Employee Feedback is Key to Culture and Retention

Employee Feedback is Key to Culture and Retention

Employee feedback is key to retaining your employees

2020 and 2021 have seen unprecedented challenges to businesses everywhere. In what has been dubbed the Great Resignation, employers are now seeing employees leaving their jobs in great numbers. It's a curious conundrum, but one what takes into question some very simple factors.

Many workers were forced to abandon their offices and take up work from home when the pandemic hit. For many, the prospect of not having long commutes to work was a blessing in disguise. But now that we're [hopefully] heading into the end of the pandemic, employers are starting to ask employees to come back into their place of work.

The pandemic changed the mindset of most people, myself included. With these changes to work-life balance and other uncertainties, many employees found themselves more willing and eager to voice their concerns and ask more questions. The problem, according to a survey, is that employers aren't listening, and this is one factor, an important one, that is driving more people to leave their jobs.

Engaging with employees and allowing them to provide feedback, or voice concerns has always been a best practice to creating an open and inclusive workplace culture. But under our current extenuating circumstances and workplace shifts, receiving feedback, and acting on that feedback has never been more crucial for the simple fact that your employees are your business. Without them, you have no business.

Engaging with employee feedback is critical to employee retention. The survey said employers aren't listening to feedback. Here are some quick stats:

  • 41% of Millennials said they don’t believe their feedback leads to meaningful change
  • 33% of Gen Z said that they don’t believe their feedback leads to meaningful change
  • 83% of Boomers said they don't believe their feedback leads to meaningful change

One of the hardest hit sectors, healthcare, saw some staggering results with 52% of healthcare workers saying they don't believe their employers listened to their feedback, and 43% say they are looking for new employment.

We're in the business of whistleblower hotlines to intake complaints, questions, or concerns. But surveys are just as effective for capturing this information. And apparently nobody is listening. This is a serious concern because of those surveyed, 52% said they fill out surveys because they want to drive positive change in their company.

It's very clear that these are employees who really care about their employer. Generally, employees want to have a voice in the core operations of their company. Pandemic aside, this includes what types of customers they serve, what services or products they produce and serve to those customers, and how those products or services are established and distributed or sold. The pandemic had a considerable impact on these issues in most workplaces.

Taking the pandemic into account, more employee feedback now involves how and when they work, safety and security concerns, and questions concerning their work and workplace.

Employees want to have a voice in all of these types of fundamental operational decisions and know that their feedback is not only heard, but has a meaningful impact in their workplace.

Increase employee confidence with a speak up culture

A speak-up culture is useless if you don't act on the feedback collected through employee surveys. A speak-up culture values and encourages employees to express their fears, provide their feedback, ask questions, raise concerns, and make suggestions without wondering if anything will be done about it.

Generally, employees want to have a voice in the core operations of their company. And to not listen to their feedback sends the message that any feedback surveys administered are just for show and a waste of time.

  • 63% of employees want to share feedback with management
  • 63% of employees want their voices and opinions to be heard
  • 52% of employees want to drive positive change in their company

When you’re serious about listening to employee feedback, you’re serious about culture. Surveys or whistleblower hotlines are a primary and explicit employee touchpoint for cultural transformation.

  • Only 2% of employees admitted to being completely or somewhat dishonest when taking surveys

Most employees are being truthful and sincere with their feedback. Failure to act on employee feedback leads to employee dissatisfaction. But how do you act on that feedback? Depending on the size of the company, the volume of feedback can be quite substantial and many companies lack the tools to manage it all.

For many HR leaders and managers, analyzing all that data, especially at enterprise scale can feel quite daunting and time consuming. But responses to these surveys, and whistleblower hotline tools have quality information and have the greatest potential to reveal insights that can drive meaningful change.

A trustworthy compliance case management tool provides a single source of truth that’s accurate and enables management to analyze data on many different levels to gain complete visibility into the organization's internal workplace culture. 

Employees aren't just filling out surveys because they have nothing to do or say. If management is serious about taking employee feedback into consideration when making business decisions, ethics and attitude, workplace culture follows. And employee retention increases.

5 Steps to Create a Whistleblower Culture

Sources:
https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/why-are-people-really-leaving-their-jobs-whole-reason-can-be-summed-up-in-4-words.html https://www.npr.org/2021/06/24/1007914455/as-the-pandemic-recedes-millions-of-workers-are-saying-i-quit
https://explorance.com/wp-content/uploads/explorance-resource/employee-feedback-survey-report-explorance.pdf

photo Amanda Nieweler

Amanda Nieweler

Amanda writes for WhistleBlower Security about ethics, compliance, workplace culture, and whistleblower hotlines. Amanda brings her nearly two decades of risk and compliance experience to the WBS blog where she is dedicated to helping people and companies promote speak-up cultures.