Feedback from colleagues can give clues to predict employee turnover.
People are more likely to stay in their jobs if they feel accepted by their peers in the organization. This is the main finding of the Happiness study we have done together with the University of the Arab Emirates.
About the research
The research, led by Dr. José Berengueres (researcher and professor at the UAEU) with the support of Dani Castro (our CTO) analyzed happiness data from more than 4,000 people in 34 companies. This project is our contribution to the current context of organizations, in which employee happiness has ceased to be a vague idea or a ‘nice to have’ and has become a key point that influences productivity, talent loyalty, and even the company’s brand.
After several months of messages at Basecamp, emails and video conferences between Dubai and Palma de Mallorca, this is what we discovered:
Employee turnover can be predicted:
And without the need for magic, but by analyzing the interaction between co-workers within the platform.
Through a model capable of predicting with 75% accuracy if an employee is going to leave their job in the next three months, the research team found that the most reliable indicator to evaluate if someone is about to leave is the level of ‘likeability’, or ratio of “like” versus “dislike” that they receive.
The strength of the results allowed the team to distinguish two different groups of people: “Type A”, which corresponds to 75% of the employees and are those who have a high rate of likeability or number of “I like”; and “Type B”, who do not provide feedback and therefore do not generate reactions from their peers. The study showed that Type B employees are three times more likely to leave their jobs in the next quarter than Type A employees.
Happiness is individual… but the environment helps
Something that also caught Dr. Berengueres’ (or Jose, as we call him) attention is that “the indicators that best predict an employee turnover are not associated with their individual behavior, but with the metrics that relate them to their peers.
According to him, the labor rotation of people in a company is directly connected to “a series of characteristics”, of which some belong to the individual scope of the employee. Such as their personal concept of happiness- but the most influential ones do not.
In this regard, he tells us that “none of the main characteristics identified during the study are completely internal to the employee; on the contrary, they depend on external factors that are beyond their control, such as the number of ‘likes’ they receive or the relative level of happiness of their colleagues. This leads him to think that “when it comes to the workplace, happiness is not only ‘an internal matter’, but depends significantly on factors that have to do with the environment.
For our part, we agree with the opinion of Dani, who after commenting on the project in one of our coffees* was asked to describe in a few lines what he learned after participating in the study: “the results not only confirm that we human beings feel the need to express ourselves and validate opinions and thoughts with our environment, but they also show the importance of organizations devoting resources to listening and understanding how people relate. We couldn’t agree more!
*that’s what we call the group video call we make every day after lunch. We don’t have an office, but that doesn’t stop us from meeting and talking as if we were in front of the coffee machine
Do you want to download the official paper? You can find it and download it here.
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