In our 2016 Industry Ranking Report, we analyzed over 500,000 survey responses from over 60,000 employees in 13 different industries to uncover the trends impacting engagement in various sectors. Phew — that was a mouthful. And we found a commonality among the happiest industries (Consumer Products & Services, Real Estate, and Technology & Software): they understand the importance of gathering employee feedback.
Turns out that feedback isn’t just a nice to have nor is it even optional. It’s a must because, in a way, this issue is the key to all the other factors that feed into employee happiness. Whether you’re talking about professional development or coworker relationships or overall happiness, the only way you’ll know you’re succeeding in fostering a thriving organizational culture is if you ask.
Here’s food for thought: businesses measure profits and competition on a regular basis, so why isn’t employee sentiment just as much of a priority?
And here’s the catch. The happiest industries don’t just ask for feedback. They act on it.
But the consequences of asking for feedback and then ignoring it are huge. BlessingWhite found that it can be a killer of employee engagement:
Before surveys are started, 27% of employees are engaged
If the survey is followed up with action, engagement increases to 47%
But if the survey is not followed up with action, engagement drops to 24%
It’s obvious that employees don’t just want the chance to air out their grievances. They’re looking to become partners with their companies by identifying and acting on problems in the workplace.
Getting the workforce involved in the company is a vital component in employee appreciation, as this response from the Real Estate industry explains:
“It is incredible how much more influence each employee at this company has on decisions and business growth. There is not one person on this team that can’t propose an idea and act on it, in fact it is encouraged! No matter what our job titles are we all have the ability to make an impact on any piece of the company and push forward! Compared to my last employer this is completely different. I didn’t feel needed or appreciated there.”
It’s interesting to note that some employees viewed “making an impact” in a broader sense. This happy employee in Technology & Software describes the value of making a difference in the wider world in addition to the company:
“While I was definitely able to make an impact on the company in my old position, in this one I feel I’m able to make an impact on millions of lives and that’s inspiring me and happily driving me through the 10-12 hour days.”
Note that these employees don’t say anything about their companies being perfect. The feedback they give may not always be positive — what’s important is that they can speak up about problems and play a role in improving things around them.