


Importance of Addressing Turnover in Organizations

Many leaders operate from a "need to know" stance, and for many issues that is appropriate. But the topic of employee turnover is not one of them.

Addressing turnover in organizations is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps minimize the financial burden associated with recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees, allowing organizations to allocate resources more efficiently. Secondly, it enables the retention of valuable talent, fostering continuous development and leveraging the expertise of experienced employees.

Being focused on turnover also positively impacts employee morale and engagement by providing stability and demonstrating a commitment to their well-being. Moreover, it contributes to a positive organizational culture and reputation, making the organization an attractive employer of choice! When employees are reassured that leaders understand and value them as employees, it makes a world of difference.

In the end, reducing turnover ensures continuity, productivity, and efficiency within the organization. Overall, addressing turnover is essential for organizations to optimize costs, retain talent, boost morale, enhance reputation, and maintain a productive work environment.


Role of Employee Engagement in Reducing Turnover

Employee engagement plays a crucial role in reducing turnover within organizations. When employees are engaged, they experience higher job satisfaction, which decreases their likelihood of seeking opportunities elsewhere!

Engaged employees also develop stronger connections with their organization, colleagues, and teams, fostering loyalty and long-term commitment. But it doesn't happen by chance. You might need to develop more robust communication and feedback channels within your employee engagement initiatives to help address concerns before they escalate into turnover triggers.

If you were to survey your employees right now, what would they say when it comes to their own engagement? 


How to Shift Turnover Rates in Your Organization 

Though it may seem overwhelming, there are several ways to shift turnover rates to the positive within your company. It's important to know that these techniques will not transform your organization overnight. They'll take planning, implementation and dedication––but it will all be worth it. 

  1. Onboarding: The first few days of employment with you makes a significant impact on an employee's engagement. If your philosophy is “throw them in the deep end and see if they can swim” there’s a good chance they’ll bail for friendlier waters. Simply put, make your onboarding practices and policies thoughtful, intentional and worthwhile to your employees.  
  2. Skills, Training and Development: Are you actively developing your employees skills? Are you making sure that they do not become stagnant? Employees need training on everything from expense reports, databases, email, and software packages. This training is not a one-time event, and regular refreshment is critical to their performance. Additionally, don’t forget the interpersonal training such as conflict management and inclusion efforts. By providing opportunities for growth and development, organizations can retain their engaged employees and reduce turnover.
  3. Appreciation and Feedback:  Are you in a habit of saying thank you and letting your team know you appreciate them? No one likes to feel like their hard work is going unnoticed. Celebrate wins and make a point to thank people for their contribution. Be sure you are clearly communicating expectations, following-up regularly, being transparent about coming changes, and open to feedback. An atmosphere of transparency makes employees feel safe and valued.
  4. Benefits: Employee benefits can be more than just healthcare and a 401k program. You can expand your benefits in creative ways like gym memberships, schedule flexibility, tuition reimbursement, financial training, childcare options or discounts, etc. The options are endless and the most appealing organizations are offering benefits that are meaningful to their employees.
  5. Prioritize a Positive Work Environment and Supportive Culture: Not all tactics for shifting turnover require financial means. Employee loyalty and satisfaction comes much easier when staff have an environment where they feel valued and trust their leaders. That means your organization should put a deep emphasis on creating a culture of support and one based on positivity. After all, employees who feel supported tend to have better work output and a lower turnover rate!



When all is said and done, a company cannot keep absolutely every employe. In fact it SHOULDN’T keep everyone. As you develop and implement your employee engagement plan, it's important to stop along the way and ask yourself this question when an employee does leave: “Were the reasons for leaving realistically preventable?” 

If you can answer that question in the affirmative, just keep moving forward. No plan is perfect, but admitting that there is always room to grow is the key to continued improvement.

Are you looking for more insight and strategy into employee retention? Check out our new Leading for Retention course. This self-guided course includes tips on better decision making and communication, strategies for inclusive meetings, how to give effective feedback, techniques for improving retention, and more.

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