Survey Employees for greater retention

Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges of businesses today and a costly one if you don’t get it right. Attracting the best talent is a huge (and sometimes arduous) job, but retaining these employees can be even more difficult. Increased globalisation has made this even more difficult, as employees are ready to shift jobs and relocate to any part of the world and can source alternative jobs so easily.

Are your employees really happy?

Are your employees really happy?

But even the best companies are plagued by high employee turnover. One way to tackle this problem is to understand what employees want from an organization. There could be many reasons for employee turnover. There are two main aspects to employee turnover: what drives good employees away, and what is attracting these employees in other companies.

Surveys are an effective way of knowing about employees’ reasons for leaving a company. While exit interviews are generally used, they are a delayed way of knowing an employee’s reasons for leaving. Employee retention surveys are more effective in determining the exact reasons an employee remains with or leaves a company.

Employee retention surveys aim to determine the current employee satisfaction levels. When conducted over time, they can also track changes in the level of satisfaction, and also the reasons for the changes. By acting on these reasons, the company can not only improve employee loyalty, but also productivity and morale. It may surprise the decision makers of the business as to what really is cheeses them off.

Employees who leave a company are generally dissatisfied with some aspect of the company, including corporate culture, training, supervisor relations, work environment, pay and benefits, communications, feedback, leadership, supervision, corporate vision, career growth, or for any other reason that can sometimes be trivial or beyond your control. Surveys help determine the exact problem. A typical employee retention survey questionnaire would contain questions relating to the employment characteristics; the roles, duties and responsibilities of the job, the employee’s attitude towards the job, satisfaction levels, loyalty, motivation, morale,  and commitment.

These surveys are usually handled by the HR department or outsourced to a specialist company.

When management keeps pushing for greater productivity from their team, not investing in new technology or training and appear to be money hungry, then staff usually get disheartened and want to move on.  Sometimes it can be a simple as some recognition for their efforts, new amenities like a new coffee machine for the staff room or a comfortable chair. It is therefore important to invest in surveys within your team, just like you may invest in surveys with your customers and rectify any issues before the damage is done.

A recent survey by the Hay Group identified the following reasons that impact on staff retention:

  1. Confidence and trust in the organisation and leadership
  2. Room for employees to grow their careers within the organisation
  3. A fair exchange between organisation and employee
  4. An environment for success
  5. Authority and influence

When you understand what they are really feeling about your organisation can give you an opportunity to create the right environment. Failure will encourage disgruntled employees to take off in search of better conditions and you are left to start the whole process over again – further costs, further disruption to workflow and inconvenience. Maybe you will have to contract a temporary team member in the interim adding further expense.

The results of the survey should be regarded as a positive opportunity to evolve the business and not to crucify  the employee for notifying management of the problem. When did you last survey your team?