When we think of the biggest challenges in today’s employment market, lots of things come to mind — from the skills gap to remote working. But there is a pressing issue that has often been overlooked: workers are bored.

According to the Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2024 report, only 23% of employees are engaged around the world — and there are plenty of reasons why this figure needs raising…

Not only are tuned-in staff bound to be more motivated (and get more done), but they will also integrate better with teammates. The result? A more productive, friendlier workplace, which has a positive knock-on effect on recruitment and retention.

Ensuring staff stick around is especially important whilst inflation continues and the employment market grows more candidate-driven, as these obstacles are getting in the way of organisations’ abilities to secure and hold on to top talents.

So, to stop staff from losing interest, we must look to the three Cs of employee engagement: compensation, career paths and culture. These foundational aspects of working life are crucial to keeping teams committed — but how do employers nail them?

1. Offer competitive benefits packages 

If there is anything that has been proven to raise employee engagement and support recruitment and retention, it is workplace benefits — with recent findings from Forbes Advisor showing that 40% of employers believe their staff members would resign for a role with better perks.

Which benefits you offer will depend on your team, but gym memberships are a particularly valuable option. Encouraging staff to exercise has been known to significantly improve their mental and physical wellness — and happier, healthier teams will always be more engaged.

2. Stay on top of employee well-being

Since the pandemic, many employees have struggled emotionally, leading to poor employee engagement and issues with recruitment and retention. For example, a staggering 83% of employees in financial services have considered changing jobs due to their mental health.

To combat this, employers should host regular check-ins to monitor and address well-being concerns. It can also be worth automating strenuous or time-consuming tasks, as taking these off your employee’s hands can help reduce boredom and stress and increase engagement.

3. Host regular social events

Team members can feel disconnected from each other when working remotely or in a hybrid capacity, causing loneliness and higher levels of burnout and absenteeism that ultimately end in resignations — a no-go for recruitment and retention.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to bring employees together and promote engagement. Virtual or in-person socials, such as pub quizzes, seasonal parties and after-work drinks, can help establish strong employee networks — motivating staff to work hard and stay on the ball

4. Recognise employee successes

Many people lose interest in tasks if they are not seeing any rewards — and this applies in the workplace. A huge 81.9% of Nectar survey respondents reported feeling more engaged the more they are recognised for their work, so employers must ensure staff efforts do not go unnoticed.

Simply telling your staff when they have done a good job — in private or in front of their colleagues — could be enough to encourage them to put the effort in. Non-cash rewards like gift cards also incentivise good behaviour, boost employee engagement and aid recruitment and retention.

5. Provide professional development opportunities 

Employees need direction to stay invested in their jobs. So, show staff they are on the road to success at your business (and give them a reason to stay put) by providing them with a clear route to reaching their career-related goals.

Training workshops and online courses can give staff something to work toward and inspire other employees to step it up a notch when they see their teammates progressing. Supplement these activities with regular progress reviews and you will have a good chance of maintaining staff interest.

6. Conduct staff satisfaction surveys

Open dialogue between employers and employees is crucial to ensuring staff needs are met — and employee engagement and retention levels stay high. After all, no one will put in 100% if they do not know they are valued.

Regular surveys can give you an insight into what you are doing well and (most importantly) what you can improve on. If you use employees’ feedback to implement the changes they want, they are more like to feel listened to — and want to commit fully to their role at your company.

7. Optimise your onboarding processes

When you take on new hires, it is not just about selecting candidates who seem genuinely interested in the role. You must onboard them smoothly and professionally to maintain employee engagement, avoid early resignations and limit staff turnover.

Get existing employees involved in the new hire’s onboarding by planning plenty of introductory meetings and assigning ‘buddies’ to show them the ropes. This will ensure they receive a warm welcome, want to get stuck in straight away and build lasting relationships that keep them around.

It can be difficult to juggle all the factors that contribute to employee engagement, but Howett Thorpe can help. We are a recruitment agency in Farnham, Surrey providing recruitment and retention solutions in business support and finance. To learn more, call 01252 718777 or email farnham@howett-thorpe.co.uk.