3 Ways to Engage and Retain Employees in 2018

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With the beginning of every new year, we have time to reflect on what resolutions we can make to improve our lives both at home and at work. At work, we face challenges in managing teams, primarily obstacles that stand in the way of productivity and retention. When about 51% of currently employed adults are looking for a new job, how can we create a culture that encourages employees to stick around and stay motivated?

Here are 3 ways you can engage and retain your teams this year:

1. Commit to Recognition

What’s a low cost, high impact way to shape a positive work culture? Employee recognition. When your employees feel recognized for their efforts and time, they feel valued and are motivated to maintain a high standard of work and increase productivity. An employee who isn’t acknowledged can feel disposable, left out, and disengaged – which creates negative associations with their workplace and job. Having management teams who commit to appreciating employee accomplishments can go a long way to retention and engagement.

So where should recognition come from? According to a Gallup workplace survey, the most memorable recognition comes from the employee’s manager [28%], followed by a high-level leader or CEO [24%]. A culture that promotes well-deserved praise at all levels can create a work environment that thrives off of positive behaviors and rewards.


2. Create Attainable, Frequent Milestones

A common practice in corporate workplaces is to have annual employee evaluations. At those times, a promotion, raise, or another type of reward may be given as a show of appreciation. When a year seems so far off, how can your teams be motivated to stay on track?

Giving people a sense of progress can help focus their work to look beyond tedious day-to-day tasks. Having smaller milestones that lead to the long-awaited evaluation can direct your employees towards accomplishments and behaviors that align with their role and your company’s culture. Since everyone is different, you can customize these pathways depending on individual areas of improvement and specific projects or challenges.


3. Focus on Personal Development

The past few years have produced a wave of professional development strategies for employee retention. From online courses and certifications to conference opportunities, there are more options for people to sharpen their skills. We are now at a point where we recognize that employees want to improve their professional skill sets, but what about the proficiencies that might help them personally?

As we look into the new year, your employees are most likely reflecting on what personal goals they want to set for themselves. Some resolutions might be: 

  • being more financially stable
  • spending more time visiting relatives
  • making healthier decisions
  • reading more books

Ask your staff what personal goals they are setting, and see how you can help. In the case of financial stability, you can host financial education programs at your workplace or connect employees with retirement counselors that can help them with budget planning, building credit, and more. You can create similar opportunities to support them in reaching other goals too, but the first step is to ask how you can help. If they don't have specific goals for themselves, encourage them to create a happiness list so you can gain more insight on how you create a happier work environment for them.



Create a happier workplace culture that can engage, attract, and retain employees through 2018 and beyond. Our team at DH can coach individuals and teams on how to do it, see which pathway works best for you: 


Learn more about DH Coach|sulting here


About the Author

Briana Krueger


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