This employee retention speaker and employee retention author is a huge proponent of employee engagement. Employee engagement should be an important factor in an organization’s employee retention strategies BUT…don’t kid yourself…engaged employees quit all the time or are recruited all the time by other organizations. Employee engagement and employee retention are NOT the same. This “headhunter” and employee recruitment expert will tell you for a fact that I don’t have one client I recruit for that says to me, “Find me a disengaged employee!” Employers want the engaged employee to come to their organization.
I have seen countless engaged employees quit for a better opportunity, more growth, a better culture or a variety of reasons. Organizations need to realize that they need to focus on their employee retention as well as their employee engagement. One thing to also understand is that I have seen unhappy employees still be engaged. There is a certain segment of solid, dedicated, hard-working employees that no matter how badly they are treated, will stay engaged because it’s just part of their personality makeup. That being said, that’s not the vast majority of employees. Most employees need to be given C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise) in order for them to want to stay in an organization.
High potential people tend to be very well engaged. They also tend to be a target for other organizations. People are after your high potentials. The high potentials will usually remain engaged unless they are treated very poorly, then, they just quit when the right opportunity presents itself. Solid, hard working people that grind away day in and day out are not as high profile but are none-the-less susceptible to being either recruited or will tough it out until something presents itself. They are usually engaged as well. Organizations want them as well. You need to monitor how you are taking care of your high potentials and hard working employees as part of your employee retention strategies.
Employee engagement is a key driver in employee retention and should not be ignored. It’s also and invaluable way to drive productivity and other initiatives that drive organizational results BUT a pure focus on employee engagement as the end all and be all that drives employee retention is a dangerous path to do go down because engaged employees quit all the time. Remember….Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® because C.R.A.P. Works!