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Retaining talent through engagement

Employees who don’t feel their work contributes to their organisation’s mission are 630 percent more likely to quit their jobs compared to their peers who do.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 70 percent of employee engagement depends on the manager. Employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with the organisation, which in turn reduces overall turnover and the costs associated with it. However, employee retention is a major challenge for organisations that are seeing record turnover rates as the economy rebounds from the pandemic.

Losing employees is not only a burden on the organisation’s budget. When employees leave, the remaining employees will shoulder greater responsibilities and take up heavier workloads, which often results in their morale and motivation taking a hit. It is also important to recognise that it takes significantly longer to recruit someone than it does for them to give their notice and depart. To prevent high turnover volumes, leaders need to get on the same page with employees and build employee engagement.

Creating a shared vision outside a shared space

A recent McKinsey survey shows that respondents who indicated they were “living their purpose” at work were much more likely to sustain or improve their levels of work effectiveness, had four times higher engagement and five times higher well-being. Employee engagement is built on four pillars, including how employees feel committed to the organisation, how they identify with the organisation, are satisfied with their job and are energised at work. But helping employees to be motivated and engaged is more challenging in a hybrid work setting.

Less in-person time makes it more difficult for managers to understand how team members are feeling and what specific support they need. However, no matter how skilled employees may be, leaders still need to help them grow in new ways, and no matter how much an employee is struggling, leaders are responsible for attempting to help them find their footing.

Research by Google suggests that one of the top behaviours of great managers is having a clear vision and strategy for their teams. Those who lead effectively set attainable goals that allow their teams to be more productive and create a shared vision with buy-in from the team. In return, connecting the team's contributions to larger organisational goals helps to improve performance and retain top talent.

Turning Great Resignation into Great Retention

The third annual Employee Experience Trends Report for 2022 shows that only 65 percent of employees plan to stay with their employer in 2022, down 5 percent from 2021. Middle managers saw the most significant decrease in intent to stay at their jobs in 2022, according to the survey.

As employees continue to seek organisations with a mission they believe in and careers that offer fulfilment beyond compensation and benefits, leaders need to enable employees to pursue and realise their professional aspirations, if they want to attract and retain the right talent. Change begins with connecting workers to a meaningful purpose they can feel proud to contribute to when they show up for work every day.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “leadership development boosts employee engagement, increases the organisation’s ability to deal with gaps in the talent pipeline, and reduces the headaches and costs associated with turnover.” At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering development that gives managers practical tools to help solve real-life challenges. We offer an extensive menu of courses, workshops and coaching programmes, ranging from communication skills through to executive leadership development. In most cases, we design the interventions specifically for each client, but we also offer a wide range of off-the-shelf programmes for those who prefer this approach. For more information about our programmes please contact Simon at

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