We discussed ways to improve employee engagement through company culture. Companies with high employee engagement are more profitable, innovative, and enjoy greater employee loyalty—reducing turnover and labor poaching by competitors.
How damaging is poaching? Very.
Poaching high-value employees is commonplace, especially in high-tech fields. Tech giants Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe Systems were sued for conspiracy when they allegedly agreed not to poach talent from one another. A federal judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement of $415 million to compensate engineers who lost promotion and compensation opportunities due to the secret agreement among companies.
In another high profile case involving poached tech talent, ride-sharing biggie Uber hired 40 top research scientists away from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)
to build an autonomous automobile. While Uber had earlier announced a partnership that allowed the company to benefit from NREC’s well-regarded robotics research team, the company went ahead and hired away the scientists, using vast investment funds to offer salaries NREC could not match.
Whatever your area of industrial specialty, it is a key HR function to oversee programs to retain top and trained staff. Incentives are a time-honored way to increase job satisfaction and build loyalty to bolster against a potential brain drain as experienced by NREC.
Lucrative compensation, flexible scheduling, and bonus pay make a clear difference in convincing influencers in your company to remain. But to many, money is not everything. If the dollar figures are close, relationship matters. Improve and nurture relationships with your talent through low-key but high-impact incentive programs. Motivators include:
: Innovation is important in any field. Whether it is a product design, or a new way to increase safety on the job, recognize efforts of workers who look around their workplace and find a way to do it better. Offer conference opportunities
to employees looking for networking and training opportunities.
Share the love
: Institute peer-to-peer recognition programs that allow and encourage employees to recognize the talents, moments, and efforts taken by fellow workers.
: Integration of work-life balance is becoming increasingly important. Steer clear of a company culture that prohibits workers from attending important events in the lives of children and family. Plan company events that allow kids—and parents—to play. Offer scheduling flexibility when able, and reach out with support when the unexpected happens. More than money, people remember how employers behave during a family or other crises.
In addition to institutional incentive programs, try a flash rewards programs, or mobile gamification. Offer gift cards, time off, employee recognition, redeemable tokens, travel or other unique incentives.
An engaged workforce is an intangible asset for any company with plans for longevity. Manage, inspire, and engage your human resource with the right culture, incentives, and recognition.