In recent years, we’ve reported on the gradual decline in companies relying on an annual survey to listen to their people. This year however, this figure has remained static at 32%, which was the same as in 2020.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of regular pulse surveys, as HR professionals and business leaders realised that getting feedback once a year meant they couldn’t keep up with the pace of change or leveraging the employee voice to help shape hybrid working practices.
However, against the background of the cost-of-living crisis and a focus on ‘harder’ business outcomes like retention, performance & productivity, our 2023 study highlighted a step backwards – 17% of organisations are not formally listening to their people and of those that do, slightly fewer are relying on more regular pulse surveys. Given the plethora of studies showing the link between employee engagement and business outcomes, like engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their job, this is surprising.
HR professionals have the potential to do more to position employee listening as a way of driving retention and business performance. Here, we offer our top tips to help achieve this:
1. Ask employees about their future plans
In your employee survey, ask employees about their future plans and whether they plan to stay working at your organisation, and the reasons why. By understanding the root causes of why people may be leaving, you can take action before your best talent walks out the door.
2. Ask for feedback on managers
It’s often said that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Ask employees for specific feedback on what their manager is doing well and how they can improve, then use this to identify managers that need more support and coaching.
3. Use onboarding surveys
Embed an onboarding survey. 31% of people leave a new job in their first six months, so by ensuring every new starter has a great employee experience, you’ll reduce your new starter turnover.
4. Notice if there are trends in your data
Use your employee feedback to crowd source new ideas and leverage objective data to help you prioritise where to focus your limited resources.
5. Link employee engagement results to business metrics
Over time, link your employee engagement results to business metrics like customer experience, absence levels and retention. Demonstrating the return on investment and using your own data, is a sure-fire way to win over your CFO and ensure the employee voice is a priority.
This article contains a snippet from The State of Employee Engagement 2023/24. This report draws on insights from over 450 senior HR practitioners to understand their key priorities and challenges going into 2024, including key insights on employee listening, employee engagement, retention, recruitment, and productivity & performance.