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When we talk about employee engagement, what do we mean? We're referring to the relationship between organizations and their staff, and the goal of creating organizational success and professional wellbeing in the workplace.

Though many people refer to employee wellbeing as "happiness," it's better defined as a combination of role clarity, ability to do one's best work, feedback and recognition, as well as a compelling company mission/brand; those constitute the foundational components of employee engagement.

A recent Gallup study, State of the American Workplace, found that only 33% of US-based employees are considered "engaged." The cost of unengaged employees in the US is between $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity. And, as an employer, you don't want your employees to be jumping ship, yet over 51% of US employees say they are actively looking for a new job or openings.

The mindset and mentality of employees and the way they perform under your leadership is key. Employees now want engagement, transparency, and interaction from their leaders, who must create work environments that provide a support network to employees as they strive for off-the-chart results. Gallup's study found that only 4 in 10 employees think that their supervisor or someone at work cared about them.

It is no longer the norm to stay in one organization for the duration of one's career, and it's much easier to transition not only from job to job but also between industries. Considering such workforce fluidity, employers now have to work overtime to engage their staff; it's now a two-way relationship, and both parties need one another in order to achieve great results.

Let's take a look at three ways that employers can engage with—and work to successfully retain—staff.

Help your employees grow into successful professionals

The importance of building your employees' strengths is an easy concept if you believe in them as individuals. If they see that you support their decisions and work with them to succeed, they will soon start striving for—and attaining—great results. And giving credit where credit is due is of utmost importance.

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image of David Lloyd

David Lloyd is CEO of PostBeyond, an employee advocacy platform that enables companies to leverage the collective reach and influence of their employees' social networks to drive measurable business results.

LinkedIn: David Lloyd