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Organisations spend an enormous amount of energy attracting the so-called best and the brightest.

But after the thrill of this chase – and securing the prized talent – what is HR’s employee retention and engagement strategy? What happens if that hard-won talent simply move on to your arch rival who woos them with more alluring pay packets, benefits and responsibilities?

Here are six tips boost employee engagement, productivity and enhance employee retention.

#1 Start by being genuinely interested in who they are, not just what they can do for the company

By the same token that customers are not merely wallets, your staff are not just an ‘asset’ to be exploited, they’re human beings who want to be valued and regularly communicated with. For those in your team who work remotely – especially in these uncertain times – arrange frequent video meetings to check in with them.

#2 Give your employees the opportunity to do good work
A crucial component of engagement is doing what you love in a meaningful setting. If your team are spending time learning about a subject they enjoy and can apply that in the workplace, it can be a tremendous boost engagement, productivity and retention.

Take an active role in devising a professional development plan with your staff and support them on their learning journey – from online e-learning modules right up to investing in a professional qualification.

#3 Be proactive in responding to issues

Employees won’t criticise your organisation on social media in the way an enraged customer might, (at least not while they are still with you) but responding to issues in a timely manner demonstrated to people they are valued. 

Listen closely to your team and try to help solve their problems. For the most part, people want to do produce good work that has meaning and helps their company thrive. Giving employees them what they need is an emphatic win-win.

#4 Demonstrate that you appreciate your team’s work
Small gifts, celebrating results and milestones, even small ones, help to nurture good feelings – also acknowledging personal events such as a birthday, as well as team events such as closing a big deal or finding a new client. Organisation-wide initiatives such as providing healthy food options and offering exercise classes can also boost wellness, morale and productivity.

#5 Reward positivity

Who in your team makes your organisation a great place to be? Who is considerate? Who is fun? Who is the problem solver? Who inspires colleagues to higher standards? Who has a positive influence on the place? Give them a role or tweak their existing position so that their positive influence can be felt more widely.

#6 Work for the greater good
This is getting more traction, especially among the rising crop of Millennials and Gen Zs. Is there a budget you allocate to each employee to donate to a charity of their choice? Or could the company donate a certain number of days of a person’s time to volunteer?

Parts of this article were first published by Morgan McKinley.