Employee Engagement = Retention + Leadership

Employee Engagement = Retention + Leadership

Our last blog focused on employee recognition and how it can improve retention, which we know from last year’s Millennial blog series is a major focus of many commercial real estate firms.

Also tied closely to employee recognition is employee engagement. Data shows employers who provide recognition and engagement experience success in retention and leadership development.

With that in mind, we continue our discussion with a focus on mentoring, employee engagement software and customized industry programs.

Mentors & Mentees: A Path to Engagement

CRE firms use mentoring to engage employees, ensure retention and encourage leadership. When in-house resources don’t exist, some companies turn to third parties to provide these programs to their employees.

Diverse Talent Strategies is one resource that offers turn-key mentoring programs—teaching firms not only what it means to be mentored, but also how to mentor. They offer client access to a mentor + mentee database, mentor matchmaking software and a learning library.

DTS claims mentoring programs engage participants across all levels, improve retention rates, develop leadership abilities and attract new talent.

Engage Your Employees: Action Required

Employee engagement software is another tool to assess engagement, improve retention and develop leadership. And there’s no shortage of products available:

  • TINYPulse: TINYPulse offers software and surveys, enabling users to collect continuous feedback, discover if employees are feeling fulfilled or depleted, and determine why they stay or go.
  • Lattice: Using custom or template engagement surveys, this program helps clients extract actionable insights.
  • Culture Amp: Culture Amp, the “People and Culture Platform,” empowers users to collect, understand and act on real-time employee feedback with easily-exported reports.

But keep in mind just executing an engagement survey is not enough: “When you don’t act on what your people have told you are the most important issues they face, your company’s culture doesn’t just stay the same. It gets much, much worse,” argues one article in Fast Company.

This author claims inaction after a survey is distributed leads to employee resentment. He encourages survey administrators to take the following steps:

  • Select actionable survey questions
  • Thank people for their feedback immediately
  • Take prompt action on employees’ feedback
  • Encourage frequent feedback whenever problems arise

Industry Leaders Seek Engagement, Leadership Development

A leading firm in the shopping center industry, Kimco Realty, seeks to engage employees and develop leaders, specifically Millennials. The New York-based REIT created Leaders Advancing Business Strategies (LABS) to do just that.

President & CIO Ross Cooper describes LABS this way: “Rising star” employees develop business plans to either create revenue or reduce expenses and pitch them to Kimco executives, which encourages employee engagement, buoys executive and employee interaction, and rouses firm innovation.

LABS fosters creative ideas and boosts company morale. One LABS-birthed plan is Kimco’s Pop It Up Here!, which helps “streamline the process for pop-up shops to find potential locations within the Kimco portfolio.”

Employee Engagement: Many Options

It’s becoming more and more clear that recognition and engagement lead to better retention and development of future leaders.

Whether you participate in mentoring programs, experiment with employee engagement software or develop a distinctive in-house program, the options and resources to do so successfully are out there – it’s just a matter of finding the ones which work best for your company.