The engagement wheel is constantly turning for employers, especially small-business owners. On one end, there’s high employee engagement and growing job satisfaction. This is where employers want their staff members to be – connecting with the work and producing great results, while feeling professionally fulfilled. On the other end, workers are less engaged, less present and less satisfied with their position, which can often lead to turnover.

This is a fairly simple equation, and a good heuristic for employers to follow, but there may be more to it than meets the eye. In fact, recent information has revealed that in some cases, engagement and turnover seem to have no relationship.

Recruiters are an interesting example
Human Resource Executive Online presented an interesting example of professionals who experience high engagement but who also are frequently seeking new employment: recruiters. According to the source, those in the hiring and HR field such as recruiters reported a 78 percent job satisfaction – compared to the 72 percent average for all other professions. However, these HR employees are still 2.4 times as likely to be seeking new employment than their non-recruiter counterparts.

This is due in part to the fact that many recruiters work on a consulting basis, meaning they travel from position to position on rotating six-to-12-month periods. However, the type of work recruiters do also contributes to this. After all, the nature of their job dictates that they maintain a large network of connections, and constantly keep an ear to the ground for new opportunities.

Leveraging engagement
Despite the interesting results pertaining to recruiters, employers’ best bet for retaining talent still rests with engagement, most experts agree. In fact, Forbes cited several studies that showed a significant relationship between engagement and retention. In one case, a company was able to reduce its turnover by about 10 percent by increasing engagement. Additionally, the source noted that 66 percent of employees who described themselves as “highly engaged” reported no intention to leave their job in the near future. Another study found that highly engaged employees were 87 percent less likely to leave their jobs than their less-engaged counterparts. Regardless of how you slice it, employee engagement seems to be a major player in retaining staff members.

Understanding what drives engagement, retention, loyalty and other important values can be tricky for small-business owners. Fortunately, PEO companies are on-hand to help, offering expert HR services without the need to support an in-house HR department.