If people are the fuel for business engine, a high performing
group of people is key for business success. Creating a Talent Strategy that puts people first encourages high performance.

With studies, news anchors and special programming all geared
around the lack of employee engagement savvy business leaders are working
diligently to harness the power of employee engagement and unleash the
potential of their workforce.

Employees who are respected, valued and motivated to perform are
more productive, dedicated and satisfied on the job. While the advantages of
having happy, committed employees are well known; the best way to achieve high
levels of employee satisfaction is still a mystery and challenge for many
hiring managers and business leaders.  

It’s a waterfall effect – Employees who feel valued and listened to have higher
levels of commitment; employees with higher levels of commitment typically
reinforce that commitment by being more involved with their jobs and with the
company as a whole; and employees who are more involved are typically the
organization’s top performers.  In the last 18 months there have been over 2200 articles, blogs, reports and media interviews directly linking company performance to employee engagement. 

Increasing employee commitment starts with learning about how an individual
feels about their job as well as their thoughts on the company, their career
and the relationship between the two. Similarly, encouraging employee
involvement and showing appreciation for it can be highly effective in steeping
employee engagement, strengthening participation, and escalating contribution
in achieving overall business objectives.

As a business leader, hiring manager or even as a member of the Human Resources
department it pays to implement specific steps that help you increase employee
involvement, unleash the spirit and passion of your workforce and ensure your
organization utilizes and retains the right people.

Create a Talent Strategy That Puts People First– Adopt a talent
mindset throughout the organization. Take the stand that people ARE the FUEL
for the business engine, then define and implement a strategy that continues to
perpetuate that belief.  It starts with a
hiring process that attracts and selects the right people to move the company
forward, deliver on business initiatives and amplify the company culture.  Employee engagement is about giving people
the freedom  to have a greater impact on
their own job and have an influence on the overall goals and strategies of the
company. When an individual’s financial and professional success is closely
connected with the company’s success, they have more reason to sink their teeth
into producing win/win outcomes.

Customize
– Rather than have one employee engagement and retention program
that suits all, understand that among your workforce is people and people are
individuals with unique wants and needs. 
For one employee, recognition might be the catalyst for job
satisfaction, for another it might be work/life balance and yet for another it
might be earning top compensation and bonuses based on achievement of
goals. 

Exploit all 5 Families of Employee Retention – Employee
engagement strategies that include creating a culture where relationships
are initiated, maintained and fostered are paramount.  Taking an inventory of the environment
and
making improvements that make your office a place people want to be is key.
Other retention families include support, growth and compensation.



Fostering Relationships

Ask, How Are We Doing? – Create opportunity for
employees to tell you their thoughts and how they feel about their job and the
company. Consider conducting stay interviews or informal surveys that encourage
ongoing dialogue between managers and employees about the company, their
responsibilities and changes they’d like to see. Asking for the feedback is the
first step in showing you care, implementing suggestions and making the changes
happen is where the rubber meets the road. 

Encourage Collaboration – Show employees their
thoughts and opinions matter by encouraging involvement and participation in
key decisions. Listening to a wider range of ideas and perspectives always
illuminates other opportunities or areas of improvement and often brings fresh
ideas to the table.

Recognize – Praise, recognition and appreciation increase
the feeling of value and keep employees motivated to perform.

Create Pathways– Working with employees to
discuss their career aspirations and future positions within the organization creates
alignment between individual and organizational goals. When employees
understand there is a future for them and opportunity to advance their career
path, they are more likely to stay productive and remain with the company.