As we begin 2017, it is
important that we learn from the past so that the business decisions we make in
the future are based upon facts and data in order to develop a coordinated
strategy. One of HR’s goals over the
past year has been to retain talent as well as look for alternative ways to
respond to the current business challenges.
Preserving our company’s competitive edge by retaining our high
performers along through the use of HR metrics will allow us to be better
positioned for the future.
The Human Resource
profession over the past decade has become much more sophisticated by utilizing
metrics to examine employee trends in order to better anticipate future challenges
and opportunities. When we use HR
metrics and evaluate historical patterns we are better able to respond to the
challenges we face on the job. A key
challenge is determining if our reward and benefit dollars are being used
wisely. Metrics are a common measurement
across all professions and are used as a way to retain, challenge talent and
hold people accountable. One key metric
that is being used by thousands of HR professionals is the employee survey. The analysis and subsequent data following a
survey is a key tool in determining employee satisfaction, management
effectiveness and employee engagement.
With so many people looking for that next opportunity, retention of a
company’s employees is often critical to its survival. Understanding and responding to these
employees’ concerns and questions are important components in ensuring that
For the purpose of this
analysis respondents completed an on-line survey consisting of questions about
their jobs, executive leadership, staff development, core values, compensation
and benefits and management at their organization. The number of statements from each company
ranges from 15 to over 150. The number of respondents from each company ranges
from a minimum of 100 to well over 2,500.
Using the Likert scale (from 1.00 to 5.00) the levels of employee
satisfaction are as follows:
Using normative data is
important for clients as this information serves as a benchmark which allows a
company to compare their own mean scores with the client base. Normative scores are updated continuously
and, due to the size of our database, we can utilize an 99.9% confidence
interval, resulting in a margin of error of + .01. This means that our clients have a high level
of confidence in the data they receive.
In the past, clients have often requested that we create norms that
would provide a benchmark against their industry or region in the country.
Today, however, we have begun to see a shift from benchmarking within one's own
industry toward benchmarking against other “best places to work”. This is
particularly true with regard to benchmarking in the areas of organizational
climate, culture, engagement, management and leadership.
This review is based on
data collected from over 70,000 working individuals from organizations
representing a broad cross-section of industries and regions of the country. All
data is effective as of December 31, 2016.
Areas of Employee
In general, employees
are satisfied with their jobs. Employees
appreciate that management is operating the business efficiently, often under
conditions of uncertainty and with tight resources. For a complete review by functional area as
it relates to satisfaction levels please see the chart below:
With respect to
employee management relations, employees gave this area a satisfaction rating
of 3.89 or moderate levels of satisfaction. The great majority of employees
believe that their manager will listen to their point of view and assist them
in growing professionally. In addition,
the survey results indicate that management treats and respects all
individuals, diversity is encouraged and has become a part of the corporate
Job satisfaction was
another highly-rated area achieving a satisfaction rating of 3.83 or moderate
levels of satisfaction. A high
percentage of employees enjoy the work they do, are challenged and feel a
strong sense of accomplishment in their position. They believe that they can make a contribution
and want to be a part of making their company successful.
A majority of employees
indicated that they feel they have a career with their organization and that
they work well as a team. They support
their co-workers in their department by sharing information and offering advice.
Career Opportunities received a 3.76 satisfaction rating or moderate levels of
satisfaction. Our respondents however
want to experience more internal opportunities and career paths that offer them
challenges as well as more financial growth.
The survey responses
focusing on the mission, vision and values of the organization received a 3.95 or
high levels of satisfaction. This
response would suggest that employees understand the importance of supporting
the strategic mission of their organization.
According to the survey
data, employees understand how important customer satisfaction is to
maintaining the financial health of their company. Employees value strong customer relations and
recognize that only by satisfying the customer will the organization be
successful. The module satisfaction rating
for this functional area was 3.56 or neutral levels of satisfaction. Many respondents believe that the learning
opportunities at their company have declined over the past several years. A recommitment to learning, along with a more
formal training program that will equip employees to successfully carry out the
requirements of their present and future job roles will need to be a strong
consideration for the future. The survey
data suggests that employees believe that as technology changes, and as new
management techniques are required, organizations will need to offer additional
support to help them meet these new challenges. Clearly the lack of training is
an area of concern for progressive employers.
It is anticipated that
Human Resources will face tremendous challenges in three key areas as the
economy continues to grow. These areas include compensating employees fairly,
ensuring that communication flows freely throughout the organization and
providing employees with the training necessary to ensure their competency in
Employees rated fair
compensation the lowest of all areas surveyed; this area received a
satisfaction rating of 3.34 or low levels of satisfaction. This value indicates low levels of
satisfaction with the pay and rewards programs.
Employees feel the financial pressures and at the same time they believe
they are not compensated at a level commensurate with their duties and
responsibilities. Over the next twelve months employees will desire additional
compensation and/or look for new opportunities.
Communication is an
issue for a majority of companies. Effective communication was rated low with a
satisfaction rating of 3.42 or low levels of satisfaction. Employees are
requesting more information about the new products and services offered by
their company as well as management’s clarification of the organization’s
vision and prospects for growth.
Employees would also like to have more advance notice of activities
occurring at their organization and receive information about changes and strategic
decisions that affect them in a timelier manner. Respondents very often do not believe that
other departments are keeping them informed about key projects that are under
consideration or have been approved. An
improvement in communication is critical to ensure the success of a company.
What is Important to
Understanding what is
important to employees is critical for the Human Resource professional. The
data suggests that progressive compensation practices are a key indicator of a
productive organization. Employees
understand that career opportunities are dependent on the economy and how their
company is positioned for the future. Ensuring
that a company’s compensation program remains competitive is an important issue
that employers will need to address in the near term, especially in
circumstances where employees’ workloads and responsibilities have increased
due to reduced staffing levels in selected industries. Using a 1 - 100% scale, a complete review of
functional areas that are important to employees are illustrated in the chart
It is anticipated that
Human Resources will face tremendous challenges in three key areas as the
economy continues to grow and expand. These areas include compensating
employees fairly, ensuring that teamwork and collaboration are consistently
practiced throughout the organization and that managers are skilled mentors to
help provide coaching and career suggestions to their employees.
Compensation is valued
by employees at an 84.7% rating. This
rating suggests that as the economy expands employers will need to respond to
the pressure from their staff to increase merit pay or they may see a rise in
turnover due to poor pay practices.
The data suggests that
over the past several years teamwork has become more important to
employees. Enhancing and maintaining
teamwork is critical to retaining talent.
Teamwork is valued by employees at an 83.8% rating. This rating suggests that management will
need to focus on team building activities to better support both the internal
and external the customer.
The data suggests that managers
play a critical role in supporting their subordinates. Enhancing and maintaining a strong
partnership is critical to retaining talent.
Strong and skilled managers are valued by employees at an 84.8% rating. This rating suggests that management will
need to continue to develop skilled managers to act as a coach and mentor.
employers today face extraordinary challenges with respect to managing the
business and at the same time meeting the needs of their employees.