There’s a lot of talk today about employee engagement. Conferences are swollen by earnest discussions of how to address and manage millennials and Generation Y while also satisfying the needs of older staff.

Employee Engagement Your Last (and Best) Source of Competitive Differentiation

Why has employee engagement become such a hot topic? In part, it’s because other challenges have been successfully mitigated: it’s easier than ever to raise funds to support new ideas. The web means that companies can market and sell all over the world without necessarily building channels and offices. And technology’s shift to the cloud has meant that upfront IT costs are much lower and companies can scale up and right-size without onerous penalties. So, the spotlight has moved to hiring and retention.

Then of course there is the ever-present demand for individuals who are smart, think on their feet and out of the box, who are stars of their organizations. We know we want to have people who excel and go beyond the basic requirements of surviving in their jobs; we want employees to act as passionate advocates and exemplars of their employer’s brand. But those people are in short supply. Competition is intense, therefore organizations need to fight hard to attract and keep the best.