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A Little Survey Sensibility

A Little Survey Sensibility

by Frank Roche on April 15, 2007

in Surveys

Let’s see…you conduct an annual employee survey. It’s filled with happy-happy-joy-joy questions like, “I like working here.” You collect up all the results. And wait. The you wait some more. Finally, you publish the survey results. And they’re met with an orchestra of the world’s tiniest violins playing “I Don’t Care.”

Sound familiar?

Employee surveys can be a heckuva lot more effective. Susan Healthfield offers ways to make your surveys work for you and your employees in “Five Recommendations for Employee Satisfaction Surveys.” Here’s the summary of her sensible approach (please click over and read her whole article):

  1. Communicate the fact that while employee responses are confidential, the data gathered will be used to improve the workplace
  2. The questions asked really do matter
  3. Hold employee focus groups or survey processes at your work site
  4. Never lose control of your data
  5. Never allow employees to self-select for participation in surveys and focus groups

I’m not a great big fan of employee surveys because too many of them don’t make a link between the survey and actions. Those that do are winners, and I’ve seen that work, too. But if you don’t intend to do something about your employee survey results I have a recommendation of my own: Don’t do it. Step away from the survey.


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