Exit interviews are too late. What made them leave is not as valuable as what makes them stay. Understand what keeps your employees at your company and how that differentiates from competitors. Market those key differentiators.
There is no one size fits all when trying to create an engagement program. Most are motivated by achievement over monetary incentive but Generation Y can be more motivated by flexibility. Know what makes the person tick, not what makes the group tick.
Invest in HR
Engagement is at its peak when starting a job. How to keep it there is on the traits that the employee composes. Make sure those traits match the traits that are outlined in your organization's values. More emphasis should be put on scanning for traits than on the resume.
The Right Role
An outstanding employee doesn't automatically make for an outstanding leader. Find ways to promote outstanding employees without making them a manager of people if they would not be good at it or want that responsibility. Learn what alternative options there could be for promotion by discussing what the employee would find motivating in a Stay Interview (noted above).
Too Damn Transparent
No one will complain about being over communicated to. Share with employees where the company is going, why it's going there, and how it's going to get there. Do this well and you should see employee referrals go up for new hires - be sure to track this measure, it is a good indication for how engaged your employees are.
This list will stop at five so we can focus doing a few steps very well before adding more. In all, why is this so important? Because your employees are the ones communicating your brand, making more impressions than any ad you may be spending millions of dollars on. Another quote to remember from Bob Kelleher, CEO of the Employee Engagement Group, "High profit business with low engagement scores is a mansion built on sand."