Turn the Lessons of “The Great Resignation” Into Your Organization’s “Great Differentiator”

Written by Explorance.

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Synopsis: This blog discusses the potential factors causing The Great Resignation, and how organizations can take the necessary steps to turn the lessons learned from this employee exodus into “the great differentiator” for your organization.

The Great Resignation has affected nearly every industry from retail and hospitality to manufacturing, healthcare, technology and the supply chain. In August 2021 alone, 4.3 million Americans left their jobs, which amounts to 2.9% of the workforce, the highest percentage ever reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seemingly no one is immune, and this phenomenon is ongoing, with no end in sight. Many factors have been cited as drivers of employee flight, from a desire for higher compensation, greater job flexibility, improved work/life balance and other factors.

Beyond those factors, there are steps every organization can take to stem the tide of employee turnover and turn the lessons learned from The Great Resignation into “the great differentiator” for your organization.

The first thing employers must do is collect employee feedback. Employees welcome the opportunity to share their feedback. In fact, according to a new survey commissioned by Explorance and conducted by Wakefield Research, four in five employers are eager to take employee surveys. What’s more, nearly four in 10 employees say employee surveys are their preferred method for sharing feedback with or about their company, the highest percentage of any response option.

Perhaps the most important parts of these surveys are the open-ended questions that allow employees to share their unfiltered thoughts. They’re the only questions where workers can provide unique insight into what is motivating them to stay or go. Though open-ended questions are often the most time-consuming part of surveys, an astounding 98% of employees always, usually or sometimes provide answers to them, which proves how important it is for employees to share their opinion and how much they hope it is valued by their employer. In fact, among those who always or usually complete workplace surveys, nearly two thirds (63%) say they do so to share feedback with management and allow their voice and opinions to be heard, while more than half (52%) do so to drive positive change in their company.

Too often, however, what employees aren’t getting from their efforts are results—literally and figuratively. In fact, 43% of employees say they never see the results from surveys, and 45% say their feedback doesn’t really change anything. This is why taking the time to analyze survey feedback—both closed- and open-ended questions—is so important. And often, difficult too.

Many companies are simply unable to analyze text-based comments at scale. They have thousands of employees, generating massive amounts of structured and unstructured survey response data. As a leading provider of XM solutions, Explorance developed BlueML, a purpose-built comment analysis solution that easily integrates with a company’s existing HRIS tech stack and can be used to analyze responses to company surveys as well as comments from other sources (e.g., performance reviews, Glassdoor, etc.) as well.

With BlueML’s help, “the great differentiator” can take effect. It’s incumbent upon employers to not only be transparent about the survey process, but to commit to sharing the results—and then to provide a timeline on when improvements will be made based on the feedback.

For employee feedback that is actionable, make it clear in your internal communications what the feedback was, what change was suggested, and how and when that change will be implemented. Of course, employees understand that no organization can act on every piece of employee feedback. Acknowledging that the feedback has been received and is being considered is the first order of business. If possible, explain why requested changes cannot be implemented. Close the loop and let employees know they are being heard and their feedback is being acted on.

With no signs that The Great Resignation is slowing, it’s more important than ever for companies to do more with company surveys than simply reminding employees to take them. What you do with the employee feedback you collect can be the differentiator between your company and your competition.

For more key findings from the Explorance survey, please click here.


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