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Trust – Engage – Retain: The Equation that Gets Results


In our experience working with companies of all different sizes and industries, we have found that successful companies focus on the relationship between trust and engagement to retain top talent. With the extensive research available about the connection between engagement and retention, it seems as though companies would get the equation right. But the latest Gallup research on engagement shows that the majority of employees are disengaged and associates that lack of engagement with stress and anxiety.

How can companies get to the heart of the problem? 

Consider for a moment the number one factor that causes you to respond or act in any situation.  Is it love and trust?  Think about it…who comes first in your life?  Is it those with whom you have the closest relationships?  Those we love and trust motivate us to act.  When we translate this key motivating factor to the workplace, we access the heart of the problem!

Simply put…engagement and retention is all about relationships!

Deloitte’s research from their 2013 Talent 2020 survey shows that the best experiences in orientation and on-boarding build relationships and networks that rapidly integrate new hires and give them the core capabilities (both behavioral and technical) to be effective employees within particular corporate cultures.  In addition, more than six in ten employees (62%) who plan to stay with their current employers reported high levels of trust in their corporate leadership, while only 27% of employees who plan to leave express that same trust. Based on this research, both engagement and retention are integrally related to trust and relationships. The research also measures the importance of communication in establishing those strong trustworthy relationships.

Do you need further proof of the linkage that relationship has to engagement and retention?

Ken Blanchard discusses the 12 Employee Work Passion Factors in the book Optimal Motivation.  Blanchard found that what companies want from their employees is often disconnected from what the employees want.  In other words, focusing on getting performance results first often neglects proper focus on providing what employees need.  This is like putting the cart before the horse!  Rather than loading the cart first, companies should first feed the horse.

By providing employees with meaningful work, responding to their values, developing trust, and demonstrating appreciation and yes, love, employers achieve the best results.  Build strong relationships between your leaders and their direct reports, as well as with colleagues, to ensure that your employees’ essential need for wellbeing is met.  Stress and anxiety is reduced, engagement and retention increases and performance sky rockets.  Reach for the heart and you will embrace the employee.  Link trust, engage and retain and best-in-class results are within your grasp.

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