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Engaging with Engagement Surveys

 

Engagement surveys are a common feature of many organisations’ efforts to understand and analyse their employees’ level of engagement with their employer. They can be utilised to find out the general level of understanding and commitment to the organisation’s overarching mission and values, or might as readily be linked to specific business issues and potential action areas. In principle, they can be a great way to gauge the current temperature of employee opinion and engagement, and offer a great source of suggestions and ideas for ways to improve both in the future.

 

They are, however, not without their potential pitfalls. One is that, in the act of asking questions that appear to relate to, for example, the level of support employees currently receive to do their jobs, there can be a raised expectation of subsequent action if the employee’s response is comparatively negative. It can often accentuate the problem further if there it creates the appearance of some likely future rectification if it never actually comes.

 

There can also be an issue with the actual engagement of employees in the process itself. For example, ADUKG’s partner, BlessingWhite, undertook a recent survey aimed at assessing the engagement levels of employees in engagement surveys. This found that only 45 per cent of respondents were very confident that they even understood what an engagement survey was, while 50 per cent said that they would sooner complete a survey an online purchases than an engagement survey. Perhaps most concerning, close to 25 per cent said they didn’t know what an engagement survey was and 39 per cent said they didn’t believe the activity had an impact on their company’s long-term priorities.

 

What this comes down to then is a need to both properly plan engagement surveys – with a laser-focus on what you want from it from an organisational viewpoint and what actions you can take based on the results – as well as to properly communicate the aims and importance of the undertaking to all employees. At its base, the effort of employee engagement surveys should be an honest dialogue with employees – being straightforward about what it should achieve and attracting direct and honest answers in return.
 
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