Nature vs. Nurture: Commitment to Employee Development & Retention

Nature vs. Nurture: Commitment to Employee Development & Retention

By: Olivia Brown, Talent Acquisition Specialist


In today’s economic climate with record low unemployment rates and employers fighting to attract top talent, it is more important than ever to analyze the value and commitment you are showing to your employees. It’s more than just benefits and reimbursement packages. The modern employee wants to be valued, seen and heard. If you are having issues with retention or employee engagement, consider these three suggestions:

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk Long Term

When onboarding a new employee, it is often instinctual to focus solely on the role at hand. The structure, expectations and metrics involved. While those are still critical pieces, it is certainly not the whole puzzle. Take the time to ask the employee about their goals, career aspirations and where they’d like to be in a couple years. By identifying where their passions lie, you can tailor external projects and resources in a way that feeds it. Clear defined steps to help them reach their goal speaks volumes. Making it clear that there is always room for opportunity and exploration will show the employee that you are invested in their skill set, no matter what job title they ultimately end up with. It’s never too soon to be direct and invest in an employee’s trajectory at your company, I’d bet it would motivate them to invest that same level of commitment back into the company as well.

Loosen the Reigns

No matter the business or industry you work with, life is all about opportunity. A networking event, dinner with a client, connections with a mutual contact, it’s all beneficial. As a Manager or Supervisor, it can be hard at times to loosen up on the way things have typically gone and to try out an idea that has never been done. However, making that effort to show employees that you are open to any idea or event that could better the team can make a world of difference. At MarshBerry, we’ve had great ideas come from, Interns and all the way up to Executive Staff. Regardless of seniority or division, molding a mindset of open-mindedness and opportunity will allow employees to feel their voices are truly heard. Instead of supporting an initiative that was pre-selected, they’ll feel they can directly impact decisions and ideas that shape the foundation. Everyone is more motivated when they are a part of the bigger picture.

Focus on the Whole Person

It’s easy to know when an issue arises with a client or a proposal that didn’t go through, but just as many and probably more issues can arise within an employee’s life outside of work. Not that we’re suggesting you are constantly prying to your employee’s personal life, but you must acknowledge it. If you have worked with an employee for 6 months and don’t know much about them besides their last name and job title: we have a problem. Once business and numbers are taken care of in a one on one meeting take a couple minutes to just chat. You’d be amazed at what you can learn and how much more engaged an employee can be if they feel they are being valued as a whole, not just their impeccable sale skills. Creating that mutual investment will not only positively impact your manager/employee relationship, but overall drive to be productive.

It is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of daily activities, such as relentless meetings and emails, but taking time to truly know your employees and what matters to them is the key to developing and retaining the employees who help to create long-term success. So, what steps are you going to take to drive these three initiatives to nurture your employee engagement?