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Keeping Employees Engaged

Did You Know:

Over 70% of all employees respond to competitors’ job offers during work hours?

Nearly 50% of all middle managers are either currently looking for another job or plan to do so?



As mentioned in the Why Do Employees Leave? section, turnover can be minimized when there is a high level of job satisfaction among staff. Managers are key in retaining staff, as management practices can greatly influence turnover intention. Supervisors must pay attention to staff needs and help create a positive working environment.

Managers must look for ways to keep their employees engaged. In a recent article, “Nurses Rank as Least Satisfied,” hospital employees emphasized the need for leaders to pay more attention to their concerns. They cite it as the best chance for improving the working environment.


Engagement has been defined as a persistent state of work fulfillment. This fulfillment translates into enthusiasm and passion, higher than average levels of concentration, focus and energy. Take away any of these factors and engagement suffers.23

Employee engagement has become a hot topic among managers because there’s growing evidence that employee engagement correlates to individual, group and organizational performance in the areas of productivity, retention, turnover, patient care, and loyalty. Since experiencing catastrophic events such as 9/11, our nation’s employees’ attitudes towards careers as taken a dramatic shift, and they need to see that their work matters. Employees become engaged when they see a connection between their work and the organization’s success. This message is successfully conveyed when there is clear communication between the supervisor and staff member.24

Stay Interviews

Employee interviews are usually conducted when an employee starts or finishes a job. Beverly Kaye, one of the world’s leading experts on career development, mentoring and talent retention, suggests that “stay interviews” should be conducted monthly on a one-on-one basis with the employee in a neutral setting.

According to Kaye, the most important thing managers should do is ask, “What can I do to keep you? You are important to me, and I want to know what I can do to keep your talent on my team?” If an employee says it’s about money and you do not have latitude on pay, be truthful and say, “My hands are tied on the issue of salary, so tell me what else I can do?” It is about communicating, being up-front, and telling the truth.25

Kaye outlines in her book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, the following suggested questions to include in stay interviews:26

  • What about your job makes you jump out of bed?
  • What makes you hit the snooze button?
  • If you were to win the lottery and resign, what would you miss the most?
  • What would be the one thing that, if it changed in your current role, would make you consider moving on?
  • If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department?
  • If you had to go back to a position in your past and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?

Employees also have the responsibility to ask for what they need and express these feelings and concerns to their supervisor. Supervisors are not mind readers.

Of course, compensation is important in attracting and keeping employees, but it is not necessarily the only factor in a person’s decision to take or keep working at a job. There are many other surrounding non-monetary issues which help support employee engagement and retention.

Employees who are treated well feel a sense of obligation to their job and organization. As a manager/supervisor, there are simple, yet powerful actions you can take to influence job satisfaction, morale, and productivity.


Click here for a comprehensive list of Tips for Motivating Your Employees.

Click the following links for:
How to Recognize and Reward Your Employees
Recognition and Performance Management Tips
Coaching Tips
Motivation Tools
Staff Professional Development

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