Employee Research

Employee Research

In On Africa (IOA) assists clients with unpacking employee attitudes, concerns, engagement and aspirations to help inform employee value proposition and human resource planning.

What is employee research?

Employee research encompasses a systematic examination of various facets of an organisation’s workforce, including engagement metrics, cultural dynamics, communication efficacy and turnover analytics. It aims to provide organisational leaders with indispensable insights to optimise human capital management, foster a conducive work environment and drive organisational success. Employee research involves:

  • Organisational climate surveys: Conducting surveys to assess the overall organisational climate, including factors such as employee satisfaction, morale and the perceptions of leadership.
  • Employee engagement studies: Designing and implementing studies to measure and improve employee engagement levels, identify drivers of engagement and develop strategies to enhance employee motivation and commitment.
  • Culture assessments: Performing assessments to evaluate organisational culture, including values, norms and behaviours, as well as providing recommendations for aligning culture with organisational goals and objectives.
  • Exit interview and employee turnover analysis: Conducting exit interviews with departing employees to gather insights into reasons for employee turnover and conducting analyses to identify trends, patterns and areas for improvement in retention strategies.

Some of the main benefits of employee research are:

Gain insights into employee perceptions, needs and motivations

Identify areas for improvement in employee engagement and satisfaction

Inform HR decision making and employee value proposition strategies

Enhance employee retention and reduce turnover rates

Optimise organisational culture and employee morale

Key questions that are answered by employee research

Employee research aims to answer several key questions to help guide strategic decision making:

  • What factors contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction within the organisation?
  • How does the organisational culture impact employee motivation and productivity?
  • What are the preferred communication channels among employees, and how effective are they in facilitating information flow?
  • What are the key drivers of employee turnover, and how can retention strategies be improved?
  • How do employees perceive the company’s leadership, and what opportunities exist for enhancing leadership effectiveness and employee empowerment?

In On Africa’s employee research services

IOA boasts more than a decade of experience and a proven track record of success with conducting employee research for clients across the African continent. This has ranged from large-scale, multi-country employee surveys for multinational corporations through to more targeted small-scale employee research studies.

Our approach goes beyond surface-level assessments, encompassing a holistic understanding of workforce dynamics. From measuring employee engagement and assessing organisational culture to analysing communication channels and identifying drivers of turnover, we leave no stone unturned in uncovering the factors that impact organisation success.

Partnering with IOA for employee research means gaining access to actionable insights that empower strategic decision making and enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. With our expertise and experience, we help our clients to cultivate a positive work culture, improve retention rates and ultimately drive sustainable growth across their organisations.

Employee research project case study:

Mixed-method employee research to inform new employee value proposition


Multinational professional services firm


South Africa


Quantitative survey with over 1,700 employees in the organisation spread throughout South Africa, followed by 37 in-depth qualitative interviews with a sample distributed across employment levels

IOA was commissioned by one of South Africa’s largest professional services firms to conduct a nationwide, mixed-method employee survey to inform the company’s new employee value proposition strategy, as well as to address a number of concerns for employee satisfaction and high turnover rates.

The survey sample was representative of the full organisation (74% response rate), ranging from their junior staff (interns, trainees and support staff) through to senior management, directors and partners. The quantitative survey was implemented online and was followed by an in-depth statistical analysis of the results. IOA provided our client with detailed reports, strategic recommendations and a workshop to plan the deep-dive qualitative phase.

Interviews were then conducted with 37 randomly selected employees from different locations, departments and employment levels, with questions focusing on specific areas of investigation based on the results of the quantitative analysis. Interviews ranged between 30 minutes to as long as two hours.

Key project outcome:

Throughout the course of the study, IOA provided our client with a number of detailed quantitative and qualitative research reports and hosted multiple workshops focusing on the findings and recommendations. The results directly informed our client’s subsequent employee value proposition and HR strategies across the country.

Find out more about how IOA can help guide your employee strategies.

Read more about IOA’s various service offerings and examples of our past work.