Employee Surveys: Do they work? by Peter Streng

Acceptance Speech by Marius Meyer on receipt of Honorary Doctoral Degree from The Vaal University of Technology on 11 September 2018
September 11, 2018
The Workplace through the Lens of Attitude by Gcina Mthembu
September 11, 2018

Of course they do!Why some Employee Surveys fail to deliver the expected results, is not because of the Survey per se, but because the entire process was inherently flawed ab initio.

Our long experience with conducting organisational and/or employee surveys and even customer surveys in both the public and private sectors has led us to conclude that where Surveys have failed to achieve the desired outcome, it is because little thought has gone into the entire process.

For many companies it seems like a good idea to survey employees but they often don’t know why? They have not thought about what their real purpose of conducting a Survey is, nor what the consequent deliverables should be. A ‘spray and pray’ and ‘hope for the best’ is often the approach used.

So, what’s the answer? How does one make sure Surveys work for one? How do we not make the common mistakes? Well, quite simple really: we follow a simple 6-step approach guaranteed to succeed.

Remember how you felt when you participated in a Survey: were you promised confidentiality; were you made to feel as though your opinions, feelings and perceptions really counted? Be honest – did anything materially change in your organisation as a result of the Survey?; were the results fed back and shared with you and your colleagues?; or were you asked a year later to participate in yet another survey using the same ineffective approach.

Our experience has taught us that those organisations which use Surveys intelligently are far more likely to have an emotionally committed (to organisational objectives) workforce and employees who are far more psychologically invested (engaged) in the business/organisation, resulting in talent and scare skills staying longer and performing better than those employees in organisations who couldn’t give a damn about what their employees think and feel about crucial organisational matters! Hence; high-performing employees equals high-performing organisations!

A Survey is much more than perfunctory questions to create the illusion of inclusivity. It is about, as said above, creating the conditions for employees to honestly and without fear of victimisation or discrimination give of themselves, i.e. their opinions about organisational matters that affect them. This requires organisations to follow a tried and tested methodology that works as reflected in the graphic below.

RUBIQ’s 6 Phase Survey Process