Employee engagement equals retention

Employee engagement has a significant impact on individual performance as well as the performance of the company as a whole, and research from Harvard Business School backs this up. With that in mind, it’s important to get employee engagement right to ensure your business is in a position to grow and flourish. 

Here are three questions you can ask yourself to determine if your employees are engaged – whether they’re mortgage brokers, loan processors, bankers or operational staff.

1. Do they care?
We’ve all witnessed the difference between employees who care about their job and those that don’t. Think about going through the checkout at the supermarket. There’s the teenage kid who serves you, barely making eye contact, limiting conversation and constantly checking their watch, longing for their shift to end. And then there’s someone who strikes up conversation with you and asks about your plans for the weekend. It’s pretty obvious from these two examples which person cares about their customers and their job.

Employee behaviour speaks volumes about whether they’re engaged and passionate about what they do, or if they just want to get their paycheck and get out. Often you can identify whether an employee truly cares about their job through their language, what they talk about and how they interact with customers.

2. Do they go the extra mile?
People who care about what they do will often go above and beyond, without being asked. They’ll take responsibility for tasks and make things happen. That may be evident in the way they stay back after hours to chase up a customer enquiry, or in the way they remember their clients’ children’s names. 

Keep in mind: because these people truly feel that they’re a part of something important, they’ll also want to feel appreciated for what they do. It’s important to recognise this behaviour to keep these employees engaged.

3. Do they trust you?
Trust and communication between employees and management is vital to ensuring employee engagement. If employees are engaged, they’ll want to work with their managers to achieve best outcomes – both for themselves and for the business. 

This will often come through in effective communication, or the ability to ask for feedback Look out for these signs that your employees trust and appreciate management.

How to improve employee engagement
Everyone has different drivers, both within the workplace and out. Gen Y is typically more motivated by ongoing training and the prospect of career development. Gen X, on the other hand, can be more driven towards job stability and flexible work conditions. While these are only some general observations, it’s up to you to get out there and talk to your people individually.

Get to know what makes your people tick, what drives them and what makes them excited about their work. You may do this by conducting surveys, individual interviews or town hall sessions. However you go about it, ensure your approach is transparent and genuinely geared towards your team’s best interest.

Roland Youakim is Director of specialist recruitment agency Platinum People Group. He has been guiding businesses within the mortgage broking, aggregation, financial planning and retail and third party banking sectors since 2010. Roland is passionate about building creative recruitment strategies and efficient processes that deliver better candidates in less time.