Employee Engagement Surveys: What Type Are You?

by Bonamy Waddell and Lisa Pantelli

Employee engagement surveys can be an effective tool for looking at – well, exactly what it says on the tin! But, they are only effective if they are delivered as part of a broader company commitment to creating a great place to work.

Many organisations we work with, regardless of their size, have some form of employee survey yet often we see the results going into a blackhole never to be referred to again until the next round. Done well, employee surveys can be a huge benefit to the business. These benefits include:

  • Helping to improve organisational culture
  • Offering employees an opportunity for their voice to be heard
  • Providing senior leaders with evidence that they need to make any changes to improve engagement and internal communications

Their place as a means of gathering insight is regularly debated. However, in a recent Forbes article, the author explored the power and conversely, the risks of employee surveys. It’s a time-old debate and one which often divides those who have to manage the employee engagement survey as part of their remit. As the author of this article notes, there are generally four responses to the question ‘How have your employee survey scores changed over the past two years?’. These are:

  1. I don’t know because we haven’t surveyed regularly
  2. Our survey scores haven’t changed significantly
  3. Our survey scores have declined
  4. Our survey scores were low but they’ve improved dramatically OR they were high and they’ve stayed high

From conversations we have with our clients, these are answers we hear time and time again. We’ve categorised these responses into types: (1) The Unknown, (2) The Constant, (3) The Big Dip and (4) The Peak.

If one of these responses is something you can associate with, it may be an indication of the fact that your survey is either not serving its purpose, or that you need to look at your engagement strategy and fine-tune it.

Over a number of posts, we will explore these challenges further. We will take each type and look at challenges and recommendations specific to that group. We will also share our views on the implications of these to engagement and how you can gather and use the data in a more meaningful way.

We help businesses get the best of their employees by gathering insight to help them understand the issues which really matter. If you would like help in creating your employee survey, would like an audit of your employee data or would like some support in designing an engagement strategy based on your insight, please call or email us today and we would love to work with you in creating a more engaged environment.

Related Articles: Exploring The Unknown

Bonamy is an Associate of Become Communications, providing data and insight consultancy.
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