Strong Workplaces Focus on Engagement, Not Entitlement
So, what exactly goes into creating a terrific workplace? Transactional approaches such as free lunches and bring-your-dog-to-work day, office parties — you name it — will be welcomed by your staff. But they only serve to build entitlement, not engagement.
Instead, focus on improving your workplace culture. It will help you create an environment that attracts, retains, and develops the talent needed to ensure success. And that’s the type of workplace employees become engaged with.
Top Workplaces prevent employee turnover through the strength of their culture, a positive workplace experience, and external recognition as an employer-of-choice.
Nationwide, almost half – 44 percent – of employees at typical organizations admit they’ve searched for a better job in the previous month, Energage research shows. But it’s a different story for employees at Top Workplaces. Only 36 percent have recently considered a new opportunity. And among the highest-ranking Top Workplaces, just 14 percent say they were searching for a new job. Needless to say, Top Workplaces excel at employee retention.
As senior leaders come to understand the indisputable fact that engaged employees deliver superior business results, they jump to the wrong conclusion: If they can make employees engaged, better results will follow. They embrace transactional approaches to engagement, such as rewards, free food, bring-your-dog-to-work day, office parties – you name it. Sure, these will be welcomed by your staff. But they only serve to build entitlement, not engagement. Because here’s the catch: You can’t make employees be engaged. They become engaged or they don’t.
Focus on workplace culture. Strive to create the kind of environment that attracts, retains, and develops the talent needed to ensure success. This is the type of workplace employees become engaged with.
It’s easy for leaders to make employees feel disengaged through poor leadership behaviors. Similar to trust, engagement is built over time but can be damaged in an instant.
So, how do you make sure you’re not losing experienced employees faster than you’re able to attract new ones? If you don’t want to fight the war for talent on two fronts at once, you need both a good defense and a strong offense.
In other words, now’s the time to make sure your culture is in great shape so you can improve employee retention and reduce employee turnover.
Laura Brinton is content marketing director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. Energage is The Washington Post’s research partner for Top Workplaces.