The Impact of Poor Employee Engagement on Small HR Teams

By PeopleFirst

As a small HR team in a scale-up environment, it is essential to understand the impact of poor employee engagement on retention. Employee turnover is one of the most significant costs to an organization, with replacement costs ranging from 200 to 250% of the employee's salary. Poor employee engagement is often a warning sign of an impending turnover issue, and HR teams must be proactive in addressing it.  


Recognizing Symptoms of Poor Employee Engagement

In a conversation with Dr. Jim, we explored the symptoms of poor employee engagement. One of the most significant issues is employee turnover, and it is crucial to keep an eye on job satisfaction and morale. Disengaged employees are less productive, less satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to leave the organization.  

Dr. Jim emphasizes the importance of evaluating job satisfaction scores and how they are being articulated from the manager level down. Managers play a crucial role in connecting employees to the organization's mission, vision, and values. HR teams must delegate responsibility for employee engagement across the enterprise, with a particular focus on the manager level.  

"If your managers aren't actively involved in your employee engagement efforts, you're going to see this pop up in your exit interviews."  


The Role of Managers in Employee Engagement 

Managers are the first line of defense when it comes to employee engagement and retention. They play a critical role in creating a positive work environment, building relationships with employees, and providing opportunities for growth and development.  

Dr. Jim emphasizes the importance of managers in retaining top talent, stating that "they're also your first line of defense when it comes to retaining the people that you want to retain." HR teams must provide managers with the tools and resources they need to engage employees and create a positive work environment.  

"Your managers play a big role in how connected the enterprise is at the line level to the overall mission, vision, values of the organization as well as the job." 


The Transformative Impact of Employee Engagement on Company Reputation and Costs

The downstream impacts of poor employee engagement can be significant for small HR teams. It can lead to a negative company reputation, increased costs, and a heavier burden on the HR team. Dr. Jim emphasizes the need for HR teams to delegate responsibility for employee engagement across the enterprise to avoid being blamed for poor retention rates.  

"Because you're part of a small to mid-size organization and you're HR and you're a small HR team, a lot of the blame will get pointed to you just because everybody shifts this to your plate, instead of sharing the burden across the organization." 


Conclusion and Future Outlook 

In conclusion, poor employee engagement can create massive retention headaches for small HR teams in scale-up environments. It is crucial to keep an eye on job satisfaction, morale, and turnover rates and delegate responsibility for employee engagement across the enterprise. Managers play a critical role in retaining top talent and creating a positive work environment.  

As organizations continue to grow and evolve, the importance of employee engagement and retention will only increase. HR teams must be proactive in addressing these issues to avoid the downstream impacts on company reputation and cost. By delegating responsibility and providing managers with the tools they need, HR teams can create a positive work environment and retain top talent for years to come.  

"If you have any questions or want to have a conversation, a broader talent strategy conversation on how you can better engage your team, happy to have that chat too." 


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Tags: Employee Engagement, Attrition / Retention