The Cost of Not Having an Employee Engagement Strategy

Having an employee engagement strategy is the most effective way to move the needle of your company’s profitability. I said that in my post on why employee engagement is important, and I firmly believe that’s true. We briefly looked at the statistics of lost productivity for businesses with disengaged employees and started on the path of helping you create an effective employee engagement strategy.

Employee engagement statistics

Those statistics spoke of the company whose employees are treading water and not doing much to be innovative, creative, or world class. You know the ones—and they affect your company’s bottom line. Taking a deeper look, though, we have to ask what the expense associated with employees who decide to leave your employment because they’re dissatisfied or disengaged really is. As a business leader, you know employee turnover is expensive, but let’s take a look at just how expensive.

The Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report goes into depth about the costs associated with employee turnover as well as the reasons behind it. The Work Institute conservatively estimates the expense of losing a U.S. worker is $15,000. To broaden this cost to a nation-wide dollar figure, in 2018 alone, U.S. employers lost $617 billion to employee turnover. Imagine how just one valuable employee’s departure can take a toll on your company’s profit and performance. Now, that’s expensive!

The news gets worse—the Report goes on to cite that 27% of Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 2018. That number continues to rise each year. Without some change, the voluntary U.S. employment turnover rate will hit 35% by 2023. That’s staggering. In 2018, 41.4 million U.S. employees voluntarily left their jobs. From the looks of things, this trend will continue even though it doesn’t need to—we’ll talk more about that in a bit.

But here’s the statistic that absolutely should shock you: more than three in four employees who quit their job could have been retained by their employers.


What these numbers tell me is that employers have not started to fully understand the importance of employee engagement strategies. When people are disengaged, they leave.


Employee engagement strategy is the answer

No need for doom and gloom, though. There’s a silver lining to this cloud, and positives abound. We’re living in a time of historic economic prosperity. The U.S. is experiencing record-low unemployment, and that’s fantastic news for anyone who’s looking for a job.

The challenge for you as a business owner or leader is that it also means the supply of potential employees for your business is at potentially record low levels. Unlike with previous generations, workers are securely in the driver’s seat. The law of supply and demand applies to acquiring and retaining quality, high-producing employees. As a leader, a huge part of your job is to attract and retain as many of them as you can. They’re out there—trust me!

Better employee retention

Here’s the shiniest of silver linings: you have an amazing opportunity to turn things around for your people and for your company through a well-planned employee engagement strategy. Implementing and following through on a thoughtful employee engagement strategy amounts to better employee retention and a competitive edge for your company. You can help develop the team of engaged, high-performing employees who will consistently give their best effort. Isn’t that exactly the team you want?

Reach out to me if you’d like to chat about ways to more fully engage your employees on a strategic level regarding your company’s mission. Once you’re off to a good start of having everyone singing from the same song sheet, you can move on to other critical (and fun!) ways to thoughtfully engage your team so they’ll be working at peak performance.

In an upcoming post, we'll start drilling down a little more deeply on employee engagement strategies by focusing on the importance of professional feedback.


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