How Understanding Employee Sentiment Now Unlocks Your Future Ability to Attract Top Talent
A clear sign that companies are thriving is when they have the ability to successfully attract and onboard the best talent available. This works whether applicants have sought out the company first, or if they have been head-hunted. The end result is what matters: people have seen something in you that has inspired them, and they have accepted your offer to work for them.
While there are many external factors that contribute to why a company may be deemed attractive to work for, there’s also a great deal that employers can do from the inside.
One of these internal initiatives is when employers take the time to understand employee sentiment. This relates to the overall feeling that current employees have about the company they work for, concerning all the nuances that would explain why they are satisfied or unsatisfied with their job.
So, let’s have a look at how you can utilize employee sentiment analysis to achieve greater heights for your business and your employees, and prove you are a Most Loved Workplace® top talent would be proud to work for.
What Is Employee Sentiment and Why Is It Important?
Employee sentiment is the beating heart of a business. It encompasses and is impacted by:
Attitudes towards company culture, and how people try to be part of it or actively reject it
Employee engagement and willingness to participate
Employee satisfaction, both towards their position and opportunities, but also satisfaction with the people they work with
Mutual feelings of respect between employees and employer
Flexibility and commitment to a healthy work-life balance
Whether or not there are career development opportunities
Feelings of belonging and inclusion
Keeping your finger on the pulse of workplace sentiment alerts employers to any potential issues that may be emerging. Whilst this is pertinent all year round, it is particularly important during times of stress or a change in usual practices.
When you’re observant of employee sentiment, you:
Give your workers a chance to speak up and be heard, which is vital for boosting morale, as it shows that you care about the opinions of your employees
Become aware of your own shortcomings and how best to improve
Get real data, accurate data which you can use in your advertising
Improve your employee retention rates
How Do You Measure and Analyze Employee Sentiment?
Employee sentiment, in theory, is a collection of qualitative data that is relatively easy to analyze, but difficult to measure.
Questionnaires, scales, and polls help turn this information into quantitative data that is far easier to collect. Additionally, short-form questions are easier to fill out and mean employees don’t have to take the time out of their day to write essays for the sake of the company.
Here are a few useful ways you can measure and analyze employee sentiment. Each business operates differently, so a range of choices means you can be sure to find something that works best for you and your workers.
1. Pulse Surveys
At Most Loved Workplace®, we offer a Pulse Validation survey for you to send to your employees. Our services are anonymous, user-friendly, and quick to complete. Moreover, we can do all of the analysis for you, before we release the top 100 Most Loved Workplaces® in our issue of Newsweek Magazine.
Upon validation, you’ll have the option to add a badge to your website and incorporate our statistics into your employer branding. First impressions are always important. An official certification provides a fantastic look at what could be on offer for any future employees looking to become part of your business.
Your employee net promoter score (eNPS) only asks one question: how likely are you to recommend your employer to a friend? High eNPS scores show that employees value where they work and would encourage other people to work there too. Low scores indicate employees are warning people to stay away.
3. Online Reviews
Many websites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn allow employees to anonymously or publicly review their employers online.
When you post a job listing, you may find that a series of stars appear next to the name of your company. Keep an eye on this, as it will be one of the first things job seekers look at when deciding whether or not they wish to submit an application to work for you.
Anonymity allows people to be a lot more open and expressive. And it’s easy to take the written data and analyze it, since you don’t have to transcribe spoken statements.
Word spreads fast online, which can be both a blessing and a curse. If you want to keep on top of the latest opinions of your company, be sure to monitor mentions on social media platforms like Twitter.
4. In-person Interviews
Your human resources (HR) department should be responsible for the happiness and welfare of your employees. If you’re planning on gathering in-person intel about employee sentiment, it needs to be done through your HR with full transparency.
Whilst this isn’t as achievable with larger organizations, it’s a great solution for smaller businesses with only a few employees. It allows workers to feel directly listened to, and can help build a sense of ease and personal connection between employees and employers.
5. Personalized Sentiment Surveys
If you are looking for longer-form answers that provide more insight than a simple engagement survey, it’s well worth using online templates to design your own, personalized, sentiment survey.
You can make these for every aspect of your business, and cater your questions to different teams and departments. This is useful when it comes to new hires who need frequent check-ups to monitor how they’re getting on, and who may be unsure about voicing their concerns until they’ve settled into their role.
Small sets of open-ended questions delivered regularly (weekly or monthly) help provide frequent updates about how people are feeling. And they take very little time to complete, which is a benefit for everyone involved.
6. Conduct Exit Interviews
As important as it is to keep an eye on the sentiment of your employees whilst they are working for you, it is equally as important to understand their sentiments and reasonings for leaving.
According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 59% of employees mentioned that their reason for accepting a new job involved access to a stronger career path with better prospects than their previous role. Similarly, 45% of employees reported they left their previous job as they were “concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement”.
If this is a common reason for employees handing in their notice, then you can expect a high, continuous turnover in the future if you do not act on it.
7. Use Natural Language Processing (NLP)
When it comes to analyzing sentiment, it can be an arduous task to perform by hand, especially when dealing with qualitative data. AI technology such as natural language processing can help speed up this process by identifying keywords or phrases in speech and text. These words can be identified and labeled as positive or negative.
This way, you can swiftly analyze entire sentences and pick out where sentiment changes in the dialogue.