It’s time to prioritise employee engagement and retention

In January, and then again in July and August, KPMG surveyed hundreds of CEOs in Ireland and abroad. And the results show rapidly changing priorities as a result of the pandemic.

Pre-Covid, global business leaders had few concerns relating to talent risk - which is all about employee disengagement and turnover. But now, they believe this is the biggest threat to their long-term growth.

Here in Ireland, interest rates beat out staff retention on the list of CEO worries. But our employers recognise the growing need to prioritise employee engagement, support and training. They know employees are key to surviving the current crisis and facilitating future growth.

It’s time to start thinking long-term

CEOs have a lot to deal with right now, so the fact the employee engagement and retention is a high ranking concern says a lot.

Earlier this year, when the pandemic hit, many long-term business plans and marketing strategies were made redundant. The process of pivoting projects, rethinking policy, adjusting to remote work and constantly meeting new challenges took precedence over everything else. But it’s been tiring.

Newly remote staff are working longer hours and recent research from Laya Healthcare found that 91% of Irish workers are now struggling with anxiety. Although the challenges are still coming, this approach to work isn’t sustainable and is likely to impact staff retention, wellbeing and productivity if overlooked.

Employee engagement

Make employee engagement part of your digital transformation

On a more positive note, there is plenty employers can do to take action.

We recently wrote about how to promote employee wellbeing and maintain company culture while working from home. Both of which are key to nurturing engagement and loyalty in a remote environment.

Traditional tips for increasing employee retention, such as providing recognition and flexible schedules, remain relevant too. But introducing digital tools can play a part as well.

At this point, most businesses have settled into the reality of remote work. New tools and policies for communication and project management may even have made processes more efficient. Now it’s time to think about how you can take employee engagement online.

Managers are key here, but employee engagement tools like Officevibe, Culture Amp and TINYpulse can assist them - especially if morale is low. These tools can check on workloads, monitor stress and obtain anonymous feedback. Tools, like Fond and Nectar, can be used purely for rewards and recognition too.

Upskilling is key to long-term engagement

Another survey published by KPMG this month also showed shifting priorities among HR executives in Ireland and further afield.  They see talent development as the key to future growth - 72% say reskilling is most important.

As the need for digital talent grows among businesses, it makes sense to underscore recruitment with internal reskilling. This can also provide staff with a sense of purpose and progress as they work from home, which is key to long-term employee engagement. In the present circumstances, many HR executives are embracing online learning solutions.

Speak to Prosperity

Whether or not you decide to pursue a long-term work from home policy, it is time to reflect on talent risk within your business. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our expert team who will be more than happy to share their industry insights with you.