5 Employee Engagement Ideas to Retain Top Talent

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Managers can agree that employee engagement and retention are at the top of their priority list. The problem? Many employees in today’s job market feel uninspired by their work, get bored after 2 years and start job hunting for something new.


Quick turnover drains companies, both financially and creatively. Quantifying exactly how much it costs businesses to replace every employee who leaves is a challenge, but estimates are out there. Here are some highlights from a collection of estimates on the costs of employee turnover:

  • 6 to 9 months salary. (That’s well over half what you pay an employee in a year. For an employee making $100,000 a year, the cost of turnover could be as high as roughly $75,000. Ouch.)
  • 16% of annual salary for jobs with traditionally high turnover, such as entry-level media jobs
  • 20% of annual salary for jobs requiring mid-level experience
  • 213% (not a typo!) of annual salary for top-level executive positions, including CEOs

All these numbers point to the same basic conclusion: employee turnover is expensive.


Outside of financial burdens, employee turnover puts a ceiling on the quality of a team or individual’s work. The reason? Companies with high turnover have fewer employees with a high degree of institutional knowledge.


If most employees leave a company after just a few years, then the company never benefits from that golden combination of skills, talent, and critical institutional knowledge that helps business thrive.


Here are 5 employee engagement practices that can help you retain top talent:


1. Praise Your Co-Workers


It shouldn’t only be left to managers to praise good work. When you hear about someone’s achievement, go over and personally congratulate them. It’ll mean a lot to that person and they’ll likely do the same for you when your big wins come through.


Find a way of offering recognition that works for your personality and your schedule. This will make your intentions easier to deliver on.


If you aren’t exactly a smooth talker, then offering recognition during meetings might not be an option. Choose instead to write heartfelt letters once a month.


2. Promote Transparency and Collaboration


The modern workplace is evolving quickly as office locations expand and work-from-home becomes more normal. With this, organizations are met with the increasing challenge of maintaining transparency and team collaboration within a department across the workplace.


Encourage an environment where your employees can come and talk to you at anytime without judgement or repercussion. In a toxic environment, employees can't thrive and resentment builds until it implodes. If an employees feels they work in an environment of transparency, they are more likely to be solution-oriented, and they can comfortably navigate problems and get the job done. 


3. Offer Lifestyle Spending Accounts As a Perk


A perk that has quickly become mainstream for its flexibility, personalization, and cost and time-saving benefits for HR, a Lifestyle Spending Account is an employer-funded account for employees to spend on perks.


With Lifestyle Spending Accounts, HR experts create a perk budget for their team and each employee gets the power to use that money to pick exactly what perk they want and need most.


By personalizing your perks, you actively support your employees’ individual needs which demonstrates you care and want to help them reach their full potential. And that will always increase their happiness and engagement at work!


4. Bring in An In-Office Motivational Speaker


To shake up the workday, or start Monday off with some inspiration, Cooleaf recommends hiring a motivational speaker to come into the office. Maybe your team would benefit from a creativity workshop or team-building seminar to improve in-office relationships. Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn from experts and will come out of these experiences more energized and focused.


5. Send Out An Employee Survey to Get Honest Feedback


Sometimes it’s a lot easier for employees to say how they really feel in an anonymous survey. Use a tool like Culture Amp, TINYpulse or SurveyMonkey to create a survey and send it out to your team.


Surveys are one of the few ways to actually measure and track engagement, so definitely make this part of your efforts.


Ask questions like:

  1. How are you feeling? What’s the morale you see around you?
  2. What one thing will make the biggest improvement in your job, your team or the organization?
  3. How satisfied are you with your opportunities for professional growth?
  4. Do you have a good working relationship with your manager?
  5. Are you satisfied with your overall compensation?

When you focus more attention on engaging employees, the results are higher productivity, better retention rates and improvements in organizational success across the board. 


What activities has your company used to increase employee engagement? Let us know in the comments below.


For more fun and engaging ideas visit SnackNation! Surprise & delight your employees with America’s #1 office snack delivery experience.


Attention CEOs, Business Owners, HR Managers: Want to learn which steps to take to create a more productive work environment?

Watch our most recent webinar! with CEO Jenn Lim and Culture Chief Sunny Grosso




About the Author

Karissa Barcelo

Karissa was born in New York City, raised in Miami Beach, and she currently resides in Las Vegas. For 10+ years she worked as a script supervisor, producer and copywriter for various commercials, TV shows, films and more. She helped produce buzz-worthy content for the entertainment news show Dish Nation and interviewed celebrities at major award shows such as the Oscars and the MTV Video Music Awards. She also managed marketing campaigns for high-end luxury brands. Producing compelling content with a killer marketing strategy behind it is her passion.

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