How employees feel about their work and their organisation has an impact on the performance and success of the company and its ability to engage and retain skilled employees.

The current slack labour market conditions have reduced staff turnover but there is a build-up of restless and frustrated employees. Two engagement surveys conducted by Beststart HR had quite surprising results for the employers with employees in one feeling disengaged because they neither understood nor felt they contributed to the company’s strategy; in the other, they did not fully value the pay and benefits they received.

Employees like to feel that they have contributed to the overall success of a company and be given specific strategic objectives which provide an indication of their personal contribution. The first company addressed this with a cascade of the Managing Director’s company objectives, one of which was client attrition. Each department was then tasked with identifying an aligned team objective which in turn was cascaded to individuals as part of their appraisal. This resulted in the Customer Services Team being set a goal of increasing the percentage of client feedback forms that were overall ‘good’ to ‘very good’. The sales figures rose, and this was demonstratively by the company retaining more clients and an increase in the amount of repeat business.

In the second company, the staff felt that they were respected, involved, heard and well led. The results showed they had a personal attachment to their work and the organisation they worked for. However, they felt undervalued in comparison to other firms within their sector in terms of the pay and benefits they received. It is important that employees consider their compensation to be equitable – in terms of pay and benefits.  Consequently, a benefits survey was conducted in order to drill down and identify exactly what staff perceptions were. Some of the staff’s comments:

“We all work very long hours,… we love [the company]… there have been rewards inthe past which have been appreciated, they have been sporadic and inconsistent”. “Many of the staff are very committed to [the company’s] success and have put in additional hours to achieve this.  I feel that if the staff are investing in [the company’s] future it would be fair if [the company] invested in us”.

As with many fast growing businesses, this company’s benefits package met the statutory minimums. The company had also been generous in terms of specific benefits like: company-wide trips away; iPads for all staff; £250 a month for the staff to spend on something ‘fun’ and a generous CPD allowance.  However, its employees did not seem to consider these as ‘benefits’.

To address the feedback from the survey and to begin aligning the business objectives, it was suggested that the company should implement a benefit scheme that had choice.

It is important for companies to identify if their employees are engaged and what they could do to increase the overall satisfaction of their staff.  The results may be surprising and the ‘fix’ could be simple yet highly effective.

For assistance in developing engagement surveys and implementing staff retention programmes please contact Anita Wynne at Beststart HR on or Tel: 01438 747 747.