Surveys Don’t Improve Engagement, Dialogues do

Shawn Casemore • 1 Comment
Posted: December 4, 2015

Have you ever completed an employee engagement survey?

What are beneficial outcomes that came from taking this survey? Did the employee, the CEO, the shareholders and the customers see any changes results after taking the survey?

The answer might not be coming to you right away and that’s because not many things probably came from an employment engagement survey. There is a fundamental problem with engagement surveys and it happens because they’re simply not accurate.

Think about the last time you responded to any survey. Your response depended on several factors, namely:

* How much value you perceived would come from responding to the survey (i.e. how would answering help you)

* Your most recent interactions with the other person, company or party

* How you were feeling (having a good day versus a bad day)

* What others were suggesting they were identifying in the survey

Surveys are a form of group think, and attempting to compile any sort of realistic (and more importantly) actionable data from them is simply unrealistic.

[Tweet “Compiling realistic actionable data from an employee engagement survey is unrealistic.”]

I’m not suggesting you’ve been duped by all of the companies offering surveys, although some of you likely have. What I’m suggesting is that surveys are best done in a different way in order to see results.

Namely, I’m speaking about face to face interactions which allow for digging deeper into those responses that seem to be false or misleading. This is not possible when you use an app or survey monkey. So forget spending a fortune on electronic surveys.

Here is a more accurate way to survey employees:

  1. Ask only a few questions
  2. Conduct the survey face to face (or at least voice to voice)
  3. Choose to speak with the employee in a safe environment where those participating feel like they have an opportunity to share openly.
  4. Hold focus groups with employees to discuss existing concerns or issues
  5. Engage those participating in determining the best (and realistic) actions to overcome the concerns
  6. Use the information collected to share with other groups, validate the importance and relevance across the organization
  7. Empower employees to participate in the resolutions – what can they do to help rectify the situation

Face to face dialogue costs no money and drives broader discussions around what should be improved, how and who wants to get involved.

That’s the way you increase employee engagement (and here are 5 more tips).

Surveys are one area that can be improved in order to empower your employees and increase their engagement.

© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.

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