A recent article written by Stephen Bruce (HR Daily Advisor) highlights a unique perspective on why you shouldn’t measure employee satisfaction in your organization. The shift from measuring engagement reveals a much deeper sense of overall organizational effectiveness by taking employee feedback on what they do and how they see themselves fitting within the organization. The key for success in this strategy is actually producing an action plan with results and following through on its content. Below are a few bulleted lists that contain the reasons WHY to conduct an engagement survey and a few Do’s and Don’ts for when you decide to embark on the engagement survey journey.
Six Reasons WHY to Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey
- Demonstrate your concern about employee issues.
- Find out what’s stressing your workforce (gives you an opportunity to act).
- Involve employees in getting the company through the recession. (How do we save? Process improvements, customer service improvements, etc.)
- Retain your best employees.
- Develop your future strategy. (Learn useful things to help in introducing changes and in gaining new ideas.)
- Better your bottom line. (Surveying, involving, and engaging your employees are much cheaper than replacing your best people.)
Do’s & Don’ts of Engagement Surveying
- Don’t conduct a survey unless you’re convinced leaders are committed to listening to and acting on feedback. (Impetus must come from the top, and you must follow through.)
- Do partner with a third-party consulting firm-Surveying is a big job and very time-consuming. Partnering gives you the ability to benchmark your results, allay concerns about confidentiality, and save time.
- Do promote specific actions, successes, and progress since the last survey.
- Do communicate your results and your “next steps,” and frequently share progress. (Consider sharing internal benchmarks.)
- Do establish a cross-sectional committee to review overall company results and to make recommendations to management.
- Do establish local cross-sectional subcommittees to review local results ( e.g., department, business unit, functional), and appoint local senior champions.
- Do develop a common Action Plan Template and consider posting all plans on your intranet.
- Do remember to focus on both “development areas” and “strengths.”
- Do keep it simple with flawless execution.
- Do plan for follow-up feedback mechanisms. (Consider keeping your committee active for 12 months-your “check and balance.”)
- Don’t conduct another survey for 18 to 24 months. It takes time to analyze, share, act on findings, and show results. Also, there’s “survey fatigue” to consider.
- Do invest in post-survey results: Interpretation, Action planning, Follow-up, Follow-through, Communication and Branding.
Many organizations fall down on that last item. An Aon Hewitt 2011 Survey revealed that:
In companies who administered an employee engagement survey, 27% of managers never reviewed the results at all, and 52% reviewed the results but took no action.
If you took the time, invested the resources and committed to the strategy, it would seem foolish not to complete the loop and use the results as a springboard into change. Employee engagement-just one more piece of the puzzle in every organization’s pursuit of success – but one that can make a huge difference!