A recent study by PAWLIK Consultants in cooperation with the rheingold Institut shows that the majority of companies in Germany are not doing enough or not the right things to retain their employees.

Six key cohesion factors identified in the study show which retention killers to avoid and how leaders and HR can start to increase bonding.

According to the representative survey, 60 percent of employees are dissatisfied with their company’s bonding strategies, including 35 percent who state that their company does not offer any bonding strategy at all and 25 percent who think the offer could be better. The study also shows a strong correlation between this dissatisfaction and employees’ perceived commitment and desired length of stay at the company.

Up to 39 percent are open to moving to another company or have already decided to do so.

Joachim Pawlik, CEO of the PAWLIK Group: “Employee bonding has a strong strategic importance for companies in view of the current transformation processes and labor shortage.” He added that working from home and the growing uncertainty caused by the Ukraine war and other crises make traditional bonding processes more difficult. But the study showed that many workers are unaware of bonding deficits and therefore rarely articulate them, he said. “Bonding is eroding quietly.” The PAWLIK Group is therefore looking at how managers can counteract this and actively create more bonding in the future..

Six Key Cohesion Factors

Through in-depth psychological interviews, the rheingold Institute identified six cohesion factors that managers can address to improve bonding within the company. The high importance of the factors was confirmed for most of employees in a representative panel. “Workplace Pride” and “Flexibility” are the most important for a majority. Two thirds of employees want their own contribution to the big picture to be recognized (Workplace Pride: 68%) and two thirds want their employer to enable compatibility of private and professional development (Flexibility: 66%). The other key cohesion factors are Team Orientation (58%), “Being Appreciated” through a permanent position in the company (53%), a clear corporate mission (51%) and further education (48%).

In order to understand individual differences in people’s bonding behavior, the survey was supplemented by the analysis of personality facets through the personality test “screenfact”. This revealed significant differences between intuitive people, who can also be perceived as “doers,” and those who examine things more critically. Intuitive people generally attach significantly more importance to bonding measures than the critical examiners do. Among other things, they expect more flexibility and more individual training in order to remain loyal to their employer. Critical examiners, on the other hand, place a great deal of value on clear structures and leadership.

Stephan Grünewald, Managing Partner of rheingold, points out interesting findings from the two-hour in-depth psychological interviews. For example, young people in particular want more guidance than their bosses give them. “The strong self-confidence of the younger generation belies the fact that young professionals need guidance: They don’t want instructions and ready-made solutions, but feedback on equal footing.”

The study is available as a digital report, 68 pages – 280 € plus VAT.

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