• Culture

How to improve employee engagement and retention

June 23, 2022
4 min read

Keep your people happy and loyal with these great tips

‍Across the world, businesses are suffering from what’s known as The Great Resignation, or rather, The Great Disconnect.

You might think this is from a job description or pay issue, but that’s actually not the case. Some of the highest quit rates come from employees who are actively disengaged. Low engagement teams typically endure turnover rates that are 18% to 43% higher than those teams who are highly engaged. 

Great employees are a significant resource for any business. They work hard, stay with your company for longer and motivate others to do the same. The last thing you want right now is to lose your top talent. Thankfully, there’s something you can do to improve employee retention. 

Research shows that instilling a culture of engagement in your workplace can keep your best people on board and loyal to your company, and we are here to tell you how to do precisely that!

What is employee engagement and retention?

Employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and the workplace. It helps you to measure and manage perspectives of your organisation’s culture. 

Employee retention is defined by a lower staff turnover rate, meaning fewer employees leave for other opportunities. This reduces the need to hire new employees to replace those who have moved on to new things. 

When employees don’t feel valued at work, 34% are more likely to leave. In a recent survey, 79% of employees who left their roles said it was due to a lack of appreciation. Building a recognition-rich culture will help your employees see that the company values them and their contributions to the overall success of their team and the company. 

By adopting employee appreciation habits, not only are you going to improve employee engagement and retention, you’re going to boost performance and employee wellbeing.

Why is employee retention important?

It’s no secret that retaining top talent is key to promoting organisational growth, but when the culture is weak and engagement is low, recruiting and retaining employees can be expensive and time-consuming. High staff turnover is also going to impact the productivity and morale of all employees negatively, so here are our top reasons why retention is so important:


Retain experienced employees: With fewer employees leaving, your current employees will gain more experience. This is extremely valuable to your business because experienced employees can contribute more, develop their skills, and are crucial for educating new recruits.

Teamwork is tough with a high turnover: If you’re experiencing high levels of turnover, it can mean employees will have an even more challenging time trying to bond with each other and work productively together.

The hiring process isn’t easy: It can take six weeks to fill the average position, which means that the hiring process takes up a lot of HR’s time. Higher employee retention reduces the need for constant hiring and off-boarding.

Benefits of employee retention

Increasing employee retention helps reduce the issues listed above and significantly impacts employee engagement. But the potential business benefits don’t stop there, as increased employee retention can also improve productivity and employee satisfaction and increase overall revenue.

How to improve employee retention through engagement

Here are some practical ways to boost your employee retention through improving engagement.

Positive company culture: Creating a culture that encourages, supports and motivates employees to do their best work is a great way to improve employee engagement and retention. Whether you have a bring your dog to work day, company days out (virtual events for remote teams) or a quarterly team planning meeting, you want to remind your employees why they want to work for your company. 

The elements that make up company culture will be unique to every organisation. However, determining the desired culture will be down to your leadership.

Development opportunities: Employees today value development and education opportunities within their roles, and they want to know what lies ahead regarding progression within the company. Create a clear growth path for each employee and provide them with the resources needed to achieve their personal development goals. 

Development opportunities need more than an annual review. Leaders should actively coach and mentor their teams to help them reach personal goals. The support will help keep them engaged and motivated as their career progresses.

Ask for feedback: Are you unsure if your employees are engaged with their work? Try asking them! Asking your employees for feedback is a powerful way to find out what you need to improve to keep them engaged. 

Feedback gives you an insight into the employee experience, and they also have the opportunity to share input on issues that matter most to them. Many people struggle with confidence, so if you want raw, honest feedback, do it anonymously. 

Look after employee wellbeing: Sometimes, it’s not about adding things to an employee’s list of things to do. Understanding how employees relate to their work is essential for avoiding work overload.

We can all struggle professionally or personally, so be sure to make employee wellbeing a priority. Companies that invest in staff wellbeing have seen an increase in productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism, improved staff retention and better overall company performance. 

Rewards and recognition: Don’t discount the importance of a total rewards package. This includes everything from monetary bonuses or gifts to recognition. Employees often cite lack of recognition as a driving factor for lack of engagement. Placing great importance on your employees’ successes and latest achievements can help drive engagement and improve retention. 

Encourage employees also to recognise each other when they go above and beyond expectations or when someone has helped them reach one of their weekly goals.

Keep employees happy with Mo & Huggg: Employee engagement software such as Mo makes rewards and recognition super easy! So many companies still use outdated employee reward and recognition schemes that feel like empty gestures. With today’s talent craving purpose, meaning and authenticity, there is truthfully no one-size-fits-all approach.

A text conversation between two colleagues. One is thanking the other for some good work and treating them to a a Pizza Express pizza through the Huggg gifting platform

With Mo, you can design and automate your rewards and recognition program, but more than that, you can implement it in a meaningful and impactful way. Mo also empowers your employees to reward one another spontaneously when they stumble upon an example of greatness. 

You can now use Huggg through Mo to send your employees a range of gifts, from an easy coffee you can redeem in Cafe Nero to a seasonal hamper or Bloom & Wild bunch of flowers! 

If you want to know more about Mo, get a demo from their team of experts today!