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Keeping Your Talent From Leaving: Know Your Employees

Employers are facing serious challenges in keeping their talent: The lingering effects of COVID have resulted in a smaller workforce, return to the office policies are turning off employees who have enjoyed working from home, and increasing wage inflation makes hiring new employees more expensive. Employees are buying into the concept of the Great Resignation, expressing their concerns in a powerful way: by quitting.

It has always been true that it is easier and less costly to keep an employee than it is to replace them. But what can employers do?

How to Keep Your Talent

The question for employers is what to do to keep talent, while maintaining costs and efficiency. One of the easiest and often neglected things employers can do is to ask their employees about the company culture and their satisfaction with it. Understanding where employees are dissatisfied and fixing those issues help keep them from “voting with their feet.” A simple employee satisfaction survey will help you know where to


A successful employee satisfaction survey should measure three things:

1. Employee Satisfaction with Key Motivators

2. The Importance of the Motivators to the Employee

3. Is the Company Living Up to Its Aspirational Culture

Employee Satisfaction with Motivators

In its annual global engagement survey, Sigred Solutions asks about 12 key motivators, including: recognition, responsibilities, growth opportunities, compensation, and being a valued member of the team. Understanding the satisfaction of employees with those motivators shows employers where they need to focus.

Importance of the Motivators to the Employee

With scarce resources (time and money), employers cannot focus on improving all the motivators at once. Knowing what is important to employees is vital to allocating efforts where they will have the most benefit. The Sigred Solutions engagement survey asks all employees the importance of each motivator to them. Focus on improving the motivators that are meaningful to employees, not on the ones that aren’t.

Are You Living Up to Your Aspirational Culture

Most employers have a corporate culture that they are living (or believe they are living). It is important to ask your employees whether they feel the same way. Management typically has a higher opinion of living the culture than the employees do. Asking your employees about the culture will help improve it.

What to Watch Out For

Employee engagement and culture surveys do not need to be complicated or hard to implement. Most employers can set up a survey on their own. However, there are a couple pitfalls to watch out for when conducting a survey. First, the survey must be anonymous (and the employees must believe it). Without anonymity, it will be more challenging to get honest results. Second, management must commit to presenting the results (good or bad) and taking action to improve them. This can be uncomfortable territory for managers, but is key to building goodwill and increasing retention.

Employee engagement surveys can be a powerful tool to combat the challenges in today’s war for talent. Understanding and addressing the satisfaction of your employees will help you retain them and improve your standing as an employer of choice in your community.

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