Improving engagement to retain staff

Staff Retention

Prioritising Core Values to
Drive Employee Engagement
and Retention

Andy Campbell, HCM strategy director at Oracle, @axcampbe


Connect strategy with culture, goals with engagement and values with actions to improve retention

One of the greatest challenges facing employers today is how to attract and retain talent. Workforce turnover is estimated to be the biggest concern for employers globally, due in part to the loss of instrumental employee knowledge and also to the costs associated with finding and training new employees.

While hygiene factors, such as salary and employee benefits remain key drivers in retention, management should not ignore other significant influences. Employee recognition, understanding their role or personal contribution to a company and the opportunity to work and collaborate on exciting projects – these are the type of motivational factors that help individuals understand the value they bring to a business and have become critical not only to employee engagement but ultimately retention.

 Employers need to invest in learning more about their employees. 


Employers need to invest in learning more about their employees, much in the same way they do with their customers, to gain a better understanding of what drives engagement. Clearly, employees want to work for responsible organisations that demonstrate strong values but do firms that prioritise such values see this reflected in employee engagement and retention?

Ninety seven percent of the Best Workplaces have values statements which lie at the heart of everything they do and they attribute business success to these fundamentals. This highlights the link between a culture of strong values as perceived by employees and organisational performance. Yet too many organisations are falling short and their values statements are seen as little more than lip service, discouraging employees from truly engaging with their companies.

A recent study from Oracle reveals that 31 percent of employees say that working for a company that is honest and genuine is important to engaging them at work. Of the core values employees want to see reflected in their organisations, 53 percent list trust, 50 percent say honesty and 46 percent say fairness.

More findings from the Oracle Simply Talent study shed new light on how higher engagement levels impact performance. 56 percent of employees claim that when they are encouraged to engage at work, their productivity improves. A further 37 percent report that they are less likely to look for work elsewhere if they feel more engaged, a statistic which should resonate with HR when relevant skills are in such high demand and payroll costs account for such a great percentage of expenditure.

Improvements in engagement strategies also reveal other less tangible but no less valuable benefits including employees feeling encouraged to share creative ideas on how to improve areas of the business, provide a greater level of customer service and even to work longer hours.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is one such organisation that is committed to helping its employees embrace company strategy. It continues to educate and inform employees on its vision through strategic initiatives and regular communication, so that employees understand their contribution to momentum in achieving CRUK’s goals.

 With so much invested in their employees, companies need to take a more holistic approach to how they engage their   workforce. 


With so much invested in their employees, companies need to take a more holistic approach to how they engage their workforce and they should start by re-evaluating company culture and the values underpinning their organisations. Technology gives employers a strategic advantage in building strategies around their employees. By embedding company strategy and values with culture and actions, organisations can empower their employees, enhance engagement and improve retention.


Getting engagement right? See the views of 250 HR decision makers on Talent Management in this report.


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