Following our highly successful Employer Forum in November 2016, Kent Employment Law held its second Forum last month. These quarterly breakfast events are an in-house resource for forward-thinking business owners and HR professionals.
Hosted by lawyer Trevor Thomas, February’s Forum focused on employee engagement and retention. We were joined by Danielle Allan, Finance Director at Allan Financial, and Casey Miller, President of 6 1/2 Consulting. Danielle and Casey offered their experience, insight and advice, Trevor provided a legal perspective, and attendees representing a spectrum of industries shared their stories and challenges.
For those who weren’t able to attend, we asked Trevor to share some takeaways from the morning. Here are his top 3:
- The cost of “disengagement” is significant. As employment lawyers, we often receive calls from employees looking for an “exit strategy” because their employer has not, does not, and will not take steps to address the engagement problem. Despite the fact that these individuals are often high-performers, there remains a multi-faceted disconnect between employer and employee: shared values, shared vision, shared goals, reward systems, and opportunities for professional growth are non-existent. This is a recipe for losing valued employees.
- Engagement and retention must be “front of mind” for employers. Management needs to commit to answering two fundamental questions about their enterprise: Why are we in business? What do we hope to achieve? Only after answering these questions can an employer determine how to engage its employees and keep them around, long-term. As an added benefit, an employer who is clear on its purpose and goals will also start to attract applicants who share similar core values.
- A good starting place is the employment contract. An employer’s culture, vision and ethos can be demonstrated through its employment contracts. As the foundational document for a strong, sustainable employment relationship, an employee’s contract can be an ideal place to articulate both parties’ commitment to a shared purpose. Learn more about sustainable employment here.
If you missed our February Forum, you’re in luck: we provide these opportunities to support and learn from your peers (and the experts) on a regular basis. The next event in this quarterly series happens in May 2017. Full details coming soon…