The Two Faces of Engagement

Organisations face the risk of losing up to 55% of key talent because they're not fully engaged with their jobs, their managers or the organisation itself. This comes at an enormous cost in terms of knowledge loss, recruitment, on boarding - not to mention team morale and productivity.

One major ad agency in London recently lost several popular senior figures and attrition went through the roof as key talent panicked and jumped ship. Clients soon followed suit, and the agency is now scrambling to pick up the pieces. The risks are real and significant, whatever the size of your business.

So how do we ensure we engage and retain our talent? 

We now understand that there are two core components that influence whether people stay or go: current engagement and future engagement.

Current engagement is determined by a combination of past experiences with an employer, and an individual’s current experiences in their role and work environment.

Future engagement is determined by an employee’s expectations about their job, career prospects and their employer, or what’s known as “engagement capital.”

7 ways to engage and retain key talent

Engagement levels, both for now and the future, will depend on an individual’s rational and emotional commitment. They are going to be as interested in their alignment with the organisation’s mission and goals as they are with their personal challenges and goals.

So to drive engagement and retain talent, here are a few things every manager can do. 

  1. Show them some love: make sure they know they’re important to you, and how much you appreciate their work.
  2. Sit down with them regularly: listen and respond to their needs and concerns.
  3. Strive to be the best people manager you can be: working on your own skills as a leader enables you to lead by example and inspire your team. 70% of disengagement is because of poor management.
  4. Provide clear structure, role definition and career pathways.
  5. Give them a challenge: provide opportunities within their current role to stretch themselves.
  6. Support their growth with development opportunities: think about the 70:20:10 approach to how we learn.
  7. Be their organisational champion and let them shine. 

It's easy to others for how our teams feel, but these simple tips are within our direct control and will make a huge difference to the long-term stability and effectiveness of our teams.