More often than not, an employee survey generates noise, as HR urges everyone to complete the survey in order to get a high response rate. But the thing about HR and surveys is that after the response has been collated and recorded, nothing really gets done. The results of the survey do not actually translate to needed changes.
Many managers see employee surveys as an HR initiative geared toward assessing employee engagement and how the staff perceives the environment at work. The results of these surveys often lead to plans regarding career movement, retraining and up training sessions, or salary adjustments.
Surely, HR has good intentions in releasing an employee survey in order to get the pulse of the staff. However, these engagement surveys do not directly contribute to business strategies. As such, employees feel that these surveys are a waste of time. Almost 60 percent of employees think that initiatives from previously held surveys have no tangible effects on the running of the business or the achievement of business goals.
Creating Surveys that Focus on Strategic Alignment
Employee engagement surveys are good, but they should be tweaked to ensure that they are aligned with the company’s business strategy as a whole. These employee surveys should measure employee qualities – agility, alignment and engagement – that direct the staff’s energies toward the company’s goals. To create such surveys, the management must focus on the following:
1. The design of the survey. Surveys must be designed in a manner that is specific to the long-term goals of the company. A tech solutions provider has different goals from a retail firm or a restaurant franchise. When designing your employee survey, make sure that it is tailor-fit to your goals and will not just yield generic results.
2. The delivery of the survey. A comprehensive survey design is not enough. No matter how good or how detailed your survey is, it will not do your company good if it is not properly administered and is not accomplished by your staff within the given deadline. Make sure that your survey is designed for ease of answering, and can be accessed even on mobile phones for employees on the go. It also helps to have tools that will make the collation and recording of answers, so you do not have to spend too much time collecting data, as you can use this time to interpret and analyze the results instead.
3. The analysis of the survey results. Unless the results of the survey are analyzed and seen through the context of your company’s overall strategy, they will just be meaningless data. Therefore you must use the proper analytic tools to understand the data you have on hand. You can then use the info you have to address specific areas in the business to make it better.
4. The creation of the action plan. Naturally, you need to make an action plan based on the results of the survey, after it has been analyzed. However, there cannot be just one plan, especially for big corporate companies whose departments handle different aspects of the business. For example, survey results and data that correspond to technical topics must be handled by someone or a team that has in-depth knowledge on the subject. On the other hand, topics like trust in the organization or how well employees understand their specific roles must be handled by the HR team or the internal communication department.
5. The implementation of the plan. Of course, the plan must be implemented, with managers and leaders spearheading the move to get rid of bad practices and improving not-so-good ones while retaining good practices and finding ways to make them even better – with the use of different tools and resources like checklists and guidelines.
Lastly, you must remember that an employee survey is not a one-shot deal. It is a continuous process that involves constant improvements.