Top 7 Ways Companies Can Retain Employees with Performance Engagement during the Great Resignation

Dave Cherrie
November 30, 2021

Following the Corona Pandemic, employees have been shifting jobs in alarming masses, a move that has coined the term ‘the Great Resignation’. Having had quite a period to reflect and experience a change in work dynamics, over 41% of employees have revealed that they intend to leave their jobs this year. This resignation does not affect just the entry-level employees but runs through every level of the organization. Over 68% of managers and 70% of executives are reported to have voluntarily resigned from their positions this year. 

The financial implications of employee turnover are high and can cost the organization nearly a third of the annual salary of that post, being costs as a result of loss of productivity, recruitment, and hiring. This value increases with the hierarchy and the duration it takes to find a replacement for that position. As a company executive, these numbers are worrying, and prioritizing the retention of your team is key to surviving this Great Resignation as well as maintaining the success of your company. 

Why are Employees leaving their Positions? 

In various studies conducted on the causes and impacts of attrition, employees have cited similar grounds for leaving positions in the companies they work for. The reasons include being under-appreciated, feeling less challenged, poor management systems, negative work culture, and a lack of open channels of communication, among others. Employees now seek a flexible work environment, career development opportunities, recognition for their achievements, adequate compensation, and a practical work-life balance. 

Executives and decision-makers in every organization will therefore have to find solutions that address these concerns if they are to retain their top talents. After all, engaged employees have been found to increase profitability by 21%, with a 59% reduction in turnover. Consequently, increasing performance engagement merely by 10% can lead to a whopping $2,400 increase in annual profits per employee. 

Disengaged Employees and How to Identify Them 

A disengaged employee is an unhappy employee. This can be detrimental to the company they work for, which is why it is important to identify early the employees who are not engaged in their work. There are many ways that companies can do this. 

One of the most effective ways of identifying disengaged employees is through periodic employee engagement surveys that address what individuals like and dislike about their jobs. By asking questions on these subjects, employers can get an idea of how employees feel about their jobs on a more personal level, and therefore find ways to address them before it’s too late. 

Another effective way of identifying disengaged employees is simply through the observation of their performance and behavior. It is important for employers to understand their employees, and thus notice any decline in performance or changes in an employee’s habits. The following are some of the common signs of employee disengagement at work: 

  • Lateness and Frequent Absenteeism: An employee who is constantly showing up to work late, if at all, may be disengaged from work. They will miss critical deadlines, not show up for meetings, take extended breaks, and simply find reasons not to be at work. 
  • Decline in Performance: When the productivity of a high-performing employee goes down, it might be time to check on their engagement. This will be evident in the decrease in quality of output, lower sales, and doing the bare minimum simply to survive in the company. A disengaged employee will have no interest in taking up any new challenges or working towards rising through the company ranks. 
  • Lack of Collaboration: Collaboration is an essential aspect of employee engagement in the workplace. Therefore, if an employee starts isolating from their team, avoiding team-building activities and company socials, it might be because they feel disengaged. Finding ways to make the employee feel included and valued is therefore fundamental. 
  • Poor Communication: When an employee goes low on communication, fails to respond to emails, and does not pick up any phone calls when working remotely, it may be a result of disengagement. Poor communication can go either way, with employees also being rude and making sniping remarks during meetings. It is important to get ahead of the issue and investigate the cause. Sometimes, it might simply be because they do not feel heard.
  • Detachment: An employee switching off during meetings could be a sign of disengagement. They will feel bored or frustrated with the work, often ready to give up at the slightest hiccup, complaining constantly, and making negative comments.
  • High Turnover Rates: Unusually high rates of attrition in your company is another possible sign of lack of employee engagement. When employees are dissatisfied with the work culture in your company, they will seek new and better opportunities elsewhere in search of fulfillment. 

How to Prevent Attrition 

Knowing the main pain points of your employees and being able to identify the earliest signs of disengagement are only the first steps of surviving the Great Resignation. What’s greater is knowing how to prevent attrition altogether. Setting systems in place so that your employees do not have to look for the proverbial ‘greener pastures’ elsewhere is no longer an option if you wish to retain your best talents

The war for talent is getting tougher. With such a large number of employees projected to voluntarily quit their jobs at the end of the year, there are multiple questions running through every employer’s mind. What percentage of my team might I lose by the end of the year? What happens if I lose my top talents? How then can I retain my team throughout the great resignation and create a diverse pool of skilled employees? It is about time to evaluate your attractiveness as an employer. 

It is easy for employers to become complacent about retaining their high-potential employees. The most effective organizations start planning for employee retention early on in each staff’s tenure by taking the time to understand their performance and engagement levels, as well as how they fit into the overall goals and objectives of the company.

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You can turn this around by creating an engaging work environment where your employees will want and choose to stay with you. Here are seven ways you can do this: 

  1. Create a Hybrid Work Environment  - The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the need for companies and organizations to embrace hybrid work environments as a factor in their long-term success and productivity. Employees have had to work remotely with distributed teams for the most part of the year, and they are now looking for work flexibility as one of the top considerations in their applications for future jobs. Companies that are not able to accommodate this work approach might lose out on their most competent employees. 

    It's no surprise that so many organizations are fast embracing a hybrid work environment. One of the benefits of this approach is the ability to foster collaboration and innovation—two vital components for any business. A hybrid work environment moves beyond the traditional office setting by providing employees with the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time, while still being able to connect with colleagues in a common office setting. It allows you to optimize your employee engagement by making sure that they are making the most of their different work styles. The secret is to find the right balance between face-to-face interactions and digital communications. 
  1. Measure Success  - If you choose to work with a hybrid work environment, then how you measure success will also differ. The flexibility in working hours offered to employees means that work is measured according to the employee output and not the hours worked. Therefore, instead of an employee dragging work throughout the day, they can work more efficiently during their most productive hours, as long as they meet their targets and milestones of the day. This element makes success measurable, and thus easier to determine the productivity of your workers
  1. Have a Reward System  - Employees are looking for recognition and appreciation for their efforts during this Great Resignation. Employee incentives and rewards, therefore, play a crucial role in your organization’s ability to retain employees and prevent attrition. Rewards help develop and enhance employee morale, laying a strong foundation for a competitive and motivated workforce. It is essential to create an incentive system that is both motivating and effective.

    One effective method of employee motivation is to reward them with incentives that appeal to their individual interests. The reward can be monetary, non-monetary, or motivational. These can range from bonuses and pay rises, to gift vouchers, membership packages, free products of your brand, extra days off, or public recognition. Acknowledging the employee’s milestones and offering motivation for them to reach their targets is also an amazing way to make them feel appreciated. 

    Having the right incentives in place will improve the overall performance of your employees as well as encourage them to put their best foot forward every day. 
  1. Foster Collaboration - Research shows that close friendships at work boost employee satisfaction by 50%. By building collaborative teams in your workplace, you will be able to increase, not only the engagement and productivity of your workers but also your employee retention rate. Build a positive work environment that supports community and teamwork, allocate team targets, create virtual and physical collaborative workspaces, and develop more inclusive policies. 
  1. Ensure Transparent Communication and Feedback - If you want to retain the employees in your company, you have to work towards clear and transparent communication at all levels of the organization. There should be clarity in the communication of the organization’s visions, missions, goals, and strategies. The job description of the employee and how it fits into the organization’s overall objectives should also be clearly articulated. 

    Additionally, offer continual feedback to your employees. Do not wait for an annual performance review to let your employees know how they are doing with the job. Give regular reviews and feedback to your teams, letting them know what they did right and what they need to improve on. This will keep your employees engaged every step of the way. 

    Ensure you also receive feedback from employees. Communication should never be one-way in a successful company setup. Value the opinions and inputs of your team, engaging them in decision making and in drafting policies that affect their day-to-day lives in the organization. 

    Employees often feel they have no choice but to quit if they are not satisfied because management does not listen or care about their concerns. According to a survey by Right Management Consultants, only 29% of employees feel their opinions count at work. Take this into account and create an environment where employees feel they can give and receive honest feedback without judgment. 
  1. Offer Career Growth Opportunities  - Has your employee grown in skill or rank since they joined your company? It’s human nature to want more for oneself. So, if your employee can no longer grow in your company, they will leave. Career growth can be in the form of promotions or simply a change of departments to allow the employee to experience and exercise different skills within their capacity. 

    You also need to pay keen attention to your company’s onboarding process since it can increase your employee retention rates by 82%. Over 88% of companies are failing in their onboarding process, and hence this is a great opportunity for you to work towards keeping your employees for a longer tenure. Adequately offering training during orientation and throughout the employee’s contract offers them opportunities to increase their competencies in both their hard skills and soft skills. Furthermore, avail your team of adequate resources and equipment to do their work proficiently and to stay up-to-date with the industry trends. 
  1. Increase Performance Engagement  - The market is now flooded with employees who are more capable, skilled, and experienced than ever before. So with competition for talent becoming increasingly fierce, HR leaders are looking for new ways to reduce turnover and improve employee retention. 

    How then can you make your company stand out as an employer of choice? You can start by offering your team members work that's not only meaningful but also engaging. An engaged employee feels a strong emotional attachment to his or her job, with a desire to put discretionary effort into it. They are more productive, have lower turnover rates, are more loyal to the organization, and are more willing to recommend it as a great place to work. 

How a Performance Engagement Solution like Arcade Helps 

Gamification has been proven to be the most efficient way to increase performance engagement in the workplace. Solutions like Arcade offer companies opportunities to turn work into play, keeping their employees hooked on otherwise repetitive tasks and feeling fulfilled every day of the workweek.

The idea behind gamification is that engaging employees with points, leaderboards, badges, challenges, and other similar techniques can increase engagement. Work is broken down into different challenges and competitions, then measured according to the key performance indicators of the company. 

For every challenge completed, the employee is able to earn virtual tokens which they can use to purchase an actual reward. Gamification gets your employees excited about hitting the next goal and winning challenges, motivating them to work harder and smarter. Since work is measurable, they are able to see the impact of their contributions on their team targets and company goals. 

As a result, Arcade gives employees a sense of purpose, creates a collaborative work culture, improves employee motivation, and offers recognition and reward for milestones achieved. It further creates channels for transparent communication, provides an effective hands-off management system, and best of all, enhances performance engagement. Basically, in every aspect, you need to retain your employees throughout this Great Resignation and exceed your productivity goals. Schedule a demo to see Performance Engagement and Gamification can help you keep your best people.

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