At The Wills Group, your voice is heard — and the results are in! We recently conducted our annual Speak Up Employee Engagement Survey and we’re eager to share the results. 

The Wills Group prides itself on engaging with employees regularly to assess their work experience in a qualitative and quantitative way. We make real changes based on the findings – be it benefits related or creating more opportunities for growth. 

Every ounce of feedback is an opportunity for the Wills Group to refine our recruitment efforts and follow-through on our commitment to enhance our employees’ lives. 

To achieve progress on this front, we conduct two employee surveys each year – the Great Place To Work® survey, which wrapped up earlier this year, and our internal Speak Up Employee Engagement Survey, conducted this past August. 

We are humbled by the results of both surveys. The Great Place to Work survey earned an 82% favorable rating, compared to a benchmark of 57%. The Speak Up survey had an 80% favorable engagement score – which is one point higher than last year and well above the Retail Benchmark of 66. 

The Speak Up survey polls employees on 12 categories:

  • Communication
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Team Satisfaction
  • Action Taking
  • Priorities
  • Customer Focus
  • Role Fit
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Manager Communication
  • Purpose
  • Collaboration
  • Career Goals

Based on results and anonymous comments, we’ve identified our top strengths and top opportunities. We’re pleased to share a deeper dive of these results in an effort to further our commitment to accountability and transparency. 

Our Top Strengths

Our employees measured the following categories and sentiments as among our core strengths:

  • Great overall communication with employees
  • Effective communication from managers
  • Priorities are clearly defined by managers
  • My purpose at the Wills Group is meaningful
  • We are focused on delivering a great Customer experience
  • We are committed to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the workplace

Scores in these categories range from 73 to 87 and meet or exceed retail industry benchmarks for each category.

The Wills Group’s commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) sparked high praise among employee comments and received the highest score amongst all 12 survey categories. 

Managers, as a group, also received favorable scores from employees. Leadership and Priority-setting by managers was a clear winner, scoring 16 points above the industry benchmark. Per one comment, “My manager empowers me to be creative and innovative, try new things, and explore my areas of interest. They know how to lead through people and drive results.” 

In addition, the area of Manager Communication scored 78, which exceeds the industry benchmark by 16 points. One employee illustrates this in their comment that their manager “has been 100% there for everybody and continues to teach us all the things that we need to know to be able to grow.”

Another employee remarks that the area of corporate Communication “is strong at the Wills Group” and is pleased to have more opportunities for employees to get involved with various committees and community engagement programs. This year, corporate Communication scored 78 – a full 17 points higher than the industry benchmark. 

In other top categories, 82% of respondents agree that their Purpose at the Wills Group is meaningful to them, while 83% believe that the Wills Group delivers a great Customer Experience, exceeding Retail benchmarks in these categories by 12 and 10 points respectively. 

Overall, 80% recommend working at the Wills Group, owing to a great work-life balance, a culture of empowerment and community, and its supportive management team. 

Our Top Opportunities

The scores for the 6 categories of Top Opportunities for the Wills Group to focus on range from 69 to 81. The categories are:

  • Team satisfaction
  • Role fit
  • Collaboration 
  • Action taking
  • Continuous improvement
  • Career goals

69% of employees indicated that they would like to see Career Goals as a focus area in the upcoming year. 

In the Collaboration category, a few employees remarked that efforts at collaboration were good, but could be better – particularly between departments. One employee suggested, “We could discuss challenges that we are facing in different areas across the company and work together to come up with innovative solutions.”

In the spirit of collaboration and continuous improvement, the Wills Group currently offers hybrid work options. We’re always looking for ways to improve the hybrid experience, with the goal of striking a balance between social interaction, team collaboration, and flexibility ”

We’re grateful to everyone who gave feedback and pointed out areas needing improvement. The Wills Group holds itself accountable for every sentiment and is committed to making our employees’ lives better both at home and at work.


Feedback For Our Managers

In addition to measuring top strengths and top opportunities, our Speak Up Employee Engagement Survey also asked employees what they’d like to see their managers focusing on right now.

85% of respondents indicated that they’d love more input from their managers about career development. This circles back to Career Goals being a Top Opportunity and aligns with our recent objectives to expand employee support for professional development.

For instance, our Talent, People & Operations team have been rolling out additional benefits and perks that relate to career growth over the past couple of years. Our recently expanded Education Assistance program now covers up to 100% tuition reimbursement for all employees, both full and part time. We also provide financial support for professional certifications, as well as support for employees who are pursuing their GED.

We are excited to announce these new and expanded programs over the next couple of months. 

Feedback to Enact Change

Our leadership team gladly takes accountability to improve our employees’ work experience. We are humbled by the Speak Up Employee Engagement Survey’s positive results and how they reflect the great strides we’ve made in our recruitment efforts over the past year. 

We encourage all employees to “speak up” and promise that your feedback will drive timely, effective action. Every conversation we have is a chance for us to strengthen our commitment to create a positive work environment for all employees.

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