How improving employee engagement can impact your talent strategy

A recent article on got me thinking about how important employee engagement is to your talent strategy. The article quoted the results of a survey that revealed the #1 reason employees might want to leave: stress.

While the results might not surprise you, at the very least, they should make you stop and think about why employees might be stressed at your company. Do you really know how your employees are doing right now?

But the article also made me think about the importance of connecting employee engagement with your talent strategy. Employee engagement is the real "human" in human resources. It's about connecting with your talent, and thus, it's a crucial component of how you attract and retain them.

So, as you are making the case for more resources next year, or the need for employee surveys and management efforts, maybe you could throw in a few ways those initiatives might help you find quality talent.

Here are three examples of how improved employee engagement can help boost your talent strategy:

  1. Engaged employees are more likely to refer someone to the company. We've known for years that referrals are the best source for new employees. Good people refer other good people, who refer other good people, and so on. If you haven't heard of a Net Promoter Score, which looks at customer loyalty, you should look into it. Something similar can be done with employees by asking this simple question: Would you refer a friend or family member to work at your company?

  2. Engaged employees work harder to create opportunities for everyone. People are the engine that fuels growth. Nothing creat es opportunities -- both internally and externally -- like success, and everyone wants to work for a winner. I'm not sure what it's like to work at Facebook or Google, but their meteoric growth and popularity is certainly not hurting their recruiting efforts. And again, if things are going well and people are happy, refer to #1 above.

  3. Engaged employees are better able to share in the vision of the company. When employees are stressed and disengaged, they start to slip down Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They are not thinking about how the company is doing, or what the company is trying to achieve; they are worried about their families, their income, or their co-workers. An engaged employee is more likely to work toward the company vision and be more creative and innovative. This kind of shared vision and dedication is contagious and highly attractive to potential employees.

As you think about these examples, don't forget the non-employees in your workforce (such as contingent/temporary workers and independent contractors). While you shouldn't treat them the same as employees, you should make sure they are engaged and productive as well. It's no secret that many temporary employees become full-time employees, especially in many professional positions. Make sure you're not ignoring them for the first six to 12 months they're working at your company.


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