As you no doubt know, this year has been one of the toughest years in recent history to recruit and more importantly, to retain top talent. Dubbed as The Great Resignation by psychologist Anthony Klotz, this period of time was marked by 4 million people leaving their jobs in June and another 4 million in July and August, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

In a recent conversation with a young client, I asked her what her criteria were for selecting her new job. She replied, “I ask this simple question to the hiring manager, ‘How do you exhibit emotional intelligence?’ One CEO said, ‘well that’s simple, I’m the boss and what I say goes!’” She quickly excused herself explaining that this company was not a fit for her and that she did not need to waste any more of his or her time.

Workers are desperately seeking emotionally intelligent workplaces. That means a C-Suite needs to not only understand their workers, but also truly value them and their opinions.

In his new book, Points of Impact, leadership expert Tim Durkin explains. This military style thinking of command and control no longer works in the corporate workplace. He goes on to explain that a leader provides direction, energy, and vision.

Tisha Schuller, founder of Adamantine Energy agrees and suggests asking your workers’ opinions of new strategies before you implement them. Just imagine getting 100% buy-in for a new policy or strategy or any major change by getting employees from all generations and diverse backgrounds involved, so that you have multiple champions in the field.

Kevin McCarthy, author of Blind Spots: Why Good People Make Bad Choices suggests, “Don’t be blind to your own lack of emotional intelligence,” He continues, “Even CEO’s are big offenders when it comes to blind spots of their own emotional intelligence.”

Here are my top tips for engaging employees for ultimate retention:

#1 Take a personal interest in employees.

Workers want to feel appreciated and valued. Asking them something personal, but not invasive, like what’s your favorite hobby or what do you do for fun on the weekends is a simple but impactful way to make them feel like you care about them.

#2 Ask for opinions on new initiatives.

Asking people their opinion makes them feel important and gives them a vested interest in the outcome.

#3 “Praise in public, correct in private,” Tim Durkin.

This one is fairly self-explanatory, but we sometimes forget that our words and tone of voice can hurt versus help an employee.

#4 Conduct an Employee-to-Manager Review.

How often do you conduct an employee-to-manager review? At review time Google asks team members to rate their managers. If a manager gets consistently low ratings, the leadership take them off the line, so to speak, and provide more training.

#5 Hear – Think – Do.

Tim Durkin suggests at the end of every meeting to recap this way:

  • This is what I heard.
  • This is what I think.
  • This is what I’m going to do.

This acknowledges that the leader was listening and provides strong, stable leadership position and direction.

#6 Provide a robust wellness program and help people engage with it.

A robust wellness program includes all the key tenets of wellness: physical wellness, mental health, financial wellness, social / community and communication. If your employees are not engaging with your wellness portal, bring the message to them, as I outlined in my recent article in HR Advisory “What Good Are Employee Benefits If No One Knows About Them” available at:

Available at my home page is my free “Top Tips to Enhance Engagement in Wellness.” To find it, go to and as you begin to scroll down, a box will pop open.

#7 People quit managers, not jobs.

It is the direct manager who has the greatest impact on a team member’s work experience. So make sure your managers are well-versed in how to be emotionally intelligent. An effective manager is a good coach. A coaching relationship enhances communication and improves relationships and develops loyalty and trust.

#8 “Meaning is the cornerstone of engagement,” Tim Durkin.

People are seeking organizations with mission and values they can connect to. In Points of Contact Durkin explains, “giving people a constant reminder of the meaning of their work is the ongoing job of leaders. People thrive when they are involved in something bigger than themselves that they care about.”