Employee Surveys Can Help Your Retention Strategy

Are your employees happy? Do you know what they’re saying about their jobs, the workplace, and even each other? Maybe now would be a good time to for an employee survey, especially if there’s a revolving door sucking the wind out of your retention efforts.

Employee happiness can affect retention, engagement and more.

Researchers at the University of Warwick (U.K.) produced a report that examined connections between employee happiness, workplace productivity, and overall company performance. Among a number of data points include the fact that happy workers are 12% more productive than average workers, while unhappy workers are 10% less productive.

Sometimes, a few bad apples can affect how happy and productive your workplace is.

When workers are openly critical of bosses or coworkers, spread gossip, or perform in ways that don’t align with your company’s culture, this can undermine your ability to retain other talented team members. And with job sites that let workers rate employers, not to mention the reach of social media, unhappy employees with web connections now have megaphones that can affect the way job seekers view your company.

Surveying employees can help you get to bottom of worker dissatisfaction

Sometimes, workers become unhappy because they feel like the company hasn’t helped them build and follow a career path. Others can feel overlooked and underappreciated, as if their contributions don’t matter. And other times, details about the workplace itself can make it difficult for employees to concentrate and do their jobs.

To get to the bottom of what’s going on with employees, some companies use surveys to help gain the insight they need.


Is your workplace dealing with revolving door syndrome, and losing employees faster than you can hire new ones? Or are recent hires leaving after only a few months? Maybe now would be a good time to get their feedback. Our recent Spotlight, “Improve Employee Retention,” discusses a number of steps your company can take to help improve your retention rate, including using employee surveys.

Read the Report


Surveys can be an excellent way to connect with employees, and find out how they feel about work.

Many employers use anonymous surveys in the hopes that their employees will feel safe as they provide honest feedback. But be advised that choosing an anonymous survey can be a double-edged sword:

  • When employees are nameless, it limits your ability to follow up with them, and gain clarity around their ideas.
  • An anonymous survey can be a platform for unhappy employees to vent about work, workplace conditions, and even their colleagues, without offering actionable ways to improve things.
  • Finally, what does it say about your culture if your employees need to stay anonymous in order to share their opinions?

Whether surveys are anonymous or not, it’s important to remember that while feedback matters, how you respond to feedback can matter even more. That’s why it’s critical to take action where you can, especially if it helps improve your retention rate.

Customer survey feedback blackboard drawing

3 Common Issues that Employee Surveys Reveal

Here are three common issues that surveys can help you get to the bottom of, along with questions you can ask to uncover them:

1. Employees feel underutilized

Do team members feel like they’re valuable to your business’ success? Or do they feel more like automatons who simply show up, clock in, and go home without making a difference one way or the other?

  • Consider asking: Do you feel like you’ve been given the opportunity to help the company meet its goals? How can we do a better job at helping you be more involved?

Asking these questions can help you see ways that employees might feel like they’re underutilized, and encourage them to step forward and express that they want to be doing more.

2. Employees can’t see their role in the bigger picture

Most employees like knowing that their employer has their best interest in mind, and sees them as part of the company’s future. And knowing where the job is taking them, and how they fit into the company’s vision, can make a big difference in how engaged they are with their work.

  • Consider asking: Have we helped you identify and follow a career path that aligns with where the company is headed?

This type of question can be a shot of adrenalin for an employee who feels like they’ve been left behind. It helps you and them build a conversation around places where they might not have completely understood their opportunities.

3. Employees are struggling with coworkers or the workplace itself

Sometimes, employee issues are about day-to-day situations, and connected with the people or the place around them. Perhaps they’re having challenges with an environment that feels too competitive, or they’re struggling because of a silo effect. They might even be distracted by something in the physical workspace.

  • Consider asking: What can we change to make this a better place to work? How can you be a part of this change?

If you want to create an atmosphere where employees feel heard, and perceive that their opinions matter, these questions can go a long way—especially if you make changes in response to feedback. You might not be able to fix every issue immediately, but when you create a constructive way for employees to offer feedback, it can help tamp down any grumbling that’s going on.

There will always be times when recruitment takes center stage, and you company puts more attention on hiring. But while you’re focused on bringing new talent in the door, keep an ear tuned to what’s happening with your current workforce before employees run for the exits.


Often times, retention begins with making the right hire, and helping new employees become key contributors. As your dedicated applicant tracking system, myStaffingPro can help you get the most out of the entire hiring process, from requisition through retention, as you manage timing, schedules, paperwork and more. Contact a representative today, and find out how we can help your hiring workflow.

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