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Five Signs You Need to Update Your Employee Research Today

August 20th 2018

Are you behind the times when it comes to employee engagement? These are the warning signs that we see the most when companies need to update their staff research.

The connection between engaged, satisfied staff and a better bottom line is now widely recognised by most modern businesses, and employee surveys are now considered to be part and parcel of running a successful organisation, but how do you know if your staff research is really getting the results you need?

TTi Global’s latest Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey reveals that many UK sectors are still failing to tune into what employees really want.

Meta-analysis of employee engagement conducted by Gallup reveals that the better engaged a company’s staff are, the better it performs as a whole.

Businesses at the top of their game consistently generate;

  • 10% higher customer loyalty
  • 21% greater profitability
  • 20% improved productivity

Once you can recognise the key indicators, you can update your staff research program to get better, more accurate results that will actually make a difference to your company’s output.

Employee Engagement Performance by Sector

TTi Global’s employee engagement and satisfaction data collected over the first half of 2018 indicates that, on a a scale of 1 to 10 – where 1 equals low engagement and 10 equals high engagement – the sectors illustrated below fell below the overall industry average of 8.2.

  • Automotive: 6.5
  • Utilities: 7.0
  • Hotel and Leisure: 7.7

The results collected and analysed also reveal that up to half of employees working within these industries value ‘understanding what is required of you’ as being most important to them for job satisfaction and morale. This indicates that more effort needs to be taken to communicate principal responsibilities and expectations to employees, as well as the tasks related directly to their roles, in order to improve staff engagement.

Keeping your employee engagement research strategy sharp is the key element to uncovering the game-changing insights you need to change company behaviour for the better. Continuing to roll out identikit staff surveys, using the same data collection methods, is a sure-fire way to end up with flawed data, and will likely present a skewed picture of what is really important to your employees.

Does your Staff Survey Make the Grade?

The crucial employee insights you need in order to drive engagement and make a significant difference to staff loyalty and retention metrics can only be achieved by using an effective, agile survey platform.

Here are 5 signs that your employee research is in need of an urgent upgrade:

1. You’re only paying attention to staff satisfaction

So, the results of your annual survey are in and, not only is overall employee satisfaction on a par with last year, and you’ve ticked all the boxes for increasing satisfaction – pay increases, professional development, and improved workplace relationships – you might think you’re onto a winner, right? Maybe not…

While a satisfied employee and an engaged employee may be closely connected, it is important to recognise the distinction between the two. Sure, a satisfied employee is content, and highly likely to get along with colleagues, enjoy their work, and are happy with your performance management system. That’s great! However, an engaged employee is someone who truly believes in your company and what it stands for, and advocates positively for the company outside of working ours – positively promoting what it does and recommending it as both an employer and a service provider.

By only focusing on and measuring satisfaction, you’ll only ever receive half of the picture. Measuring and understanding key engagement attributes – such as understanding, recommendation and connection – provides a far more comprehensive insight into your employees’ genuine wants and needs. Capturing these could be just what your business needs to build the employee-centric, productive, and profitable workplace you’ve been craving.

2. You’re making it about you

Letting company leaders and managers design your employee survey is a sure-fire way to end up with flat, one-dimensional data – even if implemented by an external research company.

A top-notch employee survey should involve staff consultation and input from inception and throughout. The first step of TTi Global’s Employee Engagement Quality Analysis framework, for example, involves extensive qualitative interviewing of staff members across every level of the staff community – from managers and council members, right through to front and back office staff and home-workers. We do this to delve deep and dig out the real and relevant problems they encounter and what they believe to be the cause. This ensures that our research delivers relevant, statistically significant intelligence, and the collaborative process ensures that employees are engaged with the project from the outset, ensuring staff contribution and ownership over its success.

3. Increasing Customer Complaints

How engaged your employees are with their work, and your company as a whole has a significant impact on how they will interact and respond to your customers. Are your social media channels brimming with glowing, positive feedback, or weighed down by complaints? If employee research isn’t identifying or addressing the problems of your customer-facing staff, then something is very wrong. In today’s digital world of online reviews and using social media to make important purchase decisions, this is even more crucial.

A winning staff survey should uncover all of the factors affecting your employees’ performance and, most importantly, identify any barriers preventing them providing compelling customer service. The very best surveys will also provide rich understanding of employees’ expectations and their degree of importance, enabling you to quickly and clearly identify where improvement actions are most needed to avoid active disengagement among staff members, which could very well push your customers away for good.

The key to keeping your customers happy and coming back for more is shaping a great customer experience, and a great employee experience is that crucial first step.

4. Focusing on a Single Part of Employee Life

It’s natural for companies to prioritise their customer journey, and tracking it has become the norm for any company seeking to make customer interactions as simple and effortless as possible. However, enhancing you employee experience means that your employee survey has to scrutinise your staff’s journey just as closely. If your survey is only capturing a single perspective – i.e. that of an active staff member – seeing the whole journey from the employee’s point of view will be near impossible.

Companies need to be tracking all touch points employees encounter when dealing with your company, from their interview process and onboarding, to learning, development, and benefits, through to performance feedback and resignation or retirement. This helps organisations to identify the precise changes required to optimise policies, processes, and even personnel in order to increase engagement levels throughout the employee lifecycle.

5. Failing to Benchmark Competitors

Market positions can be notoriously shaky, and many companies turn to customer research to scope out customer expectations and find potential new markets. Most companies are also aware that it’s not just about winning new customers, but also pleasing and retaining the ones you already have.

Similarly, while effective staff research should certainly help in targeting and tackling in-house problems – and so providing a better, more valuable experience for your customers – it is also key to highlighting how your employee experience differs from your rivals, and finding ways to plug the gaps that exist among your closest competitors. This earns your business an important competitive edge while driving staff engagement and attracting and retailing top talent. If you haven’t embraced competitor benchmarking as part of your employee research strategy, there’s no time like the present!

Ready to Maximise your Employee Engagement?

We help companies world-wide, from blue-chips to burgeoning businesses transform workplace engagement, resulting in happier, more productive employees and happier, more loyal customers. We deliver a wide range of world-class, scalable employee research programmes, including employee satisfaction surveys, employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, staff focus groups, employee telephone surveys, plus much more. To find out how we can improve your workforce engagement, contact us today.