employee engagement decrease

It is Employee Engagement season here at Optimum Consulting and 2024 is proving to be an interesting year! 

In my opinion, we are entering the first fully normalised period since the Covid pandemic, and the balance of employee expectations and employer expectations is certainly evident. Coming from an employee-led market with record low unemployment levels and plenty of jobs to a levelling of the playing field with more companies in financial stress due to the economic factors means that organisations must adjust. 

Many already have and more will do so… 

From our data, the top three things employees want are: 

  • Professional Development – including more regular coaching conversations  
  • Aligned values  
  • Reward – increase in salary!  

But with organisations running very lean and mean, and many looking at the balance sheets very closely and very often – the room for a salary increase for many is just not possible, so where will the pendulum swing? 

Tips to keep retention trending upwards: 

  • Train the managers and supervisors on how to hold proper performance discussions: clear expectations and coaching. 
  • Identify the people you really do not want to lose and wrap your arms around them – create ways for them to learn professionally; it doesn’t have to cost a lot but there are ways of developing in-house.  
  • Recognition programs: if money is tight and an across the board pay increase is not achievable then look at other ways, a small gesture goes a long way! 
  • Implement CX led metrics – reward those (gift voucher / day off in lieu) for any positive feedback received. Employee of the month / quarter initiatives – think smartly -or even better – ask the staff! what they would like as a reward! 

What one thing ties all these points together? 

The Performance Framework – it starts with solid and consistent measures, regular open discussions, honest feedback, rewards good performance. A win/win from both sides! 

This may seem an unusual root cause of the Employee Experience problem; but ties in with a good workplace culture and of course productivity. So, when was the last time you reviewed your performance reviews to make sure they fit with your current business model?  

General Manager – Consulting

Stephen joined Optimum in 2015 as the General Manager of the Consulting practice based in Brisbane. Stephen brought with him vast experience across HR consulting and executive recruitment, having previously worked for a global top tier talent management organisation and market leading companies.

Stephen has worked in the UK, Middle East and AsiaPac and adopts a solutions orientated, individual approach to all clients. He is dedicated to the development of the Consulting Practice nationally as well as providing quality delivery of projects.

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