Are Employee Surveys Out Of Date?

13 May 2020



#Useful Information

The post was written by Mariia Iskorkina, HR at Idealogic

Today we are going to continue with the topic of employee engagement and dwell upon the matter of relevance of employee surveys in measuring their engagement.

Employee surveys used to be crucial when assessing employee engagement and getting feedback from your workforce. But with companies using more and more technology algorithms and analyzing data through email responses, network connections both within and outside the team as well as other metrics, surveys seem to take a back seat. In fact, surveys that appear to be so time-consuming that some employees wouldn’t even bother to fill out actually play a significant role. Why so? Let’s find out.

First, surveys give employees a voice so they can tell stories that otherwise might not be heard. According to Robert Kahn, an American psychologist specializing in survey research, there are three psychological states that influence individuals and impact work engagement — meaningfulness, safety, and availability. In other words, that is a feeling of value, worth, and significance, how free an individual feels in a role or activity and how ready an individual is physically, emotionally, or cognitively to take on a role or task. The act of filling out a survey gives them a chance to contribute to the conversation, feel valued, free, and safe to express their opinion.

Recently we’ve had an internal survey about hobbies, interests, and funny childhood moments among our employees, and we found so many talents we couldn’t even think of! We have people on our team who can dance very well or used to play drums in a music band, those who are good at psychology, can make a campfire, and even read others’ thoughts! Isn’t that amazing?

Second, surveys help to predict employee behavior. They are a way to gauge whether there might be a turnover problem soon. In fact, the survey can even ask directly how long the employee intends to stay with the organization. As these surveys are typically anonymous, the answers are likely to be insightful. We also learn a lot about employees who don’t participate in surveys. They are 2.6 times more likely to leave the company in the next six months.

Furthermore, surveys help define areas of improvement and organizational growth. Employees have a chance to share their opinion on the work environment and management effectiveness. Assessing engagement will also allow you to identify areas of best practice within your company. A specific department might rate very high on engagement and by analyzing the data you can gain insight into how they are achieving it and implement best practices throughout the entire organization.

Lastly, employee surveys drive changes in the behavior of the workforce. By answering questions not only people provide feedback and insights into how the company is operating but they also learn more about themselves. This is where the magic happens. However, to create maximum impact from employee surveys, it is vital that an HR manager facilitates and communicates the survey process as well as ensures that the relevant insights are shared transparently.

With companies using more and more technology to measure employee engagement people feel like they are constantly being controlled and monitored by the machines. The surveys, on the other hand, provide that sense of something human that is so lacking. This form of measuring employee engagement will only become more valuable with time.

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