Commitment and Engagement: New Retention Levers for HR Strategy

There has been much discussion in recent months about the Great Resignation phenomenon  which has revealed a constant increase in resignations in many sectors, including in the Italian labour market. The 2021 data indicate that the number of resignations from the workplace increased by 15% with a peak of 46% among the under 40s. These resignations were based on a choice not guided by the classic economic and salary factors, but by reasons such as work sustainability, corporate culture and a more general sense of personal achievement. Commitment and engagement in this context take on even more relevance, if we consider that Italian workers have a low engagement rate (only 5% declare they feel completely involved in the company) and the disengagement rate (30%) is higher than other European countries.

These values ??suggest the existence of a large group of people who are not fully motivated in their work and, therefore, resign due to lack of engagement in the company. This has evident negative repercussions on performance and above all on the stability of employment relationships. The employee experience has thus become an increasingly central element in employer branding strategies. Retention is no longer a “defensive” element to protect company know-how, but a new “constructive” tool to implement the solid involvement of human resources in the work activity. In fact, resignations represent the maximum and most evident epilogue of a professional relationship and, above all, a totally or partially ineffective relationship between the worker and company. It may seem strange, but there are many legal levers to obtain an excellent employee experience in the company, affecting the commitment and engagement of human resources. Variable remuneration and incentive plans represent a form of remuneration related to the growth of the company or in any case to the achievement of certain productivity and profitability objectives. Yet, it is perhaps less well known that such plans, if effectively studied, can produce unexpected positive effects with respect to the employee’s commitment. This promotes an enhancement of individual contribution and develops a more solid and confident perception of one’s suitability for the job, also through the use of gamification.

Corporate welfare is also an instrument that groups together all the services and social benefits provided to the employee. But a good welfare mix also represents a very powerful relational lever to stimulate the sense of community and safety of human resources, in order to see the company as a cultural point of reference and material “support” for their personal growth. Furthermore, the stability pact allows the parties to mutually undertake for a minimum term, not to withdraw from the employment contract. It is a very powerful engagement tool. In fact, awareness of the company’s commitment not to withdraw from the relationship for a certain period of time helps to ensure a strong sense of security and endorsement, which will allow the employee to expose themselves more in the performance of their duties, not having fear of being penalised for it. Furthermore, if accompanied by mentoring programs, the stability pact allows you to develop a strong emotional bond with the company.

The non-competition and confidentiality agreement present numerous application ideas, as they disguise unexpected potential levers to stimulate strong employee engagement. The company can thus communicate to the employee a strong sense of significance of their functions, so precious that they do not want to have them as an “adversary” after the termination of the relationship, so to speak. Of course, there is no single formula suitable for everyone, but it is still possible to implement an effective retention strategy without excessive fragmentation of corporate policies. All in order to offer each employee the most suitable relational levers for full involvement in the company.

Federico Manfredi

Trifirò & Partners Law Firm

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