Talent Retention: The Numbers Don’t Lie

Talent Retention efforts can rapidly have the most impact on a company’s bottom line, and leadership is finally recognizing that retention efforts begin even before an employee is formally hired. Why?

Because engagement is an outcome of cohesion.

When leaders recognize that cohesion drives engagement, they can proactively incorporate pre-hiring activities for a head start to aligning the right people to a culture of cohesion.

Leaders within global organizations of all sizes and industries recognize the value of functional groups to accomplish a series of activities aimed at achieving a shared purpose or task.  This cohesion between team members is essential for an organization to reach its performance apex.

What do the numbers mean to leaders?

The Numbers Don’t Lie

My research as reported in my Ph.D. dissertation on group dynamics supported the hypothesis:

Cohesion positively impacts performance in all stages of a group’s life cycle. This was an important finding as offers evidence to the claim: “Engagement is the result of the presence of a cohesively functioning team.”

According to Towers Perrin, “Research confirms that engagement lowers employees’ intention to leave. The Corporate Leadership Council (2004) found that the most engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization. The same study found that the 100 Best Places to Work (according to their research) had an average voluntary turnover rate of 13% as compared with the average of 28.5% of other businesses in the same industries.”

So what does this mean in relation to cohesion and employee retention?  

Making Sense of the Numbers

When research reports on “engagement,” as with the Towers-Perrin study, based upon my research I assert that it’s the result of cohesion. Organizations want high performing teams because teams that perform improve the bottom line. Why does it matter whether employees act cohesively or leaders call them “engaged”? Although it may boil down to semantics, it is smarter for leadership to clearly articulate goal clarity using the three elements of cohesion:

1) sense of belonging,

2) the feeling of being valued, and

3) commitment to personal and organizational success.

If cohesive teams are productive and employers want teams engaged in productive work, then engagement is the outcome of cohesion. Knowing the elements of cohesion and working toward it makes engagement a less ambiguous term and actionable steps more defined.