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The Truth About Employee Engagement & Acquisition

Updated for 2023

Organizations continue to struggle with finding, attracting and retaining employees. And after they have done that, they struggle with creating the workplace conditions necessary to drive employee productivity. To manage responsibly, companies increase budgets and resources (money and people) on engagement initiatives that simply do not work. So what in fact is the truth about employee engagement and how do we make it effective?


The Industry of Perfecting Employee Engagement Best Practices

Billions of dollars are spent on employee attraction, retention, and development, yet employees remain disenchanted with their roles and disenfranchised from their companies. Companies increase recruitment personnel and expenses to hire employees to do the necessary work, but they are not engaged or retained. One in three American workers report they are chronically stressed on the job, and mainstream press reports that more than half of US workers are looking for new jobs.


Today more than ever before, employee-centric needs assessment, aligned solutions, communications, and evaluation measures are critical to successfully executing a growth and productivity strategy. Today, the truth about employee engagement and retention is that it is necessary to understand the real reasons why people come to the organization. For instance why people stay, and why people would or wouldn’t work for the organization again in order to responsibly intervene, reduce human capital expense, and increase productivity.


Our Take on Employee Engagement Best Practices

These conditions are what prompted us to write, and Indigo River to publish, our latest book titled EmployER Engagement: The Fresh and Dissenting Voice on the Employment Relationship that became available in January 2020.

Some Facts to Illustrate the Truth About Employer Engagement:

  1. Successful organizations will find the people necessary to do the work that needs to get done.
  2. Organizations know that employee engagement scores are not going up. Despite enormous increases in spending, employee engagement scores remain flat or low. Doing more of the same is a mistake. Companies just keep surveying employee engagement, but they never get anywhere.
  3. Attraction and retention are consequences of employee and employer engagement.
  4. HR may have responsibility for recruitment, but Operations Management needs to be responsible and accountable for retention. Turnover expenses, direct and indirect, must be allocated to operational managers, their budgets, and their bonus opportunity. If an organization really wants to reduce turnover, start holding managers accountable.
  5. Becoming a better employer requires asking, hearing, communicating, and acting.
  6. Organizations can and must become Preferred and Engaged Employers.


EmployER Engagement was written by the team here at Work Institute for organizational leaders who are willing to innovate their people strategies in order to stay ahead of their competition, and for organizations who are tired of paying out too much for bad results from conventional employment relationship practices.


Update How You Think About Employee Engagement

Available now, EmployER Engagement: The Fresh and Dissenting Voice on the Employment Relationship is likely to provoke mixed emotional reactions, rational and irrational debates, and logical agreement. For some this research-based narrative will validate current thinking. For others, it may trigger contentious reactions.


In total, EmployER Engagement provides the rationale and proven techniques to shift to a financially and relationally balanced leadership perspective, and the tactics necessary to become a preferred employer. If you would like more information on employee engagement best practices get in touch with us today!