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Keeping employees engaged in multi-location organisations

6 May 2014

One of the biggest challenges in any organisation is keeping employees satisfied and engaged. Employee engagement is a crucial factor in reducing turnover and boosting productivity, yet many companies fail to address disengagement among their staff.

In particular, when a company operates across multiple sites, it can be difficult for managers and supervisors to measure, maintain and encourage engagement among employees.

iHR Australia recently surveyed more than 125 business leaders from multi-location organisations across Australia in regards to their employee engagement policies and procedures. This included the integration of employee engagement practices in relation to retention rates and worker turnover.

The iHR report noted the average staff turnover rate in 2008 was 18.5 per cent, according to the Australian Human Resources Institute. This figure had improved to 13 per cent by 2012, which - while "more in keeping with best practice" - could still be considered too high.

Furthermore, the respondents to the HR Maturity in Multi-location Operators survey suggested staff turnover rates were much higher, with more than a third (38 per cent) reporting a turnover rate of 20 per cent, 36 per cent indicate a rate of 11 - 20 per cent and a quarter (26 per cent) claim their rate is under 10 per cent.


Despite these worryingly high turnover rates, many respondents (33 per cent) admit their organisations do not have formal processes in place to monitor the morale of staff. Additionally, 17 per cent reveal their company has failed to put formal processes in place to communicate information to staff.

While this may be attributed in part to a lack of HR maturity, more than half (58 per cent) of respondents revealed their organisations have locations where the retention rate is "markedly different from others", which indicates site-specific issues may be in play.

These results suggest it is important to ensure employee engagement and retention processes are consistent and thorough across all sites within an organisation.

Organisations where engagement and retention rates vary across the business, may wish to engage the services of an HR consulting firm to help identify problem areas and give advice on strategies for improvement.

In some instances, where inappropriate behaviour may be suspected, it is prudent to consider conducting a workplace inquiry; this can help to identify where behavioural issues may be damaging team culture and staff morale.

iHR Australia offers a range of HR consulting services, including strategic advice on employee retention, workplace inquiries and our Employer Advisory Service for multi-location organisations. Our services can be specifically tailored to each organisation, contact us to discuss your needs on 1300 884 687 or make an online enquiry.

The iHR Australia HR Maturity in Multi-location Operators report can be downloaded from our news and resources page.

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