Do you think your employees arehappy at work? Really? What if you knew that four of five of themwere actively looking for a new job? Would that motive you tochange your work environment?

|

According to a poll by Right Management, the talent and careermanagement unit with ManpowerGroup, 83% of nearly 900 workers whoresponded to an online poll say they “intend to actively seek a newposition in the New Year.” Another 12% are considering making amove, and just 5% intend to stay put.

|

Right Management's conclusion is that companies should find outmore about how their workers feel about their current workenvironment, and then take steps to redesign it based on feedbackreceived. Those companies that don't listen to their employees facethe astronomical costs of constant turnover, especially as the jobmarket gets hotter by the month.

|

“Engagement, loyalty and job satisfaction should be top concernsfor employers who want to keep their best talent,” said ScottAhlstrand, Right Management's global practice leader for employeeengagement. “High employee dissatisfaction has a ripple effect thatcan hurt the bottom line, disrupt productivity and damagemorale.

|

“These numbers should signal a wake-up call for top management,when four out of five employees say they intend to look foremployment elsewhere. Solutions to keeping the best talent on boardall point to effective engagement that drives performance,satisfaction and loyalty. Employers must act now to engage toptalent and prevent them from leaving for the competition,”Ahlstrand said.

|

Right Management offers these guidelines for getting feedbackfrom employees and responding to it effectively:

|

Read more: Don't assume …

|

|

1. Don't assume you knowwhat they want.

|

And don't assume that what made employees at other companieshappy will work for yours. Trying to improve the workplace climategenerically or based on tips at a seminar or from a book won'twork, because every workplace is different.

|

2. Start with an anonymous survey.

|

Your first task is to find out which aspects of their jobsmatter most to your particular workforce. Quantitative research –an online survey that employees can fill out anonymously – willgenerate the best results. There are tons of free or cheap surveysolutions. Find one. Use it.

|

3. Ask how you're doing on the issues they careabout.

|

Your survey should offer employees a list of qualities thatmight make them value their jobs. These may include such items ascareer development, relationships with their direct managers,quality of the work their team produces, whether they feel theiropinions are valued, and so on. Asking, “How much do you agree thatthis is important?” and “How good are we at this?” will get thebest results. Look for the gaps between what they think isimportant and what your company is doing well. And ask whatmanagement can do to make things better.

|

|

4. Plan possible responses aheadof time.

|

Although you're asking for their input, you should also have aplan of action in place, depending what you learn from theiranswer. Create a process for responding before you launch thesurvey. Who will respond? How will the responses be determined? Arethe solutions you offer doable? Who will implement them? Make aplan that's realistic and will show you have heard the feedback.But don't let the plan become too hard to manage or to implement.Instead of trying to do everything you can think of, focus hard onthe two or three areas employees tell you they care about themost.

|

5. Don't ask about things you can't or won'tchange.

|

Just as important as what's on the survey is what isn't there.When you ask employees about what they want, there's an implicitpromise that you're going to do something about it. So don't ask alot of questions about compensation if you have a system in placethat you're not willing to change. Don't solicit input on detailsof the benefits package if you can't afford to add them into thepackage.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.