Employment engagement is critical to target employee skills and talents toward future goals and achieve success. Many organisations take a measure of them regularly. They are often referred to as employee engagement surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, surveys of departing employees and more.
Measuring employee engagement in real-time is like taking the companies’ temperature. There are definitive benefits, especially if you find there is something wrong, but there are also some disadvantages that must be acknowledged. Let’s have a look at both.
Solve problems Before they Deteriorate
It is sensible to keep checking the workplace mood’s temperature and address any issues before any escalation occurs. Problems only get big when we ignore them.
Builds Trust and Satisfaction
Both employees and leaders need ongoing feedback to keep expanding and improving. Having an opportunity for a two-way process allows leaders to pose better questions. When leaders ask better questions and connect with employees, they build trust. When employees feel heard, they are satisfied. This is definitely the outcome if the organisation follows up on the feedback provided and makes changes.
Measures Variables and Trends Over Time
It doesn’t only build satisfaction, but it can measure how dedicated, satisfied and comfortable the staff are. It’s also a way to determine whether there will be any foreseeable turnover in the company. These can be measured consistently over a period of time to see if there are any shifts.
Potential Improvements Needed
This is a way to get de-identified comment on improving the organisation. Allowing the HR team to make informed decisions about what changes could be made in the company culture to improve morale.
The survey can offer awareness of where the employee morale is beyond what is evident on the surface. Employees aren’t drones or chatbots. They need a human touch, and when those needs are met, they are more likely to respond. Making morale a priority increases productivity and retains employees longer.
Direct Action When and Where it Matters
When you know what and where the action needs to be taken, it develops collaboration and trust with your employees. People feel their ideas have been heard. They are more engaged and willing to participate in the changes if they know that they had a say in designing and implementing them.
Relatively Low Cost
Workplace surveys represent a low cost and easy way of gaining understandings into how staff experience their work. However, the more complex – the more time spent, the more money it will cost.
While there are definite benefits of conducting staff engagement surveys, possible consequences should be acknowledged before taking this initiative.
Takes Time and Serious Effort
Employee engagement surveys must be done consistently to derive the most benefit. Without consistent and regular data, you cannot gauge what is going on in the workplace.
You also must strike a balance between asking enough questions to get the most useful feedback and not asking too many questions. As this will either prompt the employees to quit mid survey or not give thoughtful answers. All this amounts to time and energy expenditure on the employer and employee’s part.
There are intensive administrative burdens associated with creating, delivering and analysing the surveys. Merely conducting the study is not adequate. Also, these surveys require follow-up – otherwise, they are a waste of money and resources. This increases the workload of the employer or delegated authority.
If engagement surveys are done, and no action is taken, the employees feel ignored. Suppose they don’t feel their feedback is taken seriously. In that case, they will be less inclined to offer open, honest feedback in the future, which makes subsequent surveys a complete waste of time. Distributing the results isn’t enough. Actions need to take place to rectify issues; otherwise, employees become further dissatisfied.
Poorly worded or leading questions can lead to inaccurate analyses of the findings. Additionally, if not all individuals complete the survey, the results may be distorted.
Fear of Reprisal
No matter how many times you indicate anonymity will be maintained; there is always the fear of reprisal if someone gives honest answers. This is a significant issue in smaller teams, where it is potentially easier to figure out who wrote specific comments. The truth is, some employees will not trust that their answers will be anonymous, no matter how much proof you give them to the contrary.
Focus on the Negative
Most employee engagement surveys direct the questions towards negative aspects of the work environment and culture. This can cause an overall sentiment that is distasteful. It’s often useful to consider a wide variety of questions and ask for feedback on things that are going well for the employee.
So, what is your take of employee surveys? Have you always done them? Do you do them regularly? What are some of the ways you can implement your surveys’ changes to facilitate positive change in your organisation?