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Motivation and retention of employees: a new “old” challenge for companies?

Employees’ turnover cost (gathering separation and replacement) are often very high for companies even if quite variable. To this expenditure, global disengagement costs may be added where employees lack motivation. Gallup estimated in 2013 that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year[1].


It is therefore obvious that some investments should be made to retain employees, notably through enhanced motivation. Influencing employee motivation and engagement is not only a matter of salary level and benefits but also an attitude. Generally speaking, workers say that being treated with respect is the most important nonfinancial factor, followed by worklife balance, type of work, quality of co-workers and quality of leadership[2]. Other sources of motivation rely on the engagement of employees in the decision-making process, the work environment and the flexibility of human resource policies.


Return on investment is potentially huge for companies as motivated employees are more productive, less absent or sick. Such motivated employees also act positively and generate sound attitude and impetus among their co-workers. Some companies went even further creating a position of Chief Happinness Officer (CHO) responsible for motivation and inspiration of the employees.


This Policies and Practices’ session will focus on:


  • The definition of motivation at the workplace and its link with employees’ retention;
  • The role and possible incentives for employers to invest on motivation and retention policies;
  • Exchange of experiences and practices in the workplace to boost motivation of employees with positive consequences on turnover levels.


Speakers addressing these issues include:



Sara Evans-Lacko, Ph.D., is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Kings College London. She has a particular interest in the social and economic impact of mental health problems and the role of health services and social support in the prevention and treatment of mental illness and has worked on several projects examining individual, workplace and societal factors which influence how people with mental health problems are perceived and treated in the workplace. Prior to joining the LSE, she worked as a health care consultant for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the United States. She has a Ph.D. in health policy and management, with an emphasis in health services research, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2013, she was awarded a European Research Council Starting grant. She has 80 peer-reviewed publications. 



Caroline Haquet is Deputy Group HR Officer at Mazars in charge of Talent Development and Performance.


In the context of the fast changing business environment, Caroline has particularly worked on Innovative projects for Senior Executives encouraging them to be more innovative and to challenge the existing models.


Caroline drives Mazars Worldwide Talent Policy, helping countries to optimize their staff engagement and performance. She also leads the Gender Diversity program at Group level at Mazars. 



Emely Theerlynck is Research Expert at Securex’ study centre HR Research. She obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology in 2007 at the University of Ghent, after which she started working within Securex. She specialises in employee turnover, sustainable employability, coaching, leadership. 






[1] Gallup, report “State of the Global Workplace” 2013

[2] Mercer, “What’s Working survey report”, October 2011



Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices