If there’s anything more expensive than having to hire new staff it’s having existing staff who aren’t engaged. Employee engagement is an area gaining increasing attention with companies realising that having staff who aren’t engaged is almost the same as having no staff at all.
Many businesses are exploiting apprentice opportunities and graduate development schemes in an attempt to regain employee loyalty. Although jobs are seemingly still scarce, the concept of a ‘job for life’ has long gone, which isn’t just a bad thing for employees but also for the employers. The loyalty staff once felt towards their employers has diminished with people keener on shopping around for new opportunities with greater benefits.
Talent management is a brilliant way to ensure that you can not only keep talented staff in the company, but you also keep them engaged by giving them greater incentives to strive for new goals. Most companies mistakenly believe that simply offering existing staff more money will ensure they want to stay in their current role and are surprised when they realise that’s not the case. A lack of a distinguished career path is a real bugbear for most staff, and unless there are set goals in sight employee engagement – and therefore productivity – will be lacking.
Another common mistake is to cut back on HR funds when times are tight, but again if you haven’t got a cast iron method to monitor staff then how can you manage their wellbeing and capability. If you think of it from a statistical perspective if all your staff are working at only 75% capacity that’s 25% of productivity your company’s missing out on. If that equated to a 25% reduction in profit that was visible on your company account spreadsheets then you’d quickly set about remedying it, but when its a hidden ‘cost’ it’s easy to ignore.
Considering how much time and energy companies expend in recruiting new staff, it seems daft that they aren’t willing to invest similar amounts in keeping the staff they already have. Apprentice and graduate programmes are expensive to implement but can produce impressive yields in terms of loyalty, so it’s worth keeping an open dialogue with staff to remove dissatisfaction.
In the past philanthropic employers like Cadburys put great stock in caring for their workforce to get the best out of them, perhaps it’s time for modern companies to look backwards before moving forwards, and to remember that in the technological age it’s the human touch that keeps a good company aloft.