Finding and retaining top talent is the number-one challenge facing recruiters, according to a new survey by AXELOS.
Management needs to understand the health of their company culture and how employees perceive the organization. So, how can they find out how their staff feels? With the right questions and, just as important, the right employee engagement tool.
This widespread challenge of employee satisfaction is why many agencies are renewing their focus on company culture and conducting employee engagement surveys. Once they find a highly skilled, valuable employee, they want to keep them -- especially today, when top talent has endless options for where to pitch their tent and make a professional home.
According to the Marketing Agency Growth Report 2018, 67% of agencies invest in hiring new staff every fiscal year, but 35% have difficulty finding employees with the right fit. This leads to open seats staying unfilled for too long or employees leaving due to misaligned expectations for the position.
Why Do an Employee Engagement Survey
An employee engagement survey measures how personally invested employees are in their work. Survey answers can indicate how much interest, motivation, and overall happiness company staff has for the business and for each other. This feedback is a blueprint for improving company culture and employee retention.
The Cost of Hiring
The average cost per new hire in 2018 was upwards of $4,000, according to Glassdoor. If business leaders want to lower their overhead, they need to invest in their employees to increase their retention rate so they don't have to hire so much new personnel. One of the key ways to do this is to provide appropriate training to educate employees and constantly offer growth opportunities for them in this fast paced environment.
Still, investments in employees are fairly low: Only 53% of agencies invest in providing educational resources and training for their employees, and 25% provide improved growth opportunities.
With more companies moving toward a change in their working policies, encouraging remote working, flexible working hours, only 18% of agency owners have created remote working hour policy for their employees according to the Marketing Agency Growth Report 2018.
Investing in Company Culture
In addition, culture is one differentiating factor an agency can promote to potential candidates. Why work for one agency or another? Money and the type of clients or work can influence a candidate's decision, but many people also consider the type of people they would be working with and the values of the organization. This can be as, if not more, persuasive when it's time to decide.
But for a company culture to exist, management must be focused on employee happiness and engagement. This isn't an easy task. Deloitte outlined 20 engagement factors companies need to consider and excel at to keep employees engaged. And most organizations are starting from a place of weakness: Gallup found in 2014 that 13% of all employees are "highly engaged" and 26% are "actively disengaged."
Tracking Employee Engagement
To increase employee engagement, agencies need a better idea of how happy, fulfilled, challenged, and dedicated employees are. They also need a system for soliciting feedback and tracking satisfaction and issues over time. Only with this information can leadership address issues, make changes, and improve their agency's employee engagement.
To get you started gathering insight from your staff, we've put together a list of some of the best employee feedback and culture tools. Check them out to see which one might help you make improvements in your own firm:
Employee Engagement Software
Employees take 15 minutes to answer a survey from their managers, and managers need five minutes to review: That's the basic idea behind the employee engagement survey platform. But the engagement tool provides a lot of other useful features. Managers can create custom survey questions (15Five provides a library of valuable question prompts), set different reviewers for different employees, and send along answers to other people in the organization who need to see the feedback or would be responsible for enacting change, such as a hiring rep.
15Five enables you to create groups within the system if you manage multiple teams, allowing you to compile company-wide while also team-specific feedback. The app also has a section for goals and accomplishments so that employees can list out the important tasks they plan to accomplish by next week, helping to keep people accountable.
Officevibe gathers specific insights from your team to help you not just identify what employees are dissatisfied with, but where the opportunities are to increase your team's efficiency. The tool allows you to automatically send weekly surveys to various team members, start dialogue around their answers inside the platform, and package results into reports for sharing with the rest of the company.
The tool also offers a custom polling option to help you gauge your team's opinion of various projects you might host over the course of the year. You can send these polls separately or along with the larger employee engagement surveys.
3. Culture Amp
Culture Amp provides tools to run performance reviews and pulse and culture surveys, and managers can review data based on the lifecycle stage of their employees -- from candidates to onboarding to exit -- or by demographics or time frame.
This software also has a reporting feature that performs a driver analysis, so you can see the most important "drivers" for engagement and morale. Account managers of the system can set up team surveys, so that personalized questions are sent to specific employees and only the right managers have access to the reports.
Reward Gateway is a multilayered platform that helps team leaders streamline internal communications, individual recognition, employee discounts, and satisfaction surveys. The company brings together specific team operations so you can track employee engagement and build reward systems to improve that engagement over time.
The platform is built on a "SmartHub" that helps business leaders draw smarter conclusions from the programs they launch and the feedback they receive from their employees.
TinyPulse makes it easy to create employee pulse surveys so that you know exactly how engaged and happy your team members are. The platform sends out one question per week -- they recommend sending yes or no, scale or NPS, or open-ended questions. The survey tool analyzes staff responses, and managers can pull insightful reports by teams, although employee feedback is presented anonymously.
In addition, employees can send colleagues "cheers" to show their appreciation and send suggestions for improvements to the company and its policies. It's a simple app, but it's all you need to stay current on the health of your company culture. (Full disclosure: HubSpot is a TinyPulse customer.)
Qualtrics is one of the highest-rated "Leaders" in employee engagement software, according to G2Crowd. The product offers a suite of "employee experience" tools that help companies audit the experience they're offering their customers as well as their own employees.
The diverse platform also allows you to analyze specific details from the feedback you receive from employees, even if their responses are open-ended. Qualtrics is a useful tool for people who want to become more intuitive to the needs of their organization and predict how various teams will feel and perform in the future.
Weekdone is an advanced employee feedback and progress tracking platform. The default is to have employees fill out information about their plans for the week, progress on projects, and problems -- either with clients, team members, or the agency. It can also be customized with specific questions and prompts. Weekdone integrates with Asana, Basecamp, and JIRA, allowing managers to better analyze the progress and productivity of team members. It also provides reporting on alignment between the employee's objectives and the company's goals.
Energage is an engagement platform focused on improving company culture. The tool approaches employees in three parts: survey, connect, and coach. After soliciting feedback from your staff, you can follow up with them based on their insight and discover how to align employees' needs with the needs of the company.
For those teams that ignore email but have plenty to say on Slack, this integration is an easy way to quickly get an opinion on a company event or policy. You simply log in with Slack, type the poll command, and then you receive a unique URL to customize your poll. There are paid options for turning anonymity off, asking open-ended questions, or for allowing users to select more than one option.
This is a full-featured employee review, feedback, and peer praise platform. Impraise can help managers set up reviews and ask key employees for quantitative and qualitative feedback on a staff member, as well as gather feedback on their own management performance from their direct reports.
A unique feature of Impraise is its key strengths dashboard, where employees and managers can list out the skills for the employee's role and then track feedback on that skill and measure the proficiency of the employee over time, providing them with a roadmap for professional development.
RoundPegg is a custom survey tool that polls your team members on eight areas -- such as job fit, expectations, growth and development, trust, etc. -- that have been shown to align with employee engagement. It then provides you with recommendations to improve your score in weak and failing areas based on the culture types of your employees.
You can use the feedback tool for short pulse surveys on an initiative or to gauge happiness and satisfaction. The company also offers products and services aligned with hiring for culture fit and determining your company's individual culture.
Managers can conduct yearly, quarterly, or even monthly performance reviews through the platform. It also has a feature where you list company and team goals so that your direct reports always know what they should be working towards. Employees can provide feedback to other team members through Reflektive, in addition to being able to provide responses to manager-controlled morale polls.
Washington-based agency BAM Creative designed this tool that lets managers ask six questions each week. Supervisors can choose from a question bank or add their own prompts. Employees can send virtual "high fives" to their peers to recognize a job well done, and the platform lets you pull reports on past survey questions to get a better idea of how employee engagement is trending.
Glint is a "people success" platform that is designed to reflect the way people behave and communicate at work, and help businesses improve the success of managers and their teams. The platform, which touts intuitive design, helps its clients solve problems related to employee engagement, manager effectiveness, team effectiveness, and a concept the company calls the "employee lifestyle."
Hppy helps you understand what factors are affecting your employees' moods and morale, and tracks them over time. Managers can customize questions, but users can only reply with on of three moods: happy, ok, or sad. Managers can request meetings from the app if they notice a downward or worrying trend in an employee's responses, and you can send thank-you cards to staff to motivate and inspire their work.
Managers can also calculate their team's or company's HppyIndex or happiness index and use this in reports or display it on a screen in your office.