We all know that the best employees are engaged and highly motivated. However, most businesses don’t consider the relationship between employee engagement and employee turnover. Do those with the highest levels of engagement have the lowest turnover, and vice versa?  Research shows that companies with highly engaged employees experience significantly higher employee retention rates. Additionally, overall effectiveness and profitability improve dramatically with highly engaged employees. Reducing staff turnover will reduce training and recruitment costs for any business.

Who’s Leaving?

The big challenge for business owners is that average levels of staff engagement can result in higher staff turnover than lower levels of engagement. This seems strange until we consider that those leaving at the greatest rate are not necessarily those who are the least engaged. It is those with average engagement, the passively engaged staff, that leave. These employees are the solid workers that contribute reasonably well to the business. They are valuable intellectual assets. They leave because they are “looking for something better” and when they leave, take their knowledge and abilities with them.

Quit and Stay

Unfortunately, those with low levels of engagement are very often the ones who stay in the firm. Why? Because they’ve landed the perfect job! They are satisfied and are collecting a pay cheque each month. These employees mentally quit, yet physically remain.


By measuring and making some targeted changes, employees with average levels of engagement can often join the ranks of the highly engaged. With this comes the benefit of lower turnover and higher productivity. Your HR strategy should focus on how to increase levels of engagement among your team.