I’m not trying to add to your distress, but there is some recent disturbing information that should concern all employers. Apparently, the Gallup workplace study has discovered two successive years of annual decline in engaged employees. Alarmingly, the pattern has continued into 2022 as less than one-third (32%) of full or part-time employees are engaged in their work. Furthermore, 17% are actively disengaged, which is a full percentage point increase from the prior year. Dangerously, the ratio of engaged to disengaged is shrinking as employers continue to fight the battle to reduce employee turnover.
A strong employment brand can reduce employee turnover
The necessity of product branding is undeniable. For example, branding is how a product creates loyal customers. Proper branding reflects everything the item stands for, promises value and builds trust. Interestingly, the brand extended by the positive employment experience of your company can be curated and promoted to improve hiring and reduce employee turnover. Consider the impact of giving a voice and identity to your company’s progressive work culture. Imagine how effectively you can position this brand to target candidates who contribute to your organization’s talent pool.
Human resources can’t do it alone
According to Gallup, the greatest cause of a workplace engagement program’s failure is that these initiatives are considered “an HR thing.” Through interviews and studies, they found that employee engagement programs are “not owned by leaders, expected of managers nor understood by front-line employees.” Considering this recipe for failure, it's easy to see those efforts to reduce employee turnover don’t stand a chance. An entry class in branding 101 teaches that this vital message must be consistent and widespread throughout all levels of the organization.
Begin with the employee experience
Gallup presents ideas on how to develop an employee experience program from start to finish. The plan includes a development strategy plus descriptors of the seven stages of the Employee Life Cycle. Helpfully, the authors offer improvements to onboarding, as well as exit programs. In totality, the process reveals how the employee feels about the employer’s purpose, brand and culture. Consequently, “these feelings directly affect employee engagement, retention, performance and development.”
Moving the needle
Attracting top talent is only one benefit of a strong employment brand. For instance, employees who have a positive experience are more likely to recommend an organization to other high-talent individuals. Conversely, those disengaged employees are likely to discourage others and become a disincentive to co-workers. Gallup states that, globally, one-third of employees agree, “the mission and purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.” However, by moving that portion to 80%, “business units have realized 51% reduction in absenteeism, a 64% drop in safety incidents and a 29% improvement in quality.” Engaged, content co-workers can boost morale, improve working conditions for others and reduce employee turnover.
Follow the leaders
In addition to the troubling news of disengagement, Gallup discovered companies that are getting engagement right. Celebrating their Exceptional Workplace Award winners, the company noted important attributes that can reduce employee turnover. These 41 companies experienced an average 70% engagement level! What’s more, they have 14 engaged employees for every one that is actively disengaged. These organizations with exceptionally high employment engagement have lower absenteeism, higher productivity and lower employee turnover. Further, their product quality has improved as well as their customer loyalty.
Learn from mistakes. Correct the course
For nearly three years, businesses have had to experiment with destabilized work options and environments. On the other hand, employees have had a reckoning of their own, sometimes resulting in vacating the workplace all together. Today’s organizational leaders have a unique opportunity to reduce employee turnover and launch a modernized employee experience to secure their future.
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash
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