In 2021, every business sector across the world experienced a similar phenomenon “The Great Resignation/ The Great Reshuffling”. According to the Harvard Business Review, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs during this movement— an unprecedented mass exit from the workforce, spurred on by Covid-19.
A study conducted by MIT Sloan found that the five top predictors of attrition during The Great Resignation were toxic corporate culture, job insecurity and reorganization, high levels of innovation, failure to recognize employee performance, and poor response to COVID-19. During “The Great Resignation” employees chose to no longer tolerate these characteristics in a workplace. Characteristics that caused long hours, poor work life balance, stress and danger to employee safety were no longer tolerated because the effects of COVID-19 put many things into perspective for employees and employers. During this time, it was demonstrated that high productivity could be achieved without the sacrifice of long hours and time away from loved ones, that remote work works and is very much preferred by many employees, that life is unexpected so decisions previously not made out of fear should be made now, and that the job market is full of opportunity.
What Does 2022 Look Like for Employers?
Right now, workers have the upper hand and that doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Covid’s seismic disruption of the labor market has created a massive demand for workers of all kinds. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the health care sector lacked half a million workers in August 2021. By the end of the year, they reported only a small (50k) improvement in this employment metric.
During this transformational year, employees learned that the freedom to work in a remote or hybrid environment made managing their work life balance much easier. Many employees wish to continue to work from home, alongside a number of additional adjustments such as flexible work hours, internet stipends and more.
External factors such as benefits, the pandemic, government policies and others can seem like good reasons for reduced retention or trouble with recruiting. However, it is the lack of flexibility to adjust around these factors that is the true issue. Even in the most difficult of environments, employers have to realize that it is the response to external factors that negatively influence retention.
With the market leaning in favor of employees more companies are changing their policies to attract and retain the right talent. Many companies are concerned about what they need to offer to retain and attract the top employees. Now more than ever, employee happiness is critical to business access.
Prioritizing Employee Happiness
Employers need to prioritize employee happiness and catch up with employee needs. Because under the conditions of the current state of the workplace, employee happiness is not just good for morale, it’s good for retention and business. According to PeopleKeep, it costs 6-9 months of an employee’s annual salary to refill their position. However, measuring and understanding employee happiness is a difficult task as so much of what makes up employee happiness is intangible, multi-faceted or not easily measured quantitatively. So, how do you know how to keep your employees?
The Importance of Employee Feedback
Gathering and taking action on employee feedback fills the communication void between employees and employers. In sourcing and understanding the true needs and issues of their employees, businesses can take relevant and timely action to ensure strong retention.
There are a wide array of benefits in collecting employee feedback and taking action. These include
- Employee retention
- Better understanding of employees
- Increased productivity
- Communicating valuing for contributions
- Diversity of business solutions
- Innovative idea sharing
However, many employers believe that collecting employee feedback is simply asking questions, in an annual survey, town hall, or manager meeting. The current status quo about employee feedback is soliciting feedback via surveys, forcing feedback from employees at a certain point in time. But, a good culture of feedback means giving your employees the opportunity to come forward with feedback when and where they need to, on their own terms. We have all heard the words, “my door is always open!” But an open door isn’t enough. Collecting employee feedback is more than a sentiment, survey, or exit interview, it is a process.
How to Effectively Collect Feedback
So, how do you collect employee feedback? A few common methods of feedback collection are:
- Regular 1:1’s
- Open Door Policy
- People Business Partners
- Anonymous Reporting Platforms
- Surveys (Engagement, lifecycle, annual)
But, alone these methods are not effective. The ideal employee feedback structure should have all of the forums listed available to employees. And, sharing these available forums should be an ongoing process designed to inform, educate, support and listen (IESL).
How to Develop a Successful Employee Feedback Strategy
Step 1: Evaluate the different ways managers and your HR department are currently sourcing feedback and study what works and what doesn't. Some questions you'll want to answer in this discovery process include:
- How many methods are there currently?
- What software is being used to source them?
- Which methods are not working?
- Which methods are proving to be useful?
- How can these useful methods be incorporated into a comprehensive feedback strategy?
Step 2: Build out your own strategy, establish goals, select a few platforms, and get on the same page. Your strategy needs to address a few crucial questions:
- What are our goals in sourcing feedback and how will we measure them?
- How will we ensure successful employee adoption and buy in?
- Who will be responding to reports and how can we standardize the response and resolution process?
- What additional steps can we take to make this a part of our company culture?
Step 3: The third step in successfully launching an employee feedback initiative that demonstrates you’re serious is sourcing employee feedback about the employee feedback initiative is sourcing employee feedback. Opening up the pre planning phase of your strategy to a diverse group of employees for feedback demonstrates a couple of things. First, that this feedback management program will be the real deal. Encouraging feedback and acting on this feedback from the inception of the program itself demonstrates a commitment to the cause from the very beginning. And second, will give you some time to create buzz and buy in around the initiative.
Step 4: Bake it into your processes. Successful implementation will take time and continuous reminders, advocacy and action. This is easier to achieve by incorporating your strategy into company practices that already exist such as newsletters, email signatures, town hall meetings etc.
Step 5: Take action and share action. Taking relevant and responsive action and sharing any actions done in response to reports and feedback will encourage more feedback.
How AllVoices Can Help Increase Retention with Employee Feedback
It can seem hard to prioritize employee feedback management over short term solutions that may generate quicker results. But, simply not collecting this feedback doesn’t mean that these feelings and issues don’t exist. Feedback without an outlet creates systemic workplace issues and poor workplace culture that only leads to more work down the line in the form of retention issues, leading to more recruiting needs, potential legal issues, negative press etc. that are difficult to come back from. It’s better to be proactive than to play catch up after a public, reputation harming issue comes to light. Although the results from a comprehensive feedback strategy might not seem immediately visible or gratifying, they are significant. With a strong strategy, and a platform like AllVoices, you can build trust, decrease negative elements that create more work, stay competitive as an employer, save time and energy on varied softwares, and initiatives that do not work.
If you want to increase retention with employee feedback, you should consider connecting with AllVoices. AllVoices is a comprehensive employee feedback management platform that empowers your employees to share their queries and complaints. When employees have a trusted platform to share their challenges, they feel secure, valued, heard, and happy. And now more than ever, happy employees should be at the forefront of your business strategy.