The state of HR and Employee Listening in Germany 

Klaus Konrad

Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the world’s fourth. As of the second quarter of 2022, around 45.5 million people were in employment in Germany. This continued the trend for somewhat steady and continuous growth in employment numbers

The state of HR and Employee Listening in Germany 

Given the sheer scale of the German economy, it’s surprising that HR in Germany is sometimes considered less advanced than counterparts in the UK, Netherlands or the USA. Especially when it comes to digitalization or employee listening. But is this true?

The state of HR in Germany

To find out, Effectory conducted research into the “State of HR and Employee Listening in Germany”. We surveyed 350 HR professionals such as CHROs and HR Managers, throughout Germany. These professionals work in industries spanning healthcare, technology development, retail and many more. 

Where is HR in Germany in terms of its maturity when it comes to gathering employee feedback and using it to tackle businesses’ big challenges? And what is HR in Germany thinking about in terms of strategy and issues regarding its people for the next 12 to 24 months?  

In our full review of our research into the State of HR and Employee Listening in Germany we discuss in detail where HR is and what is on the post-COVID horizon. We also outline how employee listening can play an active role in building strategy and policies that can help HR and their organizations grow engagement and tackle the challenges ahead of them. 

Here’s some key takeaways from our research. 

The State of HR in Germany

Essential insights into German HR, what challenges it’s facing, and how employee feedback is being used. The ultimate guide to HR in Europe’s largest economy.


HR and Employee Listening in Germany: 5 key takeaways 

  1. A large majority (84.6%) of organizations are already performing surveys.  
  1. Too few organizations are using feedback to boost performance.
    60.1% of the HR professionals we surveyed who perform surveys said that they have not made organizational changes or new policies based on employee feedback. This is a performance gap that can be overcome working with an Employee Listening and Engagement specialist such as Effectory. We’ve designed our platform so that organizations can take concrete steps to improve themselves based on feedback 
  1. HR is now part of strategic decisions.
    40% of respondents said that being involved in overall business strategy is an important external factor in how HR is operating and changing.  
  1. Knowing what employees are thinking and feeling is a big hurdle to successful people strategies.
    60% of respondents said that this is one of the big challenges as they develop their employee experience policies over the next 12-24 months. 
  1. Engagement is still a key metric for German HR.
    74% of respondents said that employee listening should help them track employee engagement.  

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Breaking it down by organizational size 

We often find that there are major differences between organizations of different sizes regarding how they think about employee listening and put it into practice. 

Effectory conducted additional analysis of these results based on organizational size. Here’s three key results: 

  • Bigger organizations are less positive about employee feedback.  
    Especially in organizations with more than 15,000 employees, HR finds performing surveys as being too time consuming. Using a self-service platform such as Effectory can decrease the time spent on performing surveys. 
  • Smaller organizations are more likely to ask for feedback more often
    There’s been a general turn toward “continuous listening” in recent years. This is when organizations perform themed pulse surveys with which they can keep a constant track of key challenges. However, only smaller organizations are more likely to perform surveys more than once a year. Larger organizations may find it easier to listen more continuously by decentralizing their employee feedback strategy and allowing individual teams and subdivisions to run their own surveys.  
  • People-centric organizational change is the most typical form of change taking place in the next 12-24 months
    This is regardless of how many employees a company has. We defined “people-centric organizational change” as involving new hires, changes to roles and responsibilities, and training & development. In short: human capital remains at the heart of a majority of businesses. 

It’s time to use employee feedback strategically  

We discovered that there’s a high level of maturity in terms of organizations having an employee listening strategy. But while HR has many important challenges coming up over the next two years, and is increasingly having to think strategically, not everyone is making the most of employee listening and boosting engagement. 

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Making employee listening work for HR and business in Germany  

Over the past twenty-five years, Effectory has been dedicated to not only helping organizations to gather people analytics through employee feedback. We have also been dedicated to inspiring changes that can boost performance, productivity, and profit.  

We know from extensive research of employees around the world, conducted for our Employee Experience Review 2022 that organizations with higher engagement rates witness a 35% increase in job satisfaction, 35% increase in retention, and a 29% increase in team productivity. Effectory helps organizations boost their engagement by making feedback an effective part of business operations. 

Kramp’s HR Content & EX Specialist Wanda Stoteler says managers are increasingly seeing feedback as part of their role. They will utilize feedback gathered via the Effectory platform in their team meetings and 1-on-1s. This creates a sense of ownership and influence amongst the workforce. Making employees feel like their voice is really heard and taken into account is a way to increase engagement. 

Read the full State of HR and Employee Listening in Germany report and find out how employee feedback can be used to invigorate your business strategies.

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