How to engage long term employees

How to keep your long-tenured employees engaged and motivated

The loss of productivity is one of the first issues that needs to be addressed

Are you an HR professional having to manage long-time personnel? Factors such as increasing lack of motivation and productivity loss are the first ones that emerge when dealing with resources that have the longest tenure in your company. According to a Gallup research, ‘only 5% of employees with 10 or more years with a company say they are engaged at work in roles that are fit for them’. How can you keep them engaged and what are the strategies that you can put in place on order to have a happy and collaborative staff?

Remind them of the value they bring to the company

Long-tenured workforce is undeniably a valuable asset for all types of companies – in many cases, even irreplaceable. They were present during many important moments, historical company milestones, and have their own perspective on how a specific industry has evolved. And besides being incredibly valuable for the company, they are also part of its reputation. Their value is a source of expertise, reliability, mentoring possibilities, deep knowledge, and qualitative engagement. Keep in mind that ‘high turnover suggests worker dissatisfaction, which reflects poorly on the company. Conversely, long-term employees tend to signify employee satisfaction’. As a manager or an HR professional, show your appreciation and remind them of how valuable they are by involving them in permanent learning activities, mentoring programs, and team projects. 

Involve them in challenging projects where they can show their expertise and solid knowledge

The problem with long-tenured workers is directly linked to their long-term client relationships. When creating a new match between a client and a fresh resource that takes the place of a long-term worker, things might get complex for everyone. The client, of course, was used to a certain interaction and working style practiced by a long-time employee. So, in order to have a smooth transfer of the overall activities, as a supervisor you should create a good handover delivery. And transferring the knowledge is not that easy. Organize specific sessions where you involve your long-term client and an employee together with the new entry. This will add to a more harmonic and structured teamwork, without losing the clients’ trust or engagement.

Consider the evolution of experienced workers

Don’t hope that this category of employees will just take care of themselves or that the degree of their professional evolution will not have an impact on your company. People within their professional context are changing at a constant speed, both the colleagues and the clients. So, if you do not carefully monitor these transformation processes, your best long-term employees might just find themselves left behind. Once a month have a quick chat and try to grasp the new elements they can introduce in their work. Understand how the person is evolving and what you can do to improve his or her engagement. Never forget that employees’ indifference and lack of pro-activity are the major work enemies for any HR manager.

Finally, listen to the following practical Harvard Business Review podcast on how you can manage experienced and senior workers in your company!

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