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ATD Blog

Three Ways to Enhance Engagement and Improve Retention During Rapid Change

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

“For the times they are a changin’”—Bob Dylan’s immortal words never rang truer than during the rapid changes to the work environment since the onset of COVID-19.

In 2021, the Great Resignation saw almost 48 million people quit their jobs.

In 2022, “quiet quitting” went viral. Per Gallup, only 32 percent of workers were engaged; 17 percent were actively disengaged. Quiet quitters met expectations at work but did no more than what was required.

This year, Gallup shows that 52 percent of work cultures are hybrid—what most employees want.

These rapid changes and workplace culture shifts mean that employee engagement and responsiveness to employee requests for professional development, competitive wages, and clear communication are critical for the future of work.

Talent development leaders play a key role in retention efforts. For example, according to LinkedIn, 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.


Now more than ever, your personal brand and employer brand are essential to attracting and retaining talent. The following three steps can help you optimize your brand and enhance employee engagement:

1. Assess your online presence.
People work for people, not just companies. According to “The Trust 10” by Edelman, societal leadership is now a core function of business. “When considering a job, 60% of employees want their CEO to speak out on controversial issues they care about.” Check out the strength of your own brand with this free self-audit here:

2. Create community, internally and externally.
What’s something your company’s already doing to give back to your community? How do you build internal community support around this cause and involve your employees? Showcase it online! You are making a difference. And this matters to current and future employees.


3. Engage! Through transparent, clear communication.
Engage next-level leaders in designing strategic initiatives, establishing key metrics, and communicating regularly. Be transparent about pay structures. Foster belonging through listening circles, employee resource groups (ERGs), and cross-functional communication.

Building connection, community, and a sense of belonging through strategic vision and clear communication fosters retention and attracts top talent.

If you’re interested in more ideas and examples of attracting and retaining talent, including my silo-smashing three-step framework, view “The Secret Sauce to Attract and Retain Talent” on demand at the ATD International Conference & EXPO. It goes live at 1 a.m. on May 20. And for an in-person meet-and-greet, find me signing books in the ATD bookstore at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 22.

About the Author

Wendy Terwelp, founder of Opportunity Knocks of Wisconsin LLC and author of the Rock Your Network® series, was dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru,” by the Washington Post. Terwelp consults, speaks, and writes about social media, networking, branding, and career development for conferences, associations, and companies worldwide.

Her private executive coaching clients win raises, promotions, and jobs. Want to advance your career? Schedule a strategy session to discuss your career, goals, and next steps.

An award-winning career expert, Terwelp's advice and expertise are regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, Inc., The Chicago Tribune, The Business Journal,, Manage Smarter, Physicians Practice, CTDO (Chief Talent Development Officer) magazine, TD magazine, NBC, ABC, FOX, radio, and more. She served on the Association for Talent Development Program Advisory Committee and authored the ATD Infoline “Jumpstart Your Job Search and Get Hired Faster,” included in ATD's "Best on Career Development" anthology.

In addition to ATD's recognition, Wendy was named one of the Top 15 Career Masterminds (along with Richard Nelson Bolles author of "What Color is Your Parachute?"), JobMob's "Top Job Search Blog Posts" annually, Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers Must Follow, and Inc. Magazine's "Top 10 Career Helps."

Discover the strength of your personal brand with this free self-assessment:

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Great businesses like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Capital One partner with employees to serve customers profitably. They understand how to engage employees by serving customers, linking employees directly to the company's purpose. This article provides more details on true engagement:
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