Employee engagement has a cascading effect on organizations. Someone who’s satisfied with their workplace is more likely to stick around longer. And of course they’ll be more productive. But on the other side of the fence, an employee who is down in the dumps won’t be as productive and has a higher chance of quitting.
Good riddance, right? Wrong. The cost of an employee leaving is extremely expensive. So is the cost of recruitment. Yet organizations are still spending a heaping amount of money on their employee engagement strategies when they can put half of that amount of money towards a pulsing survey. Here’s how these surveys can actually save organizations money:
Current Cost of Engagement
Employee happiness should be at the heart of any company. But consider what this study by Bersin & Associates found:
“Organizations currently invest approximately $720 million annually in engagement improvement, including both outsourced and internally developed programs. Only 50% of the potential market has been tapped, with half the organizations stating an interest in engagement programs actually investing.”
How’s that working out for people? Well, the outlook isn’t very good — Gallup says 87% of the global workforce is actually disengaged. When it comes to improving the work environment, companies are missing the mark. They’re overspending in all the wrong places. And because there’s no improvement in engagement, employees resort to quitting.
Current Cost of Turnover
The cost of an employee walking out the door is frightening. Check out what this report by TalentWise uncovered:
When an employee walks out the door, they’re taking 70% of their knowledge with them
And there’s no way to recover that knowledge. An employee becomes more valuable over time in the sense that they become experts at their positions. They understand their daily responsibilities like the back of their hand and can get through them in the most efficient way possible. But when this person leaves, all of that experience leaves with them.
Current Cost of Recruitment
Aside from losing valuable knowledge, companies will also take a huge financial hit while they hunt for a replacement and bring them on board. A study by Columbia University revealed that replacing a lost employee costs 150% of that person’s annual salary. Not to mention, there are other factors that you have to consider:
Advertising job openings
Screening a candidate
Cost of onboarding
Recruitment is also expensive! Considering all of the costs that go into recruitment and hiring, you’d think there would be a simple solution to avoid this hot mess, right?
Of course. And this is where pulsing surveys come into play. The great advantage of this tool is that it can help managers uncover employee sentiment in real-time fashion.
Digging Beneath the Surface
Workplace sentiment can change at the drop of a hat. One week, someone can feel like they’re on cloud nine, and the next, they could be down in the dumps. It’s reality. That’s why it’s pointless for leaders to wait 12 months for employee feedback. You never know when things can take a turn for the worse.
So instead of playing the waiting game, leaders need to be proactive. Sending out a survey once a week allows managers to stay in the loop with how their employees are feeling. Especially when these surveys are anonymous, people are more willing to unleash their concerns and frustrations.
An article by Psychology Today mentioned that unleashing frustrations has the power to restore the brain’s equilibrium and allows people to think more logically. Thus, giving employees an outlet to do so will help them de-stress and let their voice be heard. Of course, the anonymity factor comforts them by keeping their identity hidden so they can avoid fearing any negative retribution.
Improving the Workplace Culture
You can’t fix what you don’t measure. But you also can’t simply just send out a survey and hope for the best. It’s not a magical cure. If you really want to improve your employee retention strategy, you’ll need to commit to acting on the feedback. This is the ideal way to show your employees that their opinions matter and you actually care about creating an environment where they can thrive in.
Don’t just give the leadership team access to the feedback results. Share them with your organization to get their minds ticking about solutions. This brings the employee into the decision-making process. So instead of only letting managers and supervisors be responsible for improving the culture, you’re empowering employees to improve their own work culture.
As this study by Deloitte points out:
“Although culture and engagement play such a critical role in business performance, most organizations do a poor job of measuring their achievements or shortcomings. Historically, companies have relied on annual engagement surveys, often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and taking months to deploy. And very few companies have a process or tools to measure culture and learn where it is strong, weak, or inconsistent. At a time when corporate cultures are being continuously debated, shaped, and redefined on social networks, the once-a-year survey is perilously obsolete.”
Saving the Bank
We’ve already mentioned the high cost of turnover and recruitment. So how do pulsing surveys really save organizations money? Well, for starters, you’re uncovering issues and finding solutions before things go awry. Basically, you’re nipping the problem right in the bud.
If an employee is unhappy with how transparent their manager is or they’re starting to feel burnt out, you don’t want to wait 12 months for them to speak up. Within those 12 months, they could be long gone. Leaders can use pulsing surveys to measure how the work culture is performing and how well their employees are engaged. Because a weak culture can be detrimental to an employee’s happiness, and an employee’s happiness is the deciding factor for whether or not they’ll stay the organization. So being able to avoid the cost of turnover and recruitment will save your organization a whole load of money.
Why waste all that money on hokey employee engagement strategies that are obviously not working? Give pulsing surveys a try to really stay on top of how your employees are feeling and to keep them sticking around for the long haul.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.