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  • Writer's pictureShohreh R Aftahi, PhD

Employee Engagement, productivity, & Retention

Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement, productivity, & Retention

Organizations face the challenge of retaining employees while keeping them productive. Employee retention and productivity are global challenges, and companies must ensure that work is done without leading to burnout and voluntary departure. A primary focus for organizations should be to become experts at employee engagement. 

There are many conflicting definitions of "engagement." Concepts such as "employee satisfaction," "advocacy," "commitment to stay with the organization," and "sense of pride" in the organization must be measured to meet this challenge. One way of measuring these concepts is by using an engagement survey with tested, relevant, and reliable questions. Others consider more qualitative approaches such as "discretionary effort" or "purpose and passion" to gauge employee engagement. However, more consistency is needed to understand, measure, and address employee engagement. 

This article defines employee engagement as "the emotional state of mind that causes people to do their best work sustainably." Engagement is the set of emotions that individuals feel toward their work, their coworkers, and themselves. These emotions then cause them to do their best work and find it fulfilling. When the employees bring their whole selves to work, they are much more likely to give their best today and stay with the organization longer. 

Leaders must experiment with different survey questions to understand which emotions predict high performance and identify which specific questions correlate with performance and retention. The most robust and consistent correlations identified will provide the most evident indications for the highly critical feelings to a person's engagement. 

It is noteworthy to clarify that regardless of how critical specific feelings are assumed to be, if it is not possible to prove that these feelings predict performance or retention, they are not essential engagement elements. The definition of engagement adopted in this article provides a clear proposition about engagement and shows how we can confirm or reject the core elements of engagement. When the core elements have been identified, we can prove or challenge that increases in engagement lead to increased performance and reduce voluntary turnover. 

ThriveVance recently helped a global manufacturing organization address employee productivity and retention issues. The data revealed five areas causing dysfunction in this company: lack of trust, feeling valued, voices being heard, equity, and equal access to opportunities. The bulk of the issue was caused by supervisory and middle management. 

The solution implemented included several elements: leadership engagement and ownership, leadership training and coaching for supervisors and middle managers, productive company-wide communication, progressive performance development, and coaching culture. After measuring the results quarterly for a year, the organization experienced a 39% reduction in voluntary turnover; 15% of the remaining turnover was not voluntary and was due to the shift in the culture of accountability, and performance by the department increased by 48%. The organization also experienced a 38% average revenue increase quarter over quarter. 

If you want to achieve similar results for your organization, let ThriveVance help you!


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