Linda is a native of central Florida. She received a Master's of Science and Personnel Psychology from Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida. Linda joined Paychex in 2000 and provides HR consultation for small and medium sized clients. Her role is to provide guidance and compliance information regarding handbook policies, training and development on HR laws for managers and employees, job descriptions, comp surveys, and employee relations.

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Dennis Zink:     Linda how do you define employee engagement?

Linda Lucarelli:  Employee engagement is an important part of an organization function. What it basically means is having your employees engage and just being able to satisfy the customer and be behind the scenes to make sure that your product or your service is the best that it can be out for your client base.

Dennis Zink:     How do you recognize that you have engaged employees?

Linda Lucarelli:  There's a variety of ways that you can tell. One is obviously if your employees are coming to work and doing their job. That's probably number one. I think the reality and when I meet with clients a lot of it is their first requirement is to come to the company and be able to engage and do their job first. After that, part of that engagement is being part of that organization as a whole by providing feedback, providing recommendations, suggestions, ideas on processes or procedures, just having them as a part of the organization as a whole and making and looking at how the product or the business services their customers or clients.

Dennis Zink:     What might some of the positive results be in having engaged employees with your company?

Linda Lucarelli:  One of the things that we're talking about is certainly hopefully low turnover. When your employees are engaged into the organization and we see a lot of this a lot of times with employee surveys is they want to have a part of what they're doing every day. If they do feel like they're a part of the organization, part of the mission, part of what the company believes in and what they're doing for their clients or customers they are going to be more engaged and therefore be ultimately happier in their job and reducing turnover.

Obviously, customer service is a huge a part of that. It is making sure that your employees who interact face-to-face with your customers is to make sure that they feel happy and that they represent what your organization is all about when they service those clients.

Dennis Zink:     What does a turnover cost a company in dollars?

Linda Lucarelli:  It could be a variety of figures. A lot of it depends on certainly the position. A highly compensated position might require more of a research, maybe a head hunter is involved, a lot more resources that you may have to look if it's a hard to fill type of position. In general when you're looking at turnover there's what we call direct and indirect cost. That indirect cost is actually the advertising or any amount of money you may have to put out to really select an applicant or to make that you have an applicant pool for that position, a good qualified applicant pool.

Advertising obviously any time that the person leaves the organization you have to fill that job, that work and productivity you may save on salary because they're not there and you're budgeting for that but the reality is that productivity is going to be lost so that definitely is a direct cost for the company.

Dennis Zink:     In addition to dollar costs there are plenty of non-financial or indirect costs involved with turnover? I imagine in a large company that could be quite substantial.

Linda Lucarelli:  Yes, it sure can especially in certain industries. You have a lot of industries, that might be restaurants or telemarketing and you have a very, very high turnover. We do have quite a few of those clients. It's very interesting to help our clients in reaching out and trying to select and the best rule of thumb is hire the most qualified candidate. Sometimes that's difficult to do based on your applicant pool.

The indirect cost is all that lost time and also your co-workers or the employees that have to be part of that new hire's on boarding as far as training or any resources that might be taken away from the regular productivity of an employee is going to be actually lost because you're helping that new employee come on board.