Employee Engagement: A Key to Employee Retention

June 5, 2019

In the May Round Table meetings, we discussed the topic of “Employee Engagement: A Key to Employee Retention.” For your convenience, notes from each chapter meeting have been recorded for you to review.

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Below are the notes from the May Round Table meetings.

Plymouth Round Table

Q1: What are some ways to get employee engagement?

  • Does not boil down to money
  • Purpose & volunteerism engages
  • Facing the problem now of even finding any candidates

Q2: Does employee engagement influence retention? How?

  • Yes, but most people really need more training, not necessarily gimmicks.

Q3: What steps can employers take to cause employees to be fully engaged?

  • Better training
  • Environment / Workspace
  • Communication

Birmingham Round Table

Q1: What are some ways to get employee engagement?

  • Engagement – is different for each grade level (i.e. Millennials differ from older employees who look to employer for entire benefit needs).
  • Complete ownership of their job.

Q2: Does employee engagement influence retention? How?

  • Job satisfaction – freedom, challenge
  • Job significance – leadership training, culture, certification, guild model
  • Job security – wages, benefits
  • Engaged employees also attract customers.
  • Help employees find their way.

Q3: What steps can employers take to cause employees to be fully engaged?

  • Breakdown in agreed-upon leadership causes people to leave.
  • Need careful and complete rollout in explanation of benefits program.
  • People leave their leader not their job.
  • Establish clear mission & give people purpose.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Tuesday)

What is Engagement?

  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Finding programs that interest your employees
  • Having people who are not asleep at the wheel
  • Open and quality communication
  • We must listen to our employees and their ideas
  • People want to feel part of the team/ that they belong
  • Align your mission with their goals.

Examples/Ways to Improve Engagement:

  • Know their name
  • Ask questions
  • Book: Dream Manager
  • Engagement doesn’t have to come through some big initiative
  • Management is caring for people
  • “Adapt, migrate, or die”
  • Good leadership has a trickle-down effect
  • On boarding: engage in the operation in spite of management.
  • Engagement comes through the investment of:
    • Time
    • Teaching
    • Management
  • Calculate time lost
    • Disengaged employees
    • Conflict
  • Food/Potlucks
  • CRC – Connect, Recommend, Commend


  • Trust
  • Investment of time
  • Everyone must share the ownership
  • Our words & deeds must match
  • Our employees must feel that they belong
  • Balance
  • Make your people smoke-jumpers
  • Equip others to lead/engage

Kalamazoo Round Table (Thursday)

How Do We Define Employee Engagement?

  • The level of an employee’s emotional engagement toward their job.
    • Do they have a best work friend?
  • Trust given and received.
  • Tough for employers to engage emotion.
    • Some employees don’t pursue career advancement because they love their team, coworker, etc. and don’t want to leave their area.
  • Importance of conflict resolution.
  • Employer-Employee relationship has changed from giving orders to a coaching leadership style.
  • Deep root of industrial revolution mentality: “You’re here to have a job and that should be sufficient.”
  • No education on how to pursue & communication your passion or purpose.
  • HR is stuck in admin/clerical work.
  • Executives must have development as well, not only mid level managers.
  • Assumption that high level leaders got where they are because they must know best – but that is not always the case.
  • An employees good work may lead to a promotion, but are they a good leader?
  • Must be able to distinguish talent & skillset.
  • Strengths finder & explorer.

What Role Does Vision & Mission Play?

  • Articulate a simple and clear mission. This will:
    • Connect the employee to their job
    • Serve as a constant reminder of why they are there and why their job matters.
  • Be sure that you communicate stories of people fulfilling the mission.
  • Be sure that your benefits match your stated values. Do not say that you value family while you offer terrible family benefits.
  • Use your Core Values as a filter for business decisions.
  • Employees expect your investment.
  • Express love in your actions.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Friday)

What is Engagement?

  • Participation.
  • Related to Education / Skill.
  • Compare engagement to commitment/pledge.
  • Want people to see their value.
  • A highly engagement employee melds with the company – you no longer see the individual but the whole.

How Do We Implement This:

  • Make sure that your employees know how to do their job.
  • Pledge to make sure they are successful.
  • Utilize transparency / honesty.
  • Remember to fill in the blanks/ gaps in knowledge before they do.
  • Express the value of every member in your company.
  • Allow innovation.
  • Give constructive feedback on ideas.
  • Demonstrate respect.
  • Be available.
  • Thank them for being leaders and show them how they are leading.
  • Provide resources.
  • Humility goes a long way. Admit when you don’t know something.

Current Challenges:

  • Lack of spiritual influence on the younger generation which leads to employees having no bedrock values – constantly shifting their morals.
  • Bridging the generational gaps.


  • Start where people currently are.
  • Do not assume that employees know what to do and how to do it, or that they understand your direction, vision, mission, etc.
  • Be very clear with your expectations for them.
  • Approach each employee as an individual rather than a generational label.

Join us at an upcoming Round Table meeting. RSVP to info@thebusinessrt.org.