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The Employee Experience Platform | Culture Amp
The importance of measuring commitment in employee surveys

If you’ve ever wondered, “Is Culture Amp’s commitment engagement item (‘I see myself still working at this company in 2 years' time’) even relevant?” – we would say you’re not alone. Especially considering the Great Resignation/Great Reshuffling and recent mass layoffs in the tech industry, we understand that it’s natural to question the relevance of measuring employee commitment – particularly in this context.

Despite today’s waxing and waning turnover trends, our People Science and research teams still strongly believe in the importance of measuring commitment in employee surveys. We’ve previously provided insights into the strong correlation between commitment and retention, and our latest study only doubles down on these findings.

In this article, we’ll share our latest research on the relationship between commitment and retention.

Our methodology

We looked at data over the last 10 years for 3.9 million employees across 6,194 customers. Of those 3.9 million employees, 1.36 million left their organizations within this time.

The main question we wanted to answer was: “How long do employees stay after they answer unfavorably to the question, ‘I see myself still working at this company in 2 years?”

What we found

We found that the median number of years employees stayed with an organization after selecting “strongly disagree” was a mere 1.17 years. Conversely, those who selected “strongly agree” ended up staying with their organizations for a median of 4.39 years.

The specific median periods in which employees stayed with their company after answering the commitment question were:

  • 1.17 years from the first time an employee answered “strongly disagree”
  • 1.78 years for “disagree”
  • 2.63 years for “neither agree nor disagree”
  • 3.77 years for “agree”
  • 4.39 years for “strongly agree”
Median years of retention by engagement survey response

From a retention perspective, our data reveals that on average, the likelihood that a company will retain an employee for the following two years is:

  • 36 - 47% for employees who responded “strongly disagree” or “disagree”
  • 57% for employees who responded “neither agree nor disagree”
  • 70% for employees who responded “strongly agree agree” or “agree”

These gaps in two-year retention rates grow even larger by year 3, with only 28% of those who strongly disagreed being retained, compared with 60% of those who strongly agree.

This finding validates the notion that employees will honestly share their commitment intentions when asked, and that these intentions are predictive of their ultimate behavior. Furthermore, the data shows that asking the commitment question will provide your organization with critical insights into retention – even if turnover continues to ebb and flow externally.

How you can use this information

Although there may be a moment of increased turnover owing to the Great Resignation, there’s little reason to change our commitment item to reflect a less than a 2-year time frame. By keeping this question, you’ll be able to quickly identify which groups may need more attention and support, further enabling you to effectively retain your top talent.

Illustration of a clipboard with a simplified survey and a floating pen

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