Our approach to employee engagement and retention

Founded by Tom Mahan and led by President, Danny Nelms, the Work Institute offers proprietary, customized solutions to get to the root of how people respond to your organization. With our emphasis on mixed method research, we get the best information – so we can give you the best information. With its commitment to meeting clients where they are, matching research and analysis to the client’s needs, and asking the right questions, the Work Institute gives your organization the power to improve overall satisfaction, reduce cost, and promote growth. The Work Institute offers a variety of options for research and analysis, ensuring that we don’t just deliver results … we deliver results that work for you.


We are the only employee engagement and retention company that asks the question,


This question alone will bring forth the exact reasons a supervisor is rated a 3. It will give organizations specific insight into what is causing employee turnover. Asking the question “Why?” is how companies learn exactly what is driving top performing employees and what changes can be put in place to keep them.


Individual employees are motivated by different drivers – our engagement and retention solutions are designed to find out precisely what those drivers are and how to keep each employee on the right path for success.

Companies everywhere attempt to manage employee engagement ONLY through surveys that ask for individuals to apply a ratings number to answers. For example, a company leader could get a rating of 2 out of 5.

This is helpful information, right?

Not really.

Because what are you going to do now? You have been made aware that one of your supervisors has a 2 rating.  Now what? How do you fix a number?

It could be that the supervisor is perpetually late or isn’t good at delegating.  It could be something even more of a threat to your organization – that supervisor could be aggressive or use inappropriate language.  Not only do our surveys and interviews ask, “Why?” but we also have red flag notifications that instantly pop up when an employee shares something about a coworker or manager that could be a potential liability to your company.


Our company goes beyond just ratings by providing different methods of acquiring data.  Surveys are seldom effective when you’re looking to determine department specific cultures.  But at the Work Institute, we use actual telephonic and web-based interviews to glean essential data and information about deep company engagement and retention challenges.

Our interviewers provide an unbiased, listening ear to employees and they are trained to pull the real reasons employees are choosing the ratings they choose. Our web-based interviews require that employees provide context to their ratings rather than just check the box.

Your employees will likely never tell you what they are thinking. Companies are in a constant state of change. Jobs have highs and lows. And employees have good days -- a few bad days too. Are you creating great employee experiences at your company? Are your employees already looking for their next job?

By asking “why,” and using unbiased interviews you are able to manage your feedback strategy so your organization can collect data from employees that is objective and unbiased and will allow you to address areas of genuine importance to your company’s strategic needs – saving you hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in turnover costs and lost productivity of disengaged employees.