When employees have low morale and productivity issues, companies usually first administer an employee engagement survey. It’s not a bad idea, however, they must follow the correct survey process.
Frequently companies put the majority of their energy and efforts in the actual survey while neglecting one of the key success factors; follow up. For more than 20 years, I worked for a Fortune 100 corporation. Each April, the yearly employee survey rolled out. For three weeks, we as leaders jumped through hoops to get more than 200,000 employees to complete the survey. Within a week of launching the survey, the threatening emails began to roll down the chain of command. If you were less than 100% compliant, you would receive a “not so friendly reminder” email telling you to “get this task completed or else.” However, the survey was being done to find out about the things our leaders need to improve upon. How about stopping the threats and focusing on improving engagement?
Once the survey process closed, there was more emphasis put on those that didn’t achieve a 100% completion rate than the people who actually received a poor survey rating from their employees.
In all my experience working with employee engagement surveys, it is far more damaging to do a survey and not follow up than not doing a survey in the first place. A survey cannot change your culture. What you choose to do with the information revealed in the survey is the place to start if you want engaged employees and a culture people want to be a part of.
If you decide to do an engagement survey, ensure you are willing to “at minimum” do the following:
So can a survey start your team in the right direction in regards to engagement and culture shift? Absolutely! If it is done correctly. Spend the energy on following up on the information the survey provides. Use this information as a baseline and build something better than the current state.