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Upscaling employee retention via incredible engagement tactics

Jessica Robinson

Last Updated:  

28 November 2023

8 min read

Profitability is the paramount concern for businesses so it should be. Every entrepreneur starts their business journey with the goal of attaining great success in terms of status, revenue, and profitability. But what do you think makes a business successful and profitable? Different people will answer this question differently. However, the fact remains that an organization is as successful as levels of employee engagement within it. 

This is the reason why business organizations in contemporary times pay great heed to employee engagement strategies. Did you know that as per Gallup, disengagement in employees results in 37 percent higher absenteeism and 15 percent lower work efficiency? This explains why employee engagement strategies are a vital part of any organization’s business strategy. On similar lines, organizations need to ensure high levels of retention given the exorbitant costs of high turnover.

As a business owner, you would have realized that ordinary strategies for boosting retention and engagement are yielding negligible results. Having said that, the need of the hour is to look outside the box. In contemporary times, we need some novel and extraordinary strategies to reach the desired levels of employee retention and engagement. That is exactly what we are going to explore in this blog that highlights some unique and creative ideas for engaging employees. So, let’s get started without much ado! 

Uniquely effective employee engagement ideas to drive retention

1. Mentorship programs for employees 

Lorman reveals that 74 percent of employees are keen on learning in the workplace to constantly upscale their skills in order to remain employable. Having said that, an organization investing in the learning opportunities for its staff will always have better prospects of facilitating high engagement and retention.

The corporate world is getting more and more dynamic with each passing day. Hence, even you would want your employees to be open to learning new dimensions essential for their individual success as well as the overall organizational prosperity. There is so much to learn, be it in terms of soft skills, hard skills, leadership skills, project management skills, and so on. With every ounce of learning, your employees will become better assets for the company.

Thus, employee mentoring programs will be a win-win scenario for everyone. Mentoring programs will expedite continuous learning in the workplace and employees would love the value they draw out of these programs. While employees will benefit in terms of professional development, your organization will be able to leverage a more skilled workforce.

Investing in your employees will always pay off! This is why industry leaders like Google, Microsoft, Accenture, and others have some of the most exemplary employee mentorship programs. Interestingly, some companies like General Electric also have reverse mentoring programs wherein subordinates mentor their superiors hence steering greater engagement.

2. A paradigm shift towards sustainability

Do you have a vision for contributing to the future of the planet with sustainable business practices? Well, if you do not, for sure you need to think about changing the status quo as it is our collective responsibility to save the planet. Moreover, there are some fabulous business benefits of sustainability that you must know about.

You will be amused to know that your company’s outlook on sustainability may be a crucial factor for engagement among your employees. Moreover, it could well be a determinant for your employees to decide if they want to continue working with you or not. To substantiate, as per Peakon Post, concerns regarding the environment have amplified by 62 percent and 128 percent among millennial employees and Gen Z employees.

Hence, you need to promote environmental conscience in the workplace and act for environmental conservation. In addition to obliging your corporate social responsibility, you can also boost retention by going green. Remember, green is the new smart! 

3. Employee rewards based on personal interest  

Do you think you can be more creative with your employee rewards? How about adding an element of belonging to the overwhelming motivation that employee recognition drives? As per HubSpot, 69 percent of employees assert that they will work with greater diligence when they receive appreciation and recognition. Of course, we already know how important employee recognition is for employee engagement and retention.

However, we can be innovative with employee rewards to cultivate exuberance in them! If an employee loves to binge-watch in free time, gift them a Netflix subscription as a reward. If an employee is a fitness maniac, reward them with free gym memberships. On similar lines, if an employee loves to travel during off days, reward them with some travel gear.

Personalized rewards will motivate employees to keep going and make them feel valued. Knowing that their employers and managers value their interests will further add to their delight. These personalized rewards can work wonders to promote positive relationships among employees and their superiors. That is what will serve as the perfect foundation for high engagement and retention.

4. Financial wellness programs 

If you have to retain your top-notch talents, you need to promote the idea of wellness in the workplace. Here, the kind of wellness we are talking about is financial wellness that a lot of employees need help with, in these times of the pandemic. A lot of companies have already instigated various financial wellness programs to support their employees.

Financial wellness programs are designed to help employees deal with their financial distress and cover their fiscal vulnerabilities. These programs initiated by employers extend privileges like early pay, budgeting, insurance reviews, goal setting, educating employees on credit, imparting knowledge of debt, and so on. Financial wellness programs are created to cultivate greater financial literacy in employees and assist them in fiscal emergencies.

Companies like Noodles & Co and Prudential have been able to inspire a great degree of retention in employees by offering excellent financial wellness programs. When are you taking a leaf out of their books? Engaging your employees with incredible financial wellness programs can help you join the league of the fastest-growing companies! After all, high engagement can make a business 21 percent more profitable as per Gallup. Did you know that? 

5. Emotional intelligence training 

There can be various reasons for high employee attrition in any field or a given organization. Among these, employee burnout is a common reason why employees first disengage and then quit. As revealed by Forbes, 52 percent of employees are reporting burnout experiences in the post-COVID-19 era. That paints a dreadful picture of the employee burnout scenario, isn’t it? 

Now, let us try to fathom some of the common reasons for employee burnout. Undue work stress coupled with the mental fatigue in the ongoing pandemic is of course the key reason. But stress in itself may not be a direct catalyst for burnout. People tend to witness burnout situations when they do not have control over their negative emotions, stress, and insecurities. In other words, in contemporary times, it is essential that employees have emotional intelligence.

EQ is becoming increasingly desirable in the workplace. People who have high EQ are able to manage and control their emotions in an efficient and positive manner to make prudent decisions. People who have EQ also have the empathy to understand the emotions of others and steer them in the direction of positive outcomes. High EQ also makes employees more capable of handling workplace conflicts. Your employees will love to learn this skill and evolve as individuals, isn’t it?

EQ will help them in staying optimistic, negating instinctive decisions, and supervising their emotions better in the workplace. Besides, the following are the key components of emotional intelligence each of which can be vital for your employees’ engagement. 

  • Empathy 
  • Motivation 
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation 
  • Social Skills 

If you are going to take the initiative to train your employees for all the above skills, they would have ample gratitude and allegiance to offer to you. Adding value to your employees’ personalities and professionalism by training them for EQ will be a great idea.

They will be able to learn about intrinsic motivation and empathy that are crucial for engagement, productivity, and retention. Moreover, it will assist them in managing their mental wellness more effectively as EQ will help them in keeping negative thoughts and apprehensions at bay.  Eventually, the lesser the instances of burnout the higher will be the rate of retention. 

6. Additional or better job titles 

Career advancement opportunities are quintessential for all employees. For them, it is not always about the salary hikes but they look forward to advancing their careers in an organization. You should look to provide your employees with their fair share of career advancement opportunities. In lieu of that, they will have enough reasons to commit their allegiance and loyalty to your company.

While we make a case for career growth opportunities, we also understand that giving promotions will not always be feasible. However, you can give your employees better job titles that can satisfy their career advancement aspirations. In fact, this is the least you can do to acknowledge the contributions of your top performers without offering monetary incentives.

For instance, you can change an employee’s job title to being an additional project manager to reward their work. Besides, you can come up with some interesting and fascinating additional job titles for your employees like engagement officers, ethical officers, sustainability officers, and so on. This additional sense of responsibility with a revamp in their original job titles can be a great idea to upscale engagement and a sense of belonging. 

Some additional ideas specific for engaging remote teams 

As per a Gartner CFO survey, around three-fourths of employers are keen on offering permanent work-from-home jobs in the near future. To add, as per Forbes, by 2025, more than 70 percent of the global workforce will be in some kind of remote working arrangement. Having said that, it is also imperative to consider some exclusive engagement strategies for remote teams. Here are some great ideas for high engagement in a remote organization. 

1. Virtual coffee breaks

Coordinated coffee breaks can give employees a great chance to unplug. In these virtual coffee breaks between work, they can have candid discussions and release their stress. Moreover, it will ensure that employees stay connected even in the absence of in-person interactions. In these breaks, they can talk about anything and everything apart from work to rejuvenate their minds. You too can join them for some fun as you too need a way to get rid of your success! Hence, these breaks can be a great way to deal with employee stress and also foster positive relationships in the virtual setup.

2. Themed days 

There can be various ideas for themed days on which employees can wear attires of the same color for virtual meetings or give their colleagues a virtual tour of their homes. Besides, there can also be themed days when employees introduce their co-workers to their pets or everyone orders the same dish for lunch. You or your HR department can be as creative as you want with these themed days. Make the most of them! Having these days once a week can be a great way to promote cordiality and happiness among employees. Eventually, this elation will add to high engagement and retention.

3. Social media shoutouts for employee recognition

Irrespective of whether your employees are working from the office or remotely, recognition is imperative. Finding ways of recognizing employees in a remote organization can put employers in a fix. However, the answer lies in the charm of social media that comes with a spectrum of opportunities. You can give a shoutout on social media to appreciate and recognize your top performers. You can post their pictures on the official social media handles of your business with descriptions of their achievements. Employees will love this kind of attention and acknowledgment on social media!

4. Internal newsletters

You can start a digital newsletter for your organization that is published once or twice a month. Through these newsletters, the top management can share their vision and plans with their employees. Moreover, employees too can express their thoughts, opinions, and insights with others from the medium of this newsletter. Besides, the newsletter can also feature the top achievers of the month extending recognition to them. You can engage your employees from the word go! Start by seeking their suggestions for the name of the company’s internal newsletter

5. Online corporate games 

You can choose from a wide range of online corporate games for your employees to stay engaged and connected. There is a plethora of virtual teams games like Ice Breaker, Video Charades etcetera to choose from. These games will assist your employees to have their share of relaxation and bond with each other in a worthwhile way. 

To wrap up, as you can see, these new and innovative ideas for engagement offer greater promise. You have to reinvent your employee engagement strategies and make room for the latest trends in the corporate world. Having said that, having exclusive strategies for in-house and remote employees will be a smart move. Let’s see how well you leverage these amazing ideas to accomplish exemplary business success. 

Jessica Robinson

Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.

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