The Small Business HR Podcast

Ep. 13

13. Driving Employee Engagement and Retention at Your Organization w/ Kelley McCart

In episode 13 we talk with Kelley McCart to understand the different between engagement, motivation, and drive and what HR professionals can do to help drive better engagement and retention in the workplace.
Kelley McCart

Kelley McCart

Vice President of Human Resources
J.R. Hobbs Company

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs builds the foundation for employee engagement. But meeting employees’ basic needs (like pay, safety, and belonging) are just that—a foundation. And without a solid foundation, organizations can’t expect employees to be engaged, never mind feeling driven to outpace the competition.

We sat down with Kelley McCart, Vice President of Human Resources at J.R. Hobbs Company, to learn why employee engagement is crucial for business success—and what HR professionals can do to help drive better engagement and retention in the workplace.

We also talked about:

  • “Why we [organizations] hate HR”—and the lessons professionals can glean from that sentiment
  • Why there’s so much talk about employee engagement—and what it really looks like in the workplace
  • How to apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a framework for HR
  • Why engagement is more than something an employee just has (or doesn’t)
  • Practical tips for retaining talent in today’s market

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The opportunity to make a difference in employees’ experiences is what attracted me to, and has kept me in, the field of HR. I like the dual role of making people excited to get up and come to work every day, as well as moving the needle on business results.”

Kelley McCart

If you have the chance to hire a dedicated HR person, make sure that you also have a system in place to help shoulder some of the administrative burden so that you’re not taking away from the real value someone can bring.”

Kelley McCart

It’s the lack of a basic foundation that causes disengagement. Meeting basic needs will create satisfaction, but you don’t achieve engagement until you demonstrate recognition, career paths, and professional growth.”

Kelley McCart

You can’t leapfrog over basic needs, like pay, safety, and belonging. You need to address them first to get the value out of the top tiers of recognition and professional growth.”

Kelley McCart

Have ways to listen to your people, like surveys. They’ll help you identify the problems you need to solve within the hierarchy. Then, fix your disengagers first, while you pepper in the programs that will move the needle on engagement.”

Kelley McCart

Communication—both listening and communicating out—is the backbone of engagement and retention.”

Kelley McCart

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