8 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement and Retention Across APAC


In one, analysts say it’s important that employees get the attention they need through recognition and compensation, career opportunities and support to do their jobs.

As leaders know, today’s employees don’t just expect more from their employers. They also express their needs more and focus more on their own values ​​and goals. Once employees sense a mismatch, their engagement rate would drop, which more often than not leads to high turnover rates for which leaders have to pay the price.

However, not everything is catastrophic – at least according to Kincentric 2022 Global Employee Engagement Trends report.

After reviewing data from 12 million employees in 125 markets, including Asia-Pacific, the report’s analysts say now is “the age of opportunity” for leaders to “take a closer look and to proactively reassess, rethink, realign and re-energize” the business for long-term success.

To create this inflection point in employee engagement, leaders can consider the following eight suggestions.

#1 Pay attention to talent

As mentioned in the report, the “resilience” element of engagement — defined as an employee’s desire to stay with the organization — continues to decline, indicating that employee turnover will remain a challenge. So, to mitigate attrition, leaders need to address four areas:

  1. Recognition and compensation;
  2. career opportunities;
  3. Support to do the job (staffing and retention), and
  4. Resources.

Point A, for example, should be addressed as around half (52%) of global employees surveyed feel “fairly paid”, while almost six in 10 (59%) feel “correctly recognized”. Moreover, for point B, just over five in 10 (54%) see “good future career prospects”.

Regarding point C, exactly half believe that there is “sufficient staff” in the company.

As such, the report’s analysts believe there is “a growing need” among employees to feel that their efforts will be recognized and to better understand where they fit in the future of the organization. They would also “need more” support to do their job, as there are concerns about insufficient resources and staffing.

With this in mind, it has been said that leaders “must seize this opportunity” to provide the attention, recognition and support needed to invigorate talent and drive retention.

On that note, digging deeper into point A, for example, leaders can consider:

  • Express appreciation for the commitment, dedication and hard work of employees in the face of a labor shortage;
  • Balancing salary increases offered to new employees with what they pay to regular employees;
  • Redesign the rewards and recognition program taking into account changes in work experiences, and
  • Ensure the recognition program is aligned with the values ​​and that they reward what they say is important.

#2 Don’t neglect the D&I element

Report analysts shared that diversity and inclusion (D&I) has become important to employees when evaluating their work experience, which has a big impact on their engagement and intention to stay.

Organizations therefore need to redouble their efforts to improve D&I in the workplace by exploring more specific data on employee sentiment regarding inclusive behaviors that show variability in differences in employee experience, as D&I often varies. by geographic region, industry, job level and position.

To effectively tackle D&I, it has been suggested that organizations measure employee sentiment based on a carefully thought out definition of inclusion that also allows them to act on results.

ICYMI: HR OnScreen: How AstraZeneca and its leaders are embracing D&I through reverse mentoring, and more

#3 Let HR professionals have bold ideas

Based on the data findings – of which just over half (55%) say people/HR practices create a positive work environment – ​​“meaningful changes” in HR processes are needed to put talent at the center . “What worked before may not meet the needs of the organization in the current environment,” the report explains.

It has also been said that various environmental factors, such as hybrid working, staffing and retention challenges, and changes in compensation expectations not only affect how organizations design talent acquisition and remuneration, but also performance management processes and career development programs.

Report analysts, on that note, believe it’s time to be bold, human-centric and focused on the employee experience when it comes to talent management.

#4 Ease the burden on managers

Last year’s trends highlight that middle managers are feeling more pressure and “pressure” than ever before, resulting in lower levels of engagement and deteriorating perceptions of attracting and nurturing abilities. retention, sufficient staffing and change management. Indeed, according to the report’s analysts, without fully engaged managers, organizations cannot have a fully engaged (activated) workforce.

“Given the extra effort demanded of managers, it’s no surprise that they feel undervalued and underpaid. Leaders need to ease the burden – ensuring that managers’ expectations remain reasonable, that clear priorities are defined, that support is provided and that they are being developed to adapt to changing roles and responsibilities,” the report highlights.

Don’t miss: Creating Opportunities for the Team to Connect: An M1 Case Study

#5 Keep the vision visible

It has been found that the “gains” analysts have witnessed in 2020 in perceptions of top executives clearly explaining how companies will execute their strategies are “now eroding”. As such, it was believed that it was high time for senior leaders to “redouble their efforts” to communicate their vision and strategic direction.

“Step away from this type of messaging can leave employees feeling detached, leading to misaligned actions and disengagement. Giving people a clear sense of purpose and where they can go with the organization is exactly the kind of guidance they are looking for in these precarious times,” the report’s analysts said.

#6 Create a cohesive culture

“Culture needs to create a more cohesive experience for all employees,” the report mentioned.

“It’s not enough to share values, you need to show how those values ​​are actively practiced across the organization. When there is consistency in the work experience, we see levels of commitment and maintaining significantly higher feelings of belonging and trust/respect/fairness than when the experience is inconsistent.

“Actively facilitating the culture helps create the consistency needed to drive business success.

#7 No silver bullet (solution)

Leaders should note that creating an engaging work experience – and translating it into high engagement and retention – is “not just a matter of doing one thing well”, but “the culmination of doing multiple things well in a consistent” over a period of time. Several things could be recognition, career development, performance management, effective infrastructure, staffing, communication vision and benevolent leadership.

Analysts explained that to have a real impact on business results, leaders cannot, for example, simply have good career development without a solid leadership vision and an effective infrastructure.

Once leaders address “five or more” of the aforementioned elements actively together, then work experience, engagement and retention will bring “above average” scores.

#8 Don’t let change paralyze

Last but not least, leaders and organizations, according to the report, must move quickly beyond any “learned helplessness” or defensiveness, towards change positivity, resilience and adaptability. Indeed, change can often represent “the greatest opportunity of all.”

As such, it is crucial to move from the “everything is out of control” mindset to understanding what can be controlled and what actually makes a difference in the organization.

Just like the old adage, change is the only constant.

Read also: The Dos and Don’ts of Employee Wellbeing: A Review with Seven Asia-Pacific Leaders

Image / Kincentric

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