Utilities, Employee Engagement



As part of an integrated organization strategy to enhance employee engagement and retention, Burke assisted in the implementation of a new hire and exit survey to supplement a more comprehensive employee survey. This utilities company wanted to tap into employee experiences at various career stages to garner greater insights into the factors that help or hinder employee satisfaction, engagement and retention.



The client had research objectives for both the new hire survey and exit interview.

·         New Hire Survey:  Conduct a new hire survey to better understand the factors impacting the early work experience. Specifically:

o   Asses the quality of the recruiting, screening, hiring and on boarding process

o   Determine exactly where bottleneck or obstacles existed in the process

o   Identify specific areas for improving the employee experience during pre-hire and the first three months on the job

o   Identify potentially negative impacts that could cause early dissatisfaction and turnover

·         Exit Interview: Conduct a survey with those voluntarily leaving the organization:

o   Better understand the reasons for turnover among those the company did not want to lose

o   Link exit results to other metrics including employee engagement to discern where differences were driving or impacting exit behavior

o   Understand differences for exits among business units and other demographic variables including age, tenure, and job level



Online New Hire survey invitations were sent to all new employees at 1, 2 and 3–month post hire.  Exit interview forms were mailed out to all employees who voluntarily exited the organization.  An online option was also available.  The survey addressed a variety of factors including the primary decision to leave the company, other influencing factors around the departure, ratings on a wide variety of topics such as supervision, compensation and benefits, performance management and career development.



The New Hire survey results identified issues and challenges in the on boarding process – by phase and by business unit.  Directed corrective actions were taken and the effectiveness of ongoing improvements was monitored.  Specific improvements included a shortening of the wait time from recruitment to hire, expediated hardware/software set up once in position, and improved communications around benefits.


The Exit survey results identified primary and secondary reasons for exit, showing that in most instances compensation was not the primary reason.  Specific management issues were uncovered within business units along with more systemic issues related to culture and career development


Ultimately, the results from both led to improved early New Hire satisfaction and increased retention in areas targeted for improvement.