Executive Coaching Articles

Employee Retention Survey

Accurate employee retention surveys can help companies in many ways. They can show them how many satisfied and unsatisfied workers they have. Or they may bring to light attitudes and the percentages of employees planning to stay or leave.

Surveys can discover what makes workers happy or unhappy so you can give your employees what they need to stay motivated and satisfied with their jobs. And they may build morale as employees have a chance to share their opinions in a confidential setting.

A recent survey on Workforce Retention by the American Psychological Association


  • 60 % of working Americans remain with their current employers because of benefits
  • 59 % stay because of pay
  • 67 % stay because their jobs fit well with the other aspects of their lives
  • 67% stay at their current jobs because they enjoy the work they do
  • 39 % stayed because they didn’t see any other job opportunities

As you craft your surveys you can also find powerful information to understand your employees and help them stay engaged with your company.

Measure: With accurate employee surveys, your company can understand statistics like the ones above—only specific to your company. It can answer questions like:

  • What percentage of the staff is happy in their current position?
  • What are the most important changes you need to make to improve morale?
  • What job-related issues weigh on your employees’ minds at this time?

Boost Morale: Surveys can by themselves act as a retention incentive. Each survey gives employees a chance to express their opinions in a confidential, non-confrontational setting. They can let off steam.

But, more than that, the results of the survey can lead to an improved workplace environment.

Discover: Use employee surveys to learn what make employees unhappy so you can fix the problem. But also find out what makes your workers happy and wanting to stay at your company.

Charles Hughes at the Center for Values Research discusses the importance of looking at the positive. He explains the shortcomings of only asking the negative.

“It looks only at why people quit. Why not also look at the reasons others stay? The reasons why people stay are just as important as the reasons for leaving. One individual may stay in a job for the same reason another leaves.”

Attitude: Surveys can be used to discover worker attitudes and the reasons behind them. You can only change an “I don’t care” attitude when you know it’s there and you know why. Ask questions like:

  • How do you feel about this company process?
  • If there were one thing you could change about company policies, what would it be?
  • In your opinion, you’d describe the work environment as____________.

Attitudes are easier to discern with open-ended questions. When workers know they can be free to respond, you get honest answers that help make a change.

It takes thought and effort to create a useful employee retention survey. But it can yield big dividends with happier workers and reduced attrition. Start building good relationships and a positive work environment today.