Saba Survey Reveals U.S. Businesses Are Running Blind on Employee Management

October 4, 2016

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Baby Boomers and Female Employees Less Likely To Be Asked For Feedback Than Male Employees
Majority of Respondents Shared That Their Organizations Do Not Have Adequate Employee Feedback Processes
Only One-Fifth Of Employees Very Satisfied With Their Professional Development

HR Technology Conference & Expo, Chicago, IL ― October 4, 2016 — Saba, a global leader in cloud-based intelligent talent management solutions, today announced findings of an independent survey that illustrate how businesses are not in tune with their employees’ perceptions of engagement, training and career development. Completed in August 2016 by 1,200 HR managers and employees in the U.S., the online Saba survey indicated the need for consistent employee feedback across age groups and genders in order to gain an accurate measure of engagement across the entire organization. It also confirms the need for continuous feedback to gain early warning of gaps between the perception and reality of the effectiveness of training and development programs.

When No One is Asking, How Can You Hear Me?

The survey indicated that companies do not have continuous channels for engagement and feedback because the majority of employees are rarely asked for their feedback – less than a few times a year.

  • Sixty-eight percent of baby boomers and 61 percent of female employees indicated they were rarely asked for feedback, versus 56 percent of male employees.
  • At the same time, women were also less comfortable giving their input. The survey showed only 56 percent of women are comfortable giving feedback, compared to 63 percent of men. This implies a statistical disconnect that needs to be immediately addressed by HR and learning teams.

Based on these statistics and anomalies in engagement, it’s understandable why more than half of HR leaders (51 percent) and employees (52 percent) believe their organizations do not have a good employee feedback process.

Practice Makes Perfect?

While all survey respondents agreed that their companies are falling short on providing access to effective training, what was most surprising is the disparity between their responses.

  • Only 22 percent of employees believe their organizations are very effective in providing easy access to training and development and the same percentage believe their organizations provide training and development that helps in career advancement. In contrast, HR managers are significantly more optimistic – 41 percent and 43 percent respectively.

These gaps in perception are directly related to companies not having channels for continuous feedback. If companies are not in tune with their employees, it is extremely difficult for them to offer effective programs that will improve their employees’ professional development.

The Millennial Surprise

Training affects employee retention.

  • Eighty-six percent of millennials, often the highest flight risk in the organization, indicated that they would be more inclined to stay at their current company if they were given access to quality training and development. That is a larger percentage than their older colleagues – Gen-Xers and baby boomers (76 percent) – who are less likely to stay even when they are given quality development.

“While most organizations will agree that talent is their most important asset, the Saba survey highlights the struggle many have in effectively engaging, assessing and developing their people,” said Theresa Damato, VP of Global Marketing at Saba. “Organizations need to focus on the critical role continuous development plays in employee engagement and retention. They also need to find new ways to improve effectiveness of talent programs through more frequent and consistent feedback channels. This will not only improve engagement, it will also create a clear and direct line of sight between talent management programs and individual and organizational performance.”

To learn about Saba’s approach to connecting continuous feedback with “hot spot” analysis and actions within a unified talent management solution, see today’s related news on the launch of Saba Pulse 360.

Survey Methodology

This independent survey was conducted online, between August 4 and August 11, 2016, reaching N=900 HR Execs and N=900 Employees. Among the HR Execs, N=600 were located in the US, and N=300 were located in the UK. Respondents had to say they were currently in a management or decision-making role responsible for HR and/or learning and development in their organization. Among the employees, N=600 were located in the US, and N=300 were located in the UK. Respondents had to say they were full-time employees and that they did not work within the human resources field.

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