Should You Use Employee Surveys?

If you use employee surveys or if you are considering implementing an employee survey, you may want to rethink the way you plan to use the survey results.

In a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) webcast held in February 2012, Dick Finnegan author of “The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement & Retention” discussed why he felt the employee survey process was a broken model.

According to Finnegan, when engagement survey results are lower than anticipated, CEO’s are more likely to turn to HR to “fix” the problem with programs like employee appreciation weeks, picnics, newsletters, etc. rather than addressing issues from the top and hold supervisors accountable.

Finnegan referenced a New York Times article, published on 3/12/11, which summarized Google’s research into supervisory qualities its employees value most, “What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses (A) who made time for one-on-one meetings, (B) who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and (C) who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.”

Finnegan suggested that organizations:

*Keep surveys short, conduct them frequently, and look at data as benchmarks, not solutions.

*Find real solutions by conducting “stay interviews.”

*Ask employees to identify, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely they are to refer their friends to the company as a great place to work.

*Have a designated HR professional act as quality manager for survey action plans.

*Hold supervisors accountable for achieving expected survey results.

HR POINTER: When considering the use of employee surveys, begin with a well-designed survey that reveals hard data as to the intensity of the issues that are important to a productive and profitable organization.

We offer a 5-step approach to designing and implementing employee surveys.  For an overview of our 5-step approach to Employee Surveys, view the link below:

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