Avoid these blunders to optimize staff surveys
You can’t effectively manage a workforce without knowing what your employees are thinking. An employee survey, though, doesn’t guarantee you’ll find out what’s really on their minds.
You can’t effectively manage a workforce without knowing what your employees are thinking.
An employee survey, though, doesn’t guarantee you’ll find out what’s really on their minds. To get solid information, steer far away from these common survey mistakes:
• Conducting it yourself. Bring in an outside consultant or facilitator to develop questions, administer the survey, and tabulate results. Otherwise employees may be less than honest about problems and complaints.
• Asking the wrong questions. If you ask employees only what’s wrong with the organization, they’ll focus on the negative and neglect the good points. Ask questions that pinpoint what’s going right, and what could be better.
• Measuring popular benchmarks. A good survey should be unique to your organization. Don’t just copy another company’s survey, or the questions—and the findings—may be irrelevant to your workforce.
• Looking for quick fixes. A single survey won’t solve a longstanding problem. For the best return on investment, your surveys should measure ongoing issues over time, so repeat them on a regular schedule.
• Hiding the results. If employees never find out what the survey revealed, they’ll quickly grow cynical about the whole process. Though some information may have to remain confidential (salary issues, for example), a general atmosphere of transparency will build trust in the process.
• Failure to follow up. Don’t just collect data and let it sit there. Use the information to improve your operation and your relationship with employees. They’ll see you mean business, and they’ll participate more readily in the next survey.
—Adapted from the Engagement Factor blog
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