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Talent Management Goal Planning & Alignment Employee Engagement

Improve Employee Engagement with Goal-Based Talent Alignment

December 5, 2013
3 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Here’s a fact you probably wish wasn’t true: your employees aren’t as motivated as you think or even hope they are. It’s statistically likely a large proportion of your workforce is mentally checked out. A recent study by Gallup showed 70 percent of workers are disengaged in their current roles.

Don’t think your company is the exception. Right now, your best employees might be daydreaming about leaving your office for greener pastures. In fact, a study on candidate behavior from CareerBuilder found the very idea of a passive candidate just might be a myth on par with Bigfoot. The study found 77 percent of full-time employees are either open to new opportunities or actively looking for a new job.

So what exactly is the problem here? Perhaps it’s a lack of communication between upper management and the people on the ground who keep your company moving. Another study, this one a partnership between ClearCompany and Dale Carnegie, found only 5 percent of companies communicate goals on a daily basis. For most, these goal check-ins happen monthly or quarterly, giving employees a lot of time to lose sight of important objectives and feel adrift.

Proactively keeping goals top-of-mind mind throughout the organization is the best way to get your workforce motivated, improve employee engagement, and reduce employee turnover. But before we get into how reinforcing goals can improve employee retention, we must first understand why it’s imperative to reduce turnover.

The True Cost of Employee Turnover

It's no secret employee turnover can be extremely costly for organizations of all sizes and for employees at all levels. How costly? For employees making less than $50,000 a year, the cost of employee turnover is about 20 percent of the employee’s salary. Certainly, this isn't a cost most companies are looking to incur.

Unsurprisingly, things get even more expensive the farther up in the organizational chart you go. For employees in senior executive positions, turnover can cost as much as 213 percent of their current salary. But those are just the costs of employee turnover in dollars, which doesn't take into account how turnover can waste human capital, momentum toward goals, and hurt employee retention.

Talent Alignment For Better Employee Engagement

One of the reasons your employees are dreaming of greener pastures is likely that they've become unmotivated and disengaged. Despite efforts to communicate them, many workers don’t understand how their contributions fit into overall company goals and organizational objectives.

With a system that visualizes and tracks goal alignment, you can increase employee engagement by helping your people see how their efforts and work fit into the company as a whole. Goal alignment helps everyone from entry-level to C-Suite understand their place in the organization. Instead of feeling like a cog in the proverbial machine, they can see exactly how their work brings value.

Reducing Employee Turnover With Goal-Based Recognition

Goal-based approaches to leadership can also help in ensuring you recognize the right people for a job well done. Every employee wants to feel like their contributions to the company are being recognized. By focusing on how individual employee and team goals contribute to an overall company strategy, you will see who is adding strategically to these goals, and be able to recognize the right people.

This also helps to cut down on stressful and needless office politics. Keeping goals in view means people are staffed appropriately, and end up with credit for their hard work. After all the hard work your team has put into recruiting and hiring the best people, you can't afford to watch them walk out the door. Employee turnover isn't just costly -- it's also bad for employee engagement, morale, and productivity. Keeping your organization aligned with goals means more informed and motivated workers, which equals greater employee retention.

What do you think? How do you use goals in order to keep employees motivated and reduce turnover? Share in the comments

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