The 3 Big Areas of Focus for Increased Employee Engagement

In a candidates’ market like the one we’re currently experiencing, there are two things that happen:

  1. It’s more difficult to successfully attract, recruit, and hire the best candidates in the marketplace.
  2. It’s more difficult to successfully retain the best employees within your organization.

Unfortunately, some hiring managers and company officials pay a lot of attention to the first item and not as much attention to the second item. This is unfortunate because when a company loses a top employee, it’s usually to one of their competitors.

What’s worse: not hiring a candidate you really want to hire because the person accepted the offer of a competitor OR having a superstar employee leave your organization for a competitor?

The answer: they’re equally awful. The problem is that just about every survey, study, and report regarding employee engagement says pretty much the same thing: it’s at an all-time low. That means even if you’re able to successfully attract, recruit, and hire a superstar, chances are good that you won’t be able to retain them.

An organization’s hiring process is only as good as its retention efforts. You can hire the best, but if you don’t keep the best, what’s the point of hiring them?

Below are the three big areas of focus for increased employee engagement:

#1—Social responsibility

This is a crucial element when dealing with the Millennial Generation. Millennials do not just want to work for the company that makes the most money or is the most successful from a profit point of view. Their definition of success varies from that of previous generations. Namely, they believe that in this capitalist society of ours, organizations have a responsibility—even an obligation—to give back to society.

As a result, they generally seek out employment with organizations that have made a commitment to social responsibility a part of their overall brand. In addition, they’re more likely to stay with a company that has made that commitment once they become an employee.

#2—Career development

Once again, money and compensation alone does not convince the best employees to stay. Why is that? Because superstars can command top money just about anywhere. What they really want is to develop and grow their careers.

They want to acquire new skills. They want to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. They want access to all of the new tools and technologies. Your organization must be able to consistently provide these things, or top employees will start to look for them elsewhere.

#3—Leadership training

It makes sense that the best employees within your organization are either leaders or aspiring leaders, would it not? This is what these employees want: they want to be recognized as leaders (or potential leaders) and they want additional training to help them become better leaders. There are numerous reasons why providing this training makes perfect sense, but the most important one is obvious: if you don’t provide it, then you’re at risk for losing these employees, quite possibly to the competition.

If you have leaders within your organization, then you should be doing everything you can to recognize them, develop their careers (see #2), and position them to move up the ranks. Not only will you increase the chances that you’ll retain them, but you’ll also increase their value over time.

Does your organization excel in all three of the areas listed above? If not, where does it fall short?

Think about the top employees within your organization. How would you feel if they left you for a competitor? Have you taken steps to prevent this from happening?

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to