Monday, February 2, 2009

Is Now the Time for an Employee Survey?

I have been asked several times in the last few weeks if now is a good time to survey employees.  I say, "YES!" Here is why:

1) Employees are nervous-Surveys can be as much about PR, as they are about research.  Just by reaching out to the employees and touching base, you send a message of  "We Care."

2) SpillOver Effect-In an earlier blog, I discussed the relationship between happy employees and happy customers...this is still the case and now it is even MORE important. 

3) Build loyalty now-When this situation is better, employees will remember how the company responded in bad times.

4) It is relatively inexpensive-with so many online solutions and third party providers, data gathering can be very cost effective.  Good bang for the buck.

5) Ability to rise from the ashes-by understanding what the issues are now (management, job satisfaction, etc) you can correct and emerge better and stronger!

6) Performance of Top Talent Matters-determining how loyal your top performers are is critical.  Making sure they are taking care of NOW versus LATER is smart. 

7) You may learn something you didn't know-In my experience when conducting employee surveys, if constructed correctly, you learn a great deal and even get some really cool suggestions. 

So, get busy constructing your employee survey. Customization of questions is key.  Stay tuned for a blog post on why questions should be customized and not copied from other organizations.

Thoughts?  Please comment on your ideas regarding employee surveys!

4 comments:

Zoomerang Blog said...

You made some compelling points, thanks for sharing them.

Gathering employee feedback at appropriate times allows you to monitor your most important resource before it’s too late. If a company doesn’t provide employees the opportunity to provide their feedback, it will be overlooking potential trouble spots in its business. Feedback should be gathered after a specific event to monitor your processes as well as at specific intervals to gather useful satisfaction data:

-Before an employee joins to improve your recruitment process;

-After employee orientation to improve your process of bringing employees on board;

-Quarterly for company satisfaction surveys;

-Semi-annually for performance reviews;

-After an employee exits to improve retention

The employee interaction drives the timing of event-based surveys; the data should be collected immediately after the interaction while the experience is still fresh in the employee’s mind. For employee satisfaction surveys, surveys should be spread out over the course of a year rather than conducting them once per year. If there is only one data point for each year, a single recent event could have a large impact on results, impacting business decisions.

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR said...

Thanks for your point on timing. I couldnot agree more. I think you need shorter surveys more often. I like your idea of gathering data at different points in the employment experience.

Cathy

Marie said...

I completely agree with your first point - surveys are as much about PR as they are about research. Sending out a survey is a simple way to show that those on the top of the totem pole are concerned with how their employees feel.

Even if there isn't much you can do to solve the problem right away, it's a great way to get all of the issues out on the table.

Employees who know that their employer cares about what they have to say will feel valued and less likely to start shopping around for a new job. A valued employee is your best asset.

Great post!

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR said...

Thansk Marie. I appreciate your comments.