Improving employee engagement and retention

Anthony Haynes writes (or, rather, paraphrases): How to engage employees and how to retain them are major challenges for employers — particularly so when, as in many Western cities today, sectoral unemployment rates are low. There is a battle for talent going on out there.

A study by researchers from Babson College and Workday focuses on the role that networks can play in providing solutions to these problems. Networks, or the lack of them, play a major role in determining the quality of employee engagement.

Theoretically, then, employers could improve engagement and retention by helping employees to develop networks. Yet the research suggests that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

One might think that it’s simply a case of ‘the bigger the network, the better’. Yet the study suggests that it is not the case. Rather, what matters is that employees develop networks of the appropriate type for the stage of each employee’s career.

For example, new hires require networks that support productivity and inclusion, whereas those in years 2-5 of their job typically require networks that enhance collaborative efficiency and a sense of purpose.

The full story, with considerably greater detail and helpful illustrative cases, is available in the Connect and Adapt report on the Connected Commons website. It is available to download as a PDF here.


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