Employee Engagement Strategies to Increase Retention


How employee retention benefits your business

Does retention also benefit employees?

How does increased employee engagement improve retention?

How can your business improve its employee engagement strategy

Ready to improve your employee engagement?


Employee Engagement Strategies to Increase Retention

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment an employee has to the organisation and its goals.

Sounds important, right?

Well it is, and if your business isn’t prioritising engagement you’ll miss out on the numerous benefits it can offer, including higher productivity, increased employee loyalty and improved business outcomes.

But what employee engagement strategies are available to you, and how can they help?

How employee retention benefits your business

If your organisation is lucky enough to operate in an industry where demand for jobs is high, then maybe you don’t think employee retention is so important. After all, easy come, easy go, right?

For one thing, it’s not as easy attracting new employees as it once was. Almost three quarters (73%) of employers reported having difficulty attracting new employees last year—nearly triple the number from 2020 (26%).

But it’s not just about the hassle of having to replace employees that leave, there’s a big cost too.

Research by Oxford Economics and Unum estimates the average cost of turnover per employee (earning over £25,000 per year) to be £30,614. This includes the logistical costs of hiring a replacement employee, but also the lost output while a new hire gets up to speed, or ‘optimal productivity’.

Your employees are an investment, and when you lose one, you’re losing all of that training, time and expertise that has gone into them. Conversely, businesses that retain their best talent are more productive, see higher employee engagement and improved business outcomes. A Gallup survey found that companies with an engaged workforce deliver 147% more earnings per share than other businesses in their industry.

Does retention also benefit employees?

There are also benefits for an employee that chooses to stay with the same company for the long term.

Staying with an organisation for a number of years will increase the chances of securing promotions within the company, while they also benefit from the consistency and stability of knowing their company’s culture, structure, and their role and responsibilities.

If a company offers a competitive range of employee benefits, a comprehensive recognition and rewards programme, and supports employee wellbeing, this is also an incentive to remain at an organisation for the long term.

How does increased employee engagement improve retention?

The relationship between employee engagement and retention is clear, and it’s backed up by numerous studies on the subject.

Disengaged employees cost on average £2,732 per person in recruitment costs compared with engaged employees.

An effective employee engagement strategy should develop and maintain a supportive working environment that workers want to continue to be a part of.

As global analytics and advice firm Gallup puts it:

“Employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their organisation, reducing overall turnover and the costs associated with it. They feel a stronger bond to their organisation’s mission and purpose, making them more effective brand ambassadors. They build stronger relationships with customers, helping their company increase sales and profitability.” 

How can your business improve its employee engagement strategy

So how can your organisation improve its employee engagement strategy and increase talent retention?

Reward your employees

A lack of appreciation was reported as the number one job satisfaction factor in a survey of 200,000 British workers.

With this in mind, it’s essential to include rewards and recognition as part of your engagement strategy. A study by BDO UK on pay and rewards found that recognition was a key driver of talent retention.

This should include rewards for outstanding achievements, but also awards for work and personal milestones, team success and simply saying ‘thank you’.

Customise employee engagement for your organisation’s culture

Bersin’s 2018 High-Impact Rewards Survey found that the best performing organisations don’t just implement ‘best practice’ employee engagement strategies. They think about how a concept or programme will apply to their unique culture and goals.

Indeed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to employee engagement. Every company is different, and you need to consider what your workforce will really value, and how these solutions will relate to what you’re trying to achieve.

Don’t forget the importance of user experience

Implementing employee engagement solutions is all well and good, but they have to be easy to access and use if adoption is going to be high.

The modern workforce, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are digitally minded, and they expect ease of use, mobility and self-service.

This requires you to work with an experienced vendor for these programmes and platforms that has spent decades perfecting the art of improving employee engagement. 

Consider offering flexible working

The Covid pandemic has supercharged the shift towards hybrid and remote working, and 20% of Brits now want to work full-time remotely.

Providing remote working as an option doesn’t just benefit the employee, but the organisation too. You’ll no longer be restricted to a local talent pool, but have the chance to employ the best talent from the industry wherever in the country—or world—they live.

Make sure all employees have a clear progression path

Knowing we’ve got a clear direction and path for progression is essential for job satisfaction, as well as an increased expectation for future satisfaction. It’s imperative that all employees are provided with a clear personal development plan (PDP) and that this is reviewed regularly with line managers, with completed milestones rewarded.

Feedback is also essential.

When employees aren’t given regular feedback on their work, attitude and performance, 40% of them are likely to become actively disengaged.

Ready to improve your employee engagement?

Employee engagement has an impact on every crucial business metric, including productivity, loyalty, motivation and wellbeing, so isn’t it time your organisation started prioritising it?

If you’re looking to improve your employee engagement you need to work with a partner who has a proven track record of delivering ROI, and that’s where Sodexo Engage comes in.

We have over six decades of experience in the employee engagement business, and we’ve developed an award-winning suite of products that we’ll tailor to your organisation.

We’ll work with you to identify:

  • the best incentives and rewards strategy
  • an effective employee benefits platform your workforce will genuinely value
  • solutions that support the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of your team

Ready to find out more?

Get in touch with our employee engagement strategy experts and take the first step towards a more effective workforce.