Author Archives: iqsresearch

IQS Research Participates in “Bus to Business” Program

Date: January 21, 2021 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on IQS Research Participates in “Bus to Business” Program

In addition to the work we do to help our clients solve difficult problems, we also have a sincere and ongoing commitment to contributing to the community at large and generally making the world a better place.  Part of that commitment is present in our desire to help introduce students to the profession of research and data analytics. 

Recently, we were asked to participate in the “Bus to Busines” program that is sponsored by the KY Chamber of Commerce and specifically the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center.  We couldn’t say no!  We were glad to be involved. 

Three of our team members Joel Thomas – Research Study Coordinator, Nick Guenther – Research Analyst, and Shawn Herbig – President, all spoke and shared their insights about the profession, their work, and IQS Research.

If you couldn’t see the event live, you can watch the recorded presentation on YouTube by clicking here.

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Our Statement on Systemic Racism and Creating Inclusion in Our Society Today

Date: June 18, 2020 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on Our Statement on Systemic Racism and Creating Inclusion in Our Society Today

The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and numerous others have cast light on the systemic racism experienced by the Black Community in our country today.

As our society reckons with these tragedies, and the conversations they have renewed, we at IQS Research believe everyone should use this moment to reflect, educate ourselves, and act. The current moment calls for nothing less; silence and inaction perpetuate the systemic racism, discrimination, and inequity that contribute to these tragedies.

As a research company with a focus on understanding social issues, we believe that we have a unique perspective and responsibility in this moment.

From our perspective, we see the data—and the data consistently paint a picture where Black Americans are disadvantaged. In our own research, we’ve seen racial inequity in economic opportunity, support at work, and perceptions of equitable treatment. The numbers speak for themselves:

Inequity in economic opportunity for Black individuals

– Black/African Americans are nearly three times as likely to live in poverty as White residents in Jefferson County, Kentucky (31% vs. 12%; source: U.S. Census Bureau)

– The median income of White households is 1.9 times that of Black households in Lexington, Kentucky (White = 61, 575; Black = 32, 384)

Inequity in work experiences for Black individuals

– In our research on Black women’s experiences in the workplace, 91% of Black women indicated that they face unique challenges in the workplace, with 88% of them calling out issues like racially based pay inequity and lack of opportunity

– In a recent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) assessment we conducted, 81% of White males felt their managers treated all employees fairly in comparison to only 67% of Black females who felt similarly

– In another DE&I study we conducted, we found that many Black employees felt uncomfortable in their previous year at work because of their race: one in four Black employees indicated this was the case for them in comparison to only 5% of white employees

Inequity in perceptions of treatment

– In a study we conducted in Louisville, 47% of minority residents felt that police officers do not “treat all people fairly and equitably,” whereas only 23% of white residents shared a similar perception

The figures above call everyone to examine how we got here and what we can do to achieve racial equity. For us, this includes how we conduct research, how we work with clients, and how we manage our internal relationships. As researchers, we will:

– Seek to further remove unconscious bias that can influence data collection and interpretation in our own work

– Continue to be a vehicle for the voices of those who are too often left out of “the conversation”

– Provide clarity around complex issues, even when it is difficult for us or our clients to accept

– Work with other leaders to confront difficult issues, working through the obstacles that hold back organizations and communities

Looking ahead, our commitment to integrity, honesty, and inclusivity in all that we do remains steadfast. We will continue to conduct rigorous DE&I research, we will be honest with our clients about the findings, and we will use workshops and other tools to help our clients create equity in their work environments. Moreover, we will continue to draw attention to the opinions of marginalized groups—including women and non-gender binary, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and physically disabled individuals—who are often left out of critical discussions.

Inclusion requires a conscious choice to recognize and understand people who don’t look like us. Lasting change will only come through challenging long-held beliefs—changing how we act and interact with each other.

The purpose of research is to enable change.

We will create change by taking these steps, having the difficult conversations, creating lasting change, and we won’t quit until equity has been achieved.
———-

If you are trying to learn more for your own personal understanding, we recommend the following relevant resources to get started.

White Fragility
How to Be an Antiracist
Journeys of Race, Color, & Culture: From Racial Inequality to Equity & Inclusion
Code Switch (Podcast)
Embrace Race (Nonprofit group; like them on Facebook via the handle: “weembracerace”)

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Millennials & Engagement: It’s Complicated

Date: October 14, 2019 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on Millennials & Engagement: It’s Complicated

Like the interaction of pay and engagement, the issue of generational impact on engagement is also complicated. Millennials tend to be lumped into buckets based simply on their birth date, but, as is true for most people, what lies beneath the surface is always more complex. In our engagement studies, we’ve seen millennial profiles that are textbook, aligning with every stereotype written about this generation. In other organizations, with the same demographics, the results look very different. However, three items were consistent in our generational analysis.

1. Millennials give lower scores for engagement, especially loyalty

As indicated in the chart below, the youngest employees provide the lowest scores for enagment, and engagement increases in a linear fashion across generational topics. This pattern was true for every company we tested. Within individual organizations, Millennial scores were an average of four points lower than those provided by Generation X employees, and 15 points lower than marks from Baby Boomers.

Loyalty, a sub-component of engagement, follows the same pattern, with Millennials giving scores an average of eight points lower than Generation X, and 17 points lower than Baby Boomers.

2. But, they’re often equally likely to recommend your company

While lower engagement and lower loyalty scores are recorded for younger employees, Millennials often provide recommendation scores that are equally as high as those of their GenX and Boomer counterparts. In fact, for one organization in our sample, Millennials had the highest recommendation score of all generations, despite having the lowest loyalty score. This suggests that Millennials may be willing to recommend their place of employment to others, even if they themselves are open to other opportunities.

 

3. For employers looking to improve engagement among Millennials, focus on training and professional development.

Team member development was a driver for Millennials at every organization we analyzed, accounting for an average of 32% of the drivers for Millennials. While questions varied by company, they included such items as “New employees are trained adequately;” “My supervisor provides regular feedback;” and “I am aware of training opportunities.” From our qualitative analysis of comments, Millennials suggest that a focus on training and development serves three functions:

– It provides a more seamless transition for new hires, helping them to assimilate into the company culture and understand what is expected of them.

– It communicates a willingness to invest in the employee

– It contributes to more long-term stability.

Investing in employees by providing the training they need to be successful can pay off ultimately in higher loyalty and engagement scores, particularly for the youngest employees in your workforce.

 


Considering an Employee Engagement study for your company?

The business case for employee engagement is salient—and IQS Research is here to help.

While many research companies offer a one-size-fits-all approach to assessing employee engagement, our data collection process is tailored to meet your organization’s needs. Drawing from a portfolio of validated questions and applying cutting-edge methodologies, we gather candid feedback to provide actionable insights so that your organization can own your tomorrow.

Contact us today!

IQS Research
308 North Evergreen Road
Suite 200
Louisville, Kentucky, USA 40243  

Telephone: +1 (502) 244-6600
Email: ask@iqsresearch.com 

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Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go

Date: October 14, 2019 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go

In the last Director’s Cuts, our team at IQS Research examined the complicated relationship between pay and employee engagement. We found that pay, on its own, is typically not a driver of engagement. So, if wages are rarely impacting employee engagement scores, what is? Based on the employee engagement studies we have conducted, in over 90% of the cases, drivers of engagement will come from the following three areas:

1. Work Environment

2. Management

3. Team

This makes sense, as these dimensions cover workers’ relationships with the organization, their boss, and their coworkers. When there are problems with engagement, these areas will almost provide opportunities for improvement.

 

1. In nearly every case, improving the work environment will improve employee engagement.


Work environment accounts for the largest occurrence of drivers in our analysis, and in 96% of cases, at least one driver of engagement will come from here. This dimension covers a wide swath of employee experience including practical matters like working conditions, as well as overall perceptions of the company.

Questions in this dimension are highly customized to a client’s culture and can be divided into two types, the practice aspects of the job and the culture of the organization.

 

Practical aspects affect the ability of the worker to perform his/her job, and include items such as:

– I have the supplies I need to do my job
– My uniforms are comfortable
– I am usually able to complete my work on time

Company culture items measure the connection between the employee and the company. These might include:

– I understand the company goals
– The current procedures of this company ensure the safety and well-being of its team members
– The company treats all team members fairly

 

2. In nearly eight out of ten cases, management is a driver of engagement

Today’s business literature emphasizes the impact of the supervisor–often romanticizes as the leader. These leaders are considered to have many of the same magical characteristics as unicorns, where their mere presence is considered enough to solve most workplace issues.

And indeed, in our analysis, between 70-90% of departments list at least one management item as a driver. This dimension measures employees’ relationships with their immediate supervisors and, in some cases, higher levels of leadership. Items measured in this dimension can include:

– My direct supervisor makes me feel like I am an important part of the team
– My direct supervisor holds all team members accountable to high standards of performance
– My direct supervisor treats all employees fairly
– My department head is interested in the success of our department

Within this list, fair treatment and the ability to inspire employees tend to have the highest correlation with employee engagement. Employees want a manager who leads by example–one who has high standards of performance and who holds all of his/her employees to consistent standards. At the same time, employees want to know that they will be treated fairly, without favoritism or prejudice.

 

3. In three quarters of cases, improving the team dimension will also improve engagement.

Relationships with co-workers are meaningful as employees spend a large portion of their time at work. People want to know, like, and trust their co-workers, and 77% of departments in our analysis have at least one driver from the team dimension. Items for team are also highly customized to the expectations of the employer and can include:

– The people in my department like each other.
– When new team members come on board, they are welcomed into the company
– I can count on others to provide me with the help I need to do my job
– Team members acknowledge each other’s accomplishments

It is important to understand that team members can work well together and respect each other, without necessarily being close friends.

 

Efforts to improve engagement must be more than window dressing

When addressing engagement issues, it can be easy to implement superficial solutions rather than fixing the core issues. Suggestion boxes, meetings, and team retreats can provide a means to that end, but they are not solutions themselves. To create long-term change, it is important to correctly identify gaps in the relationship that the team members have with the company, their supervisor, and their co-workers.

In our next Director’s Cut, we will take a deeper look at how these dynamics particularly, and engagement generally, manifest among Millenials. Stay tuned!

 


Considering an Employee Engagement study for your company?

The business case for employee engagement is salient—and IQS Research is here to help.

While many research companies offer a one-size-fits-all approach to assessing employee engagement, our data collection process is tailored to meet your organization’s needs. Drawing from a portfolio of validated questions and applying cutting-edge methodologies, we gather candid feedback to provide actionable insights so that your organization can own your tomorrow.

Contact us today!

IQS Research
308 North Evergreen Road
Suite 200
Louisville, Kentucky, USA 40243  

Telephone: +1 (502) 244-6600
Email: ask@iqsresearch.com 

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Show Me The Money, But You Can’t (Necessarily) Buy My Love

Date: October 14, 2019 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on Show Me The Money, But You Can’t (Necessarily) Buy My Love

Most management literature says that pay is not a factor in engagement and, very often, raising pay to increase engagement will only have a minimal or short-term impact. However, few of us are working for free, and none of us would voluntarily reduce our pay. When the IQS Research team analyzed data from hundreds of studies and thousands of employees, we find that pay does matter up to 36% of the time. So, ho should we think about this complex and nuanced topic?

 

There are three primary ways that pay interacts with engagement.

 

1. If the pay score is below 20%, there is a problem.

Using our measurement process, when the score for pay is below 20%, we typically find the cause to be a market-based pay differential. In these situations, the competitors are paying significantly more, and the employees are aware of this difference. These employees will be less engaged and are also more likely to leave. Even if employees don’t seek out opportunities to leave, they are very open to opportunities that come their way. In this case, raising pay to be competitive with the marketplace will generally increase employee engagement for that departments and also reduce turnover. The chart to the left shows how paying below the market rate usually drives down your engagement score. The trend levels out once marketplace parity is achieved.

 

2. When working conditions change, pay satisfaction scored can decline.

When an employee originally accepts a position, part of the assessment is an internal cost/benefit analysis. The employee has an expectation of what working in that job will be like and decides whether it matches the offered compensation. If those working conditions change (manager, hours, responsibilities, expectations), the employee may feel that the compensation is no longer in line with his/her new reality. In these cases, increasing pay will provide, at best, a temporary fix, and it is better to address the underlying issues. In cases where the change in working conditions is temporary, such as a transitional period or peak times, consider other ways to acknowledge employee efforts. Long-term or systemic issues may require a greater investment of time and energy, or even a realignment of personnel.

 

3. Acceptable pay scores vary by department and position.

Assuming pay satisfaction is above 20%, and there have been no major changes in working conditions, what constitutes a “good” score? Well, it depends. An acceptable pay score for a retail cashier would be low if given by a commissioned salesperson. Pay satisfaction scores vary by position and department type. We have found that pay scores can be grouped into five general buckets for hourly, salary, leadership, commissioned personnel, and specialized administrative.

 

When scores are below these thresholds, raising pay will increase engagement and might seem to be the obvious answer. However, it may not be the only answer. You should also consider the role of leadership, team, and work environment. All of these have an impact on employee engagement and will be the topics of our next Director’s Cuts.

 


Considering an Employee Engagement study for your company?

The business case for employee engagement is salient—and IQS Research is here to help.

While many research companies offer a one-size-fits-all approach to assessing employee engagement, our data collection process is tailored to meet your organization’s needs. Drawing from a portfolio of validated questions and applying cutting-edge methodologies, we gather candid feedback to provide actionable insights so that your organization can own your tomorrow.

Contact us today!

IQS Research
308 North Evergreen Road
Suite 200
Louisville, Kentucky, USA 40243  

Telephone: +1 (502) 244-6600
Email: ask@iqsresearch.com 

view all