Workers are reassessing their career goals and what truly matters to them in both the professional and personal arenas, which has led to the “Great Resignation,” the phenomenon that has seen employees leaving their companies at record numbers.
The loss of an employee can be dramatic for a company: the business must spend time, money, and resources - an amount that typically equates to 33% of the employee’s salary - recruiting a new candidate and getting them up to speed quickly, while also losing out on all of the institutional knowledge of the previous employee. These issues are exacerbated in a tight labor market, putting employers at a severe disadvantage.
All of these facts point to the importance of employee retention, and one of the best ways to gauge employee engagement and the risk factors for leaving is through analyzing employee feedback. However, analyzing feedback is only half the battle. Action must be taken on that feedback to address concerns and ensure employees feel they’re being heard, stay engaged in their jobs, and are less likely to look outside the company for employment.
The top areas of employee feedback
Employee feedback generally falls into a few different categories. Familiarizing your team with these categories and understanding the factors driving this feedback will give your team a good place to start when building employee retention strategies:
Reports of employee burnout went into overdrive in the age of COVID, considering so many people were blurring the lines between work and home.
Younger workers in particular look for guidance as they take the next steps in their career, but sometimes struggle with finding the right mentor.
Lack of communication
Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street; employees want to know they’re being heard, and they also don’t want to be kept in the dark about what’s happening in the organization.
Out of touch leadership
More than 75% of employees don’t believe their leaders have a clear direction for their organizations, according to a Gallup survey. Correcting this perception can go a long way to keeping employees engaged.
Collaboration has been a top concern for leaders during the pandemic, as they feel true collaboration can only happen in the office. But how do employees feel about collaboration, especially with all of the new tools we have to get work done virtually?
Change management has historically been one of the most difficult undertakings for organizations. Employee buy-in from the very beginning can be key to making this task a bit easier.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
According to a recent report published by the Talent Board and iCIMS, c-suite executives tend to think they’re doing better than they are: They rate the success of their organizations’ DEI initiatives 74% higher than recruiters and staff. It’s no wonder that DEI concerns appear often in employee feedback surveys.
Crowdsourcing the right response
Remember that employee retention is not solely an HR task; everyone in your company is on the same team, and they’re working towards the same goals of making the business a destination where candidates want to apply and employees want to stay. Crowdsourcing actions to address employee feedback will help achieve both of those goals, from the associate-level up through the C-suite. Here are some examples:
- Task team leaders with creating a mission statement for their individual teams that ties back to the company’s core mission and vision. This will help to connect the team to the company’s overall strategy while also empowering them with the knowledge that their contributions roll up to a larger mission.
- Promote employee resource groups that dig deeper into employee feedback areas (i.e. burnout, DEI, career growth) and enable individual contributors to create actions that address feedback concerns.
- Hold regular all-hands meetings that explain the company’s current state and how that fits into the business’ future goals. Enable employees to ask questions throughout so they may understand the top business priorities and how their work impacts the forward direction of the company.
- Hold manager or director+ workshops, led by the C-suite, to ensure each department understands how their goals align with and support the overall corporate vision and strategy.
- Institute peer networks that feature employee recognition programs to help foster connection, growth, and appreciation, as well as feedback circles to promote new ideas and get employees involved at the ground level.
Where to start
A data-driven approach to collecting and analyzing employee feedback can help your company pinpoint areas of concern in employee feedback surveys and help you address issues quickly and efficiently. Ask us how data visualization and AI can radically simplify that process.