An Investigation into Improving Employee Engagement and Retention in the Edinburgh Branch of a Global Furniture Retailer
Engaging and retaining high quality employees is crucial for business success in the current economic climate. This research investigates what could be done to improve employee engagement and retention in an Edinburgh branch of a global retailer, with a key focus on differences in views between employees with varying length of service. Specific objectives were aimed at learning more about what motivates and engages employees in different groups, their reasons for staying with the company and their suggestions for improving engagement and retention across the organisation. The research began with a thorough literature review which focused on Herzberg’s seminal theory, along with more current adaptations on this. It also covered the effect of intrinsic factors, employee engagement literature and employee retention theories. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in three main Length of Service (LOS) groups; the groups were generated using the existing quantitative results from the organisation’s annual survey. The interview questions were a mix of open and closed questions, linked to the research aim and objectives and focussed around the relevant literature. Thematic analysis was utilised to identify the key themes and the variances between the LOS groups. The results and discussion were linked to the research objectives and to relevant literature to help explain the findings. There were some noteworthy findings from the research. Communication was a key recommendation for improving both employee engagement and retention; this focused on higher level management communicating with employees in their unit and communication received from the organisation on a global approach. Relationships with colleagues were considered to be very influential in encouraging engagement and retention. Respondents emphasised the importance of teambuilding activities. No definitive conclusion could be formed around Herzberg’s theory as some findings substantiated the theory while others contradicted it.