Make employee engagement your 'hub' not an after-thought

Mar 28 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Employee engagement should be the "hub" around which staff retention and talent management revolves, not something that is addressed as an afterthought.

Workplace engagement specialist Best Companies told Management-Issues that engagement cannot be split from retention and talent management when it comes to thinking how best to change or drive a company forwards.

Its call follows research last week that criticised HR professionals for spending too much time focusing on staff retention and talent management at the expense of employee engagement.

HR consultancy RightCoutts found that just over four out of 10 (41 per cent) of senior HR professionals saw the retention of key staff as their organisation's most critical HR issue this year.

Recruiting enough talented individuals is also a hot topic, with 39 per cent of respondents making this issue a high priority, signifying that the skills shortage shows no sign of diminishing.

Yet at a mere 12 per cent, employee engagement emerged 29 percentage points lower than the top HR issue of retention.

But, argued Iain Parsons of Best Companies, employee engagement needed to be part of the mix all the way through.

"Organisations that take the time, will undoubtedly improve workplace engagement, and resultantly the motivation and performance of their people," he said.

There had to be a focus on developing individuals and establishing clear communication flows.

This in turn created a sense of "ownership" among teams and departments, both in terms of individual roles and responsibilities and for the overall success of the organisation.

"Rather than working on employee engagement in parallel with staff retention and talent management, a high quality strategic emphasis on employee engagement will as a matter of course positively influence both staff retention and talent management," Parsons added.

In addition, RightCoutts found that highly engaged workforces were better at attracting jobseekers, as success bred success.