Most job seekers in general cite remuneration as a key factor in joining organisations. However, the key reason for leaving the organisation is usually not salary matters.

This should not surprise anyone. Ultimately there is more than just salaries that will retain an employee in the organisation.

Hence beyond wages, other factors such as workplace relationships, meaningfulness of one’s role, sense of one’s contribution and achievement and how one is engaged in the organisation attributes to staff retention successes too.

Thus it is not surprising that studies have shown that organisations that engage their employees meaningfully and effectively tend to be more successful in retaining their employees.

Gone are the era where workers are just an appendage to a machine or a digit in the production line. One worker then would not know what the other worker up or down the line is doing.

Neither does the worker knows how his or her inputs contributes to the end outcome of a product.

In modern day workplace, workers need to be aware of the how, what and why of their roles and how their roles contribute to the business.

They need to be motivated. They need to have a sense of contribution besides achievement.

Some organisations that TRG works with have this impression that employee engagement efforts cost money and distract employees from their work.

This is indeed a gross misconception. Employee engagement efforts do not necessary add to the business cost, and there are so many ideas out there that are practically free.

Here are some ideas that organisations big or small may consider implementing to create a workplace that is congenial to happy and motivated staff who in turn will stay longer with the organisation.


1. First Impression counts. Have a proper onboarding programme for new employees

It does not take a lot of time to ensure that a new employee gets to meet colleagues from other departments, understand their roles and “how we do things around here”.

If possible, have a welcome lunch for the new employee to get the latter acquainted with the others. As the first impression always counts, this will leave a good lasting impression on the new employee.


2. Offer a shoulder to lean on – Assign a mentor

Being new to an organisation can be quite unnerving and lonely.

A mentor can guide and help the new employee better understand the culture of the organisation, points him or her to the right people to get things done, lend an ear to grievances and be an excellent lunch partner.


3. Share challenges, celebrate successes

Organisations should set aside time to share with employees on how the business is performing. Be transparent about the challenges it is facing.

Tell it like it is. If there is something to celebrate, share it too. Treat your employees like family, and they will stay with you through thick and thin.


4. Be flexible. Employees have a life outside the organisation too

It is not impossible to practice flexi-work schemes at the workplace.

Mothers with school going children may wish to start the day earlier after fetching their wards to school and end the day earlier to tend to their children.

Some organisations put aside a few days a month for employees to work from home on those occasions that the employees may have to perform caregiver duties.

Workplace flexibility will incentivize employees to stay longer with the organisation.


5. All work and no play make employees jaded and burnt out

Most organisations have annual work plan seminar to evaluate performance for the year.

There are no stopping organisations from making work plan retreats fun besides celebrating successes and sharing plans for the year ahead.

This is where management gets to engage employees at all levels. Managers must not be afraid to let their hair down once in a while to make employees feels that you are human after all.


6. Form teams. Work as one

Whenever there is an opportunity, involve a new employee in work groups to brainstorm for solutions or only to organise a presentation session.

That said, consider forming work teams whenever the need arises because employees are engaged and tend to be able to feel like a member of the ‘family’ working in groups.


7. Send greetings, good wishes. They go a long way

What’s better than getting your salary at the end of each month?

A personal mail from bosses, of course. Do this often at each level.

It does not take much to wish employees a happy birthday, happy wedding anniversary, happy father/mother’s day, congratulations on completing a training programme or simply a word of praise for an excellent job carried out.

Everybody needs some attention sometimes. It cost nothing except that one minute or so to pen a note, but it means so much to an employee.


These are but some ideas to engage your employees.  Do consider doing some of these. You may be amazed how much good it will do for your organisation.