How to Keep Employees from Jumping Ship – Encouraging Engagement to Scale Your Workforce

Workforce teamwork within an organization - ConceptEmployee engagement, success and connectedness to their jobs directly affects a business’s ability to grow. In fact Gallup reports that employee engagement is consistently an important predictor of company performance. This means that whether you are looking to grow locally, scale internationally or further your business offerings with a new product line, having the right team in place is essential.

While employee engagement may seem obvious, executives today are faced with the reality that the labor market has changed, with employees frequently moving from one company to another. In past decades, people would work for one employer for many years. However, millennials have more recently introduced the trend of “job-hopping” in two years or less, which creates a unique challenge for organizations: They need to not just look for talent, but attract and retain it. Employees will often jump because they are not engaged, connected with, or invested in the company. So, how do you attract and engage employees to create a workforce that enables and supports company growth?

Creating a talent sourcing plan that goes beyond salary
To attract the right talent, organizations need to offer hiring packages that go beyond compensation and benefits. Today’s candidates look at many aspects of potential employment that go deeper than salary alone – often it’s about the position, opportunity for a career path, the office culture and the way that they can control work/life balance.

In the current competitive talent-sourcing landscape, every company looking to grow has to develop its own “DNA,” or unique company culture. Employees will usually leave a company because they lose a sense of belonging. Potential hires are looking for a company that has their best interests in mind, can feel like a second a family and has the right fit.

To create an enticing culture and attract the right talent there are many things a company can do, from creating social programs to encouraging employee progress. For example, to attract younger workers a business may offer activities during the work day, such as Friday theme days in which employees dress to fit the specific theme and take part in a competition. Company-wide recognitions, such as employee of the month are also incentives for workers, and can be selected based on performance, attendance and social involvement to encourage employee engagement. When it comes to ensuring a career path and growth, another incentive for employees is to create a structure that supports promotion from within the organization. To overcome the “jumping” jobs trend, it’s very important to show employees that they can develop careers over time, without searching for a new company.

While executives understand the need to establish a company “DNA,” they often fail to engage employees at their first interaction with the company – the hiring process. Accordingly, there are several best practices companies looking to attract and retain talent should follow:

Enable potential new hires to experience the job. The hiring process should be professional and efficient, and offer candidates opportunity to experience what it means to work at the company. Rather than just interviewing prospects, have them shadow workers so they can see what the job entails and guarantee it’s something they would enjoy doing. Giving them the opportunity to get a full view of the business ensures that they feel it’s a fit and have a sense of belonging before accepting an offer.

Train managers to conduct interviews. Although business leaders want to believe managers are the best individuals to interview candidates, they may not necessarily have the skills to do so. Provide training for managers, whether individually or in a group, with interview tips and best practices.

See who’s sitting in front of you. Don’t focus solely on the resume. It’s important to look for the passion, right attitude and a fit for your company’s DNA. Unlike a person’s character, skills can be taught, as needed.

Involve the C-suite. According to the 2016 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study, employee engagement, like culture, has become a CEO-level issue. When joining a new company today, individuals want a CEO who they can look up to and rely on to lead the organization. It’s very important that employees feel a connection to the leadership and that CEOs take the time to communicate directly with staff.

Establish a clear career path for new hires. From the time a candidate interviews, make it clear that the company supports his or her individual professional goals and progression. Set up a mentoring program that enables employees to talk with colleagues about how to progress within the company, communicate with them regularly about opportunities and support a culture of hiring from within.

The need for employee engagement
While pay and benefits will remain important as candidates conduct their job search, the importance of employee engagement, setting a career path and creating a sense of belonging is priceless. Because of this, HR teams and executives need to create sourcing plans that attract and retain talent, including cultural programs and mentoring. And as we look to recruitment and retention over the next five years, we will need to keep an eye on generation Z and the company priorities that will ensure their long-term employment and commitment.