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Posted: January 24, 2011

Five great ways to keep employees engaged

Turnover can be expensive

Derek Murphy

The economy could be turning a corner. Experts say there is real reason for optimism and the trickle of economic data is better than expected. This means 2011 will bring good news to companies, right? Well, it depends on how engaged your employees are at their current positions.

Based on 2010 data from HR Solutions, only 27 percent of employees are actively engaged. The remaining 73 percent is divided between ‘ambivalent' (60 percent) and ‘actively disengaged' (13 percent).

As engagement levels continue to decline, employee turnover is expected to increase in 2011, which can be an expensive problem. Employee turnover cost can equal up to 150 percent of the employee's annual compensation figure.

People's engagement with work is directly affected by their experience within their organization. In other words, if you are the manager - you are responsible for creating an engaging work climate.

If you don't want turnover to be the next drain on your budget, keep these tips in mind:

• Meet with your team members regularly throughout the year, not just at appraisal time. Review progress on their development plans and on their career planning. If there are stumbling blocks, ask: "What do you need to successfully meet this goal?" Do your best to provide what they need.

• Know what aspects of the job interest and excite your employees, and then provide them with opportunities to pursue these.

• Empower others to contribute at higher levels through providing special assignments, constructive feedback, and targeted development opportunities.

• In addition to giving feedback, solicit feedback from your direct reports about how you can improve your own performance. Listen carefully to what was said, and thank people for taking the time to give you feedback.

• Encourage the team to take responsibility for their performance. If you take responsibility, the team delegates both initiative and risk-taking upward to you. You lose their creative input, initiative and problem solving, and, ultimately, their greater involvement.

As a manager, you have the ability to influence motivation and help increase engagement levels in employees. When motivation is strong, performance is usually also high.
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Derek Murphy is CEO of TBC, a global assessment company with over 4 decades of experience, specializing in 360s and survey customization. Our hosting platform, TruScore®, allows you to manage all of your talent management assessments in one central location. Request a demo to discover why some of the most recognized brands in the Fortune 1000 chose TBC.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

I forgot to mention, but if you're a manager who is unsure where to start when detailing someone's strengths and weaknesses, then you probably just need a refresher course on some options available. Sites like are a great starting point, but remember that the key point is that you speak directly to your employee as a person. They'll appreciate it. By Bucky House on 2014 04 16
I think a key thing we could conclude from your helpful pointers is the value of employee performance reviews. Being able to refocus any criticism about one's performance into a friendly chat with a superior about the right direction to take can be huge for someone's morale. By Bucky House on 2014 04 16

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