Industry Insights

Talent engagement is a must for tackling ESG goals

Posted by John Wills on May 24, 2023 2:59:10 PM

How does talent engagement relate to ESG?

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is a framework that organizations can use to measure and manage their impact and work for the benefit of all stakeholders. These strategies are closely interrelated with talent engagement. Most obviously, employee health, safety, working conditions and inclusion, as well as customer satisfaction and equity, are directly related to the social aspect of ESG. But talent engagement impacts every aspect of an organization’s activity, including environmental impact and corporate social responsibility.

What is talent engagement?

Talent engagement encompasses a broad range of activities and strategies designed to create a positive and fulfilling work experience for employees, leading to a stronger organization overall. An engaged workforce is likely to be more motivated, leading to greater productivity, more job satisfaction and improved outcomes for the business. Creating an environment in which everyone feels valued, respected and supported in their work is central to enabling your organization to truly engage with old and existing employees.

The benefits of focusing on talent engagement

Talent engagement doesn’t just benefit the employees, but also the organization and its customers, it is a crucial component of a successful organizational culture, as it can help to retain top talent, increase productivity and job satisfaction and, ultimately, contribute to the long-term success of the company.

  • Talent engagement helps improve employee retention: employees that feel engaged and valued are more likely to stay with an organization for the long term. This reduces turnover and the costs of hiring and training new staff, but more importantly, it helps keep knowledge and skills that take years to develop inside the organization
  • Engaged employees tend to provide a higher quality of service and to have more positive interactions with customers and clients: leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. Having a stronger brand, bolstered by loyal clients, also helps attract the best talent. Developing a reputation for a positive work culture and engagement initiatives will ensure that high potential applicants can be found when new positions open up as the organization grows
  • Engaged employees are more motivated and innovative: and have greater commitment to their work, which will lead to increased productivity. These employees are more likely to feel confident contributing new ideas, proposing and trialing new approaches to work, leading to greater levels of innovation within the organization
  • Employees care about ESG. Business transformation requires talent engagement. But, while digital transformation or agile transformation are processes oriented towards productivity that can be stressful for some employees, ESG transformation is different in that it motivates employees

The risks of neglecting talent engagement

Failing to focus on talent engagement can be significantly detrimental to an organization’s performance, reputation and ability to attract or retain top talent. Aside from missing out on the benefits that talent engagement provides, potentially losing out to competitors who do focus on talent engagement, the risks include:

  • Loss of institutional knowledge: disengagement increases the like likelihood of employees leaving the organization, taking valuable expertise with them
  • Increased absenteeism: disengaged, undervalued or overworked employees tend to spend more time away from work due to illness or other reasons
  • Damage to the brand: an organization known for a negative work culture is likely to lose top talent to competitors and provide worse customer service than an organization with engaged employees

How can you promote talent engagement?

Talent engagement typically involves a wide range of activities and strategies, including:

  • Regular communication and two-way feedback between employees and managers. This can include formal channels of communication such as regular one-to-one meetings, performance evaluations and feedback sessions. However, equally important are informal networks of communication that promote team cohesion and a positive workplace culture
  • Recognition and rewards. Recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of employees reinforces positive behaviors and motivates employees to strive towards performing at a high level
  • Professional development opportunities. Training, mentorship, and other development opportunities can help employees to grow their skills and knowledge, and to develop advanced teamworking skills, benefiting both the employee and the organization
  • Promotion of work-life balance. Discouraging behaviors that can lead to burnout and promoting an environment conducive to good mental and physical health helps employees feel more satisfied and engaged in their work. This might include flexible work hours, the option to work remotely as well as the option of working in a comfortable office, focusing on productivity over presenteeism and support for activities outside of the workplace such as taking part in ESG initiatives, volunteering or sporting activities

Embracing diversity is essential for maximizing your potential

Talent engagement is intimately linked to diversity in the workplace. It is far easier to achieve talent engagement if your organization has a diverse workforce in which individuals from different backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives are empowered and confident enough to contribute their best efforts and ideas to the workplace.

Such a workforce will be inherently better suited to collaboration and teamwork. A diverse, cross functional organization is less likely to develop siloes, and more likely to promote communication between different departments and functions. This leads to enhanced problem solving and better access to the skills and knowledge required to meet whatever organizational challenges arise.

Furthermore, a more diverse workforce is more likely to have a good understanding of a broad range of customer needs across a wide customer base. This creates new business opportunities and helps the organization cater more effectively to exiting business, too.

How can training help?

Training plays an important role in improving talent engagement by providing employees with skills, knowledge and resources they need to be successful in their roles and engaged in their work. Workplace simulations are a type of training that is particularly well-suited to helping employees build the interpersonal, leadership and collaboration skills that promote talent engagement.

Workplace simulations are a safe space in which employees can experience realistic scenarios that will challenge and stimulate them. This helps develop new skills and strengthen existing ones and also gives high-potential team-members the opportunity to experience new levels of responsibility in a controlled environment.

Taking part in training as a group, whether through friendly competition or collaborative exercises, helps build trust and a sense of belonging among employees and can cater to a diverse range of learning styles, which leads to better retention of new knowledge compared to traditional teaching methods.

Get started on your talent engagement journey today!

If you would like to find out more about how experiential learning through workplace simulations can help your organization develop a more engaged, more productive and happier workforce, contact us today!

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