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Increasing Employee Engagement and Retention – even in uncertain times

You’ll know when you’ve created a motivated and engaged team when it feels like a great place to work, when it’s easy to attract and retain talent and when you create profitable growth consistently.

But, it’s not easy …  and that creates opportunities for businesses with motivated and focused teams to stay ahead of the curve, even in uncertain times.  That was the focus of Susannah’s recent talk at the UK Conference of Mindshop, which supports a global network of over 1,000 leading business advisors.

The key points included:

  • The business impact of employee engagement

  • Inclusion and diversity

  • Global principles with a personalised approach

  • The importance of trust in business

Highly engaged employees are:

18% more productive, 49% less likely to leave and 480% more committed to their employers’ success, which increases customer satisfaction by 12% and profit by 16%.

Engaging Managers has the most impact on employee engagement, performance and retention. The evidence shows engaging managers agree clear objectives and show us how our work contributes. They coach us, stretch and bring the best out of us. They give regular constructive feedback, tackle dysfunctional behaviour well (they do not walk on by) and they create a culture of praise and acknowledgement. They care for our welfare and can be trusted.

However, employee engagement overall has stalled at just 33% of employees in the UK, with a similar figure in the US (source: Gallup). A recent survey by Totem revealed only 10% of employees in the UK are totally satisfied in their work. It’s a shocking statistic which hints at a general state of unhappiness and a search for more meaning and connection in the nation – and not just in the workplace.

Our own experience at Aspirin Business has demonstrated significant benefits by combining data-driven motivation strategies alongside employee engagement strategies. These create a personalised approach that helps us each feel valued and recognised as individuals, and helps us each create this feeling of achievement, personal satisfaction and connection (we’re keen on developing a sense of individual ownership rather than expecting others to make us happy at Aspirin). Our tool of choice is Motivational Maps.

Unfortunately, whilst convenient, generalised engagement strategies demotivate us when we realise everyone’s treated the same. We want to feel significant (in whatever way that means to each person), and generalised strategies create resistance – rather like the generalised use of antibiotics.

In these uncertain times, work can feel like a speedboat ride, with rapid changes in direction and hard bumps. Some people love this, whilst others feel sick and scared. Personalised approaches, based on data, allows managers to speed up and slow down the ‘boat’ experience to suit their teams’ motivators and keep everyone on board and engaged. After all, it’s impossible to perform at your best when you’re feeling sick, scared or … bored.

If we’re to create profitable growth consistently and stay ahead of the curve – even in uncertain times, then we need everyone to enjoy being in the same boat (i.e. our business), heading in the same direction and pulling together to achieve great things.

As Richard Branson said

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.


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