Will you be the reason your best people stay?

Staff attrition can be one of the most costly expenses for businesses and many would argue that effective employee engagement is one way to avoid losing your best people. Do you, as a manager, know what makes your staff members tick and are there ways to ensure you keep your best talent within the business? Let’s take a closer look at employee engagement and what you as a manager can do to develop and keep valuable talent.

Cornerstones of employee engagement

Gone are the days of money and promotion being enough to motivate staff. Today’s employees are looking for more. People are more aware of their own personal career goals and want to work in companies that help them achieve this. They look for organizations that have a vision and culture that aligns with their own personal values so that they can feel more purposeful in their daily tasks.

It’s not enough to know that they have a job of work to do, they want what they do to mean something to someone, to make a difference somehow in someone’s life. In other words, by simply having a company culture, vision and goals that aspire to something good, already has employees engaging more with the company and the work that they do.

The only way you’ll know if you’re achieving this is by having open two way communication channels where employees share their ambitions and provide feedback on the company and their roles in it. Often a personal vision can inspire a larger vision for the company. Ideas from staff can foster greater collaboration within the organization and increase engagement between different departments.

Providing constructive feedback to employees in a way that nurtures their talent communicates to employees that they are valued. They are less likely to look elsewhere to build their careers if they feel there are opportunities for growth within the organization and that they are making a positive contribution.

Value of engaged employees:

Engaged employees are more creative, more innovative and bring a positive energy to work. They find smarter ways to do things and are more willing to collaborate with others in order to implement an idea. Because they are happy in their work environment they are also 87% less likely to leave.

Most importantly 70% of employees that are engaged have a better understanding of how to fulfill customer’s needs. Engaged employees can help an organization to build better relationships with customers resulting in better customer service, engagement and retention which can have a very positive impact on the business bottom line.

Role of managers in employee engagement:

A DTI survey shows that the number one requirement that employees have of managers is that they inspire those working under them. Inspiration drives the motivation to do more and be more. The role of managers is changing from being a watch dog to being a coach. It’s less about the position of being a manager and more about being someone employees can look up to as a positive example.

A different way of looking at managing is to consider having less ego and more friendship, while still retaining the respect of being their superior. This can be achieved through building authentic relationships with employees and getting to know them, finding out what’s important to them both inside and outside of work.

It’s about taking the time to really listen to them and provide constructive feedback on their ideas and in this way letting them know that they are a valued team member. Inspiring people is not just about what you say and do, but how you make them feel. If they feel valued, they’ll be more willing to contribute to the vision of the organization.

“Managers affect their staff by their attitudes, values, standards, confidence, commitment and passion.” And this is especially important in challenging economic times when there is the temptation to focus on the bottom line rather than positive ideas that could lead to innovation. It’s in times like this that employees look to take their cues from managers. If you can inspire your staff and keep them engaged amidst business challenges then you’re far more likely to win their loyalty.

To achieve engagement the single most important element is a positive relationship with their manager. More than salaries, benefits, opportunities for promotions or even work life balance, the respect and support of a manager is what will make most people choose to stay within an organization. When a manager is supportive and inspiring, yet still challenges them, employees gain a sense of pride in what they do. They feel valued and know that what they do has a purpose. When managers show belief in others and resilience in the face of challenges it inspires their team to stay engaged –and that is the key to keeping your best employees.

Carolyn Blunt is Managing Director of Ember Real Results and an expert in contact centre people. To hear Carolyn speak further on this topic visit Future of the Contact Centre Conference, 23rd February 2017, Park Plaza Victoria, London.

For more information on people solutions for your contact centre contact Ember Real Results on 020 7871 9797 or email info@emberrealresults.com

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