New findings suggest employee surveys could hold key to attracting top consultant talent

The annual staff survey has so often been considered to be little more than a tick-box exercise conducted to pacify the HR department or those sat in their ivory towers. In fact, there are some businesses who have considered scrapping them altogether.

But in today’s ultra-competitive recruitment industry, both holding on to your best talent and attracting the people you need to keep the agency moving forward, these wee survey things could be the most effective tool you have at your disposal. That’s according to recent findings from a study into Facebook published in the Harvard Business Review.

Facebook found that abandoning employee surveys would be a huge mistake for three key reasons:

  1. They are great predictors of behaviour: Simply asking people how long they intend to stay with the business is twice as accurate as using predictive analytics. They also found that people who do not complete this area of the staff survey were 2.6 times more likely to quit within the following six months.
  2. They give staff the opportunity to feel they’re really being heard: Staff who are truly engaged with the business are those who feel that their opinions matter and voices are heard. Facebook’s staff survey found that when asked to add their own comments, 61% of respondents did so.
  3. They generate great new ideas to positively influence behaviours: The simple tasks of asking questions has been found to prompt positive action in people, providing the action is a desirable one of course. In one survey, Facebook asked just 1 in 3 (30%) of employees whether they were personally committed to improving their experience at work – this group ended up being 12% more likely than their colleagues to actively seek out additional resources and consider new tools to enhance their performance at work. This made them more engaged as a result.

Staff engagement is perhaps the most important aspect of an agency’s retention strategy. It is getting harder to find top consultant talent, so it makes sense to keep hold of what you already have. Simply asking the right questions and gaining their buy in to what you are seeking to achieve with the business will go a long way to ensuring that that talent will stick with you on the journey.