How to Engage Your Employees Via Surveys


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A great presentation from my colleague, Jack Kennedy.

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How to Engage Your Employees Via Surveys

  1. 1. Employee Surveys: Pitfalls and Promise The Current State of Employee Surveys and Keys to Implementing an Effective Survey Process
  2. 2. Today’s Business Situation  Complexity  Rapidly changing competitive environment  Re-organizations, mergers, acquisitions    Emphasis on business processes as key to competitive advantage Interdependence — need for cross-functional, cross-boundary problem solving HR needs to add value 2
  3. 3. Premise In order to succeed in today’s environment, organizations must:    Communicate the organization’s vision, values and objectives to all employees Engage the workforce behind the priority objectives of the organization Build commitment in the workforce in order to retain key employees 3
  4. 4. How Surveys Contribute Assess Employee Engagement Predict Readiness to Change Institutionalize Values Identify Barriers Link to Business Outcomes Build Ownership for Outcomes Track Progress 4
  5. 5. How Surveys Contribute  Provide organizational assessment  Create a catalyst for change  Provide structure for problem identification and action planning  Encourage accountability  Build teamwork and commitment  Open lines of communication 5
  6. 6. Employee Perceptions are Linked to Business Outcomes  Employee opinions and customer satisfaction − −  Schneider, Parkington & Buxton (1980) Schneider & Bowen (1985) Employee opinions and business performance − −  Tornow & Wiley (1991) Wiley (1991) “Lagged” effects and causation − Ashworth, Higgs, Schneider, Shepherd & Carr (1995) − Rucci, Kern & Quinn (1998) − Wiley & Brooks (2000) 6
  7. 7. The Link is Indirect + Customer Data Employee Data + Financial Data + Quality/service impact on business performance Employee impact on quality/customer service + Impact of employee engagement directly on business performance 7
  8. 8. Conclusions from the Literature    Employee and customer satisfaction are strongly and positively linked A leadership value-system that emphasizes product quality and customer service is fundamental to this linkage Practices derived from this value system include: − −  Involving them in decisions that affect their work −  Providing employees with the necessary support, resources & training Empowering them to do what is necessary to meet customer expectations Employee retention is positively related to customer satisfaction Quality and customer satisfaction have long-term, positive relationships with customer retention, market share and profitability 8
  9. 9. Conclusions from the Literature   Certain practices that increase short-term sales and profits may do so at the expense of employee and customer satisfaction Investment in practices that support quality, employee and customer satisfaction is a long-term business strategy, not a quick fix 9
  10. 10. Evolution of Employee Surveys Previously Today Topics Morale Engagement Purpose Assessment Problem-solving Information flow Upward Multi-directional Scope Broad, long Short, focused Action responsibility Management Everyone 10
  11. 11. The Survey Process Linking the Survey to Strategy Data Collection Value-Added Data Analysis Utilization Follow-up 11
  12. 12. Linking Surveys to Strategy Successful surveys are action-oriented and focus on issues clearly related to the organization’s success  Clear priorities and agenda  Limited survey scope  Behavior/outcome-oriented questions −  Ensure that the data reflect employees’ actual experiences Focused at multiple levels − Responsibility and authority can be pushed to the lowest appropriate level 12
  13. 13. Data Collection Successful surveys are action-oriented and focus on issues clearly related to the organization’s success  Process clearly communicated to all employees − Steps − Dates − Expectations  Appropriate administration process and technologies  Limited administration period −  Frequently determined by administration process Rapid data turn-around − “Survey data are not fine wine -- they don’t get better with age” 13
  14. 14. Value-Added Data Analysis Key-driver analysis: Employee Engagement Clear Strategic Vision 0.32 Opinions Are Valued 0.28 0.22 Development Encouraged 14 Employee Engagement
  15. 15. Value-Added Data Analysis Strategic Priority Analysis High Performance • Employee Favorablility Strategy & Values • Line • Management Culture Working • Environment • • Reward • Recognition Comm.s • • • IT Key Strength Areas Leadership Critical Improvements • Development Low Impact on Employee Motivation 15 High
  16. 16. Value-Added Data Analysis Linkage Research    Integrating and correlating survey data with other important organizational data Goal is to identify elements of the work environment that “link” to key organizational outcomes (e.g., customer satisfaction, quality, turnover, etc.) The stronger the linkage between employee survey results and measures of organizational effectiveness, the greater the value of the survey 16
  17. 17. Value-Added Data Analysis Linkage Research  Linkage research is difficult to do well −  Need a fairly large number of similar units (e.g., branches, stores, etc. Linkage research may change priorities − −  Typically focus on lowest rated issues/topics Linkage research helps focus on empirically-identified “predictors” of organizational outcomes Content affects the likelihood that results will predict outcomes − Survey measures of “Organizational Effectiveness” more likely to link to outcomes − Traditional “Employee Relations” topics conspicuously absent 17
  18. 18. Utilization The most critical step... The transition from collecting data to actually doing something about it “Survey Data Never Changed Anything” 18
  19. 19. Utilization Or, put another way: “Surveys are like hand grenades. Once you pull the pin, you really have to do something with them!” 19
  20. 20. Utilization Communicate results “This is what you said.” Understand the data “Tell us what you mean.” Prioritize issues “We can’t fix everything. What’s important?” “What are we going to do about it?” Transition to action 20
  21. 21. Utilization Feedback and Action-Planning Model  Takes place at multiple levels − Company/business unit − Function − Work group/department  Managers trained to conduct meetings  “Trickle-up” of issue specifics  Employees involved in developing & implementing actions 21
  22. 22. Follow-Up Feedback and Action-Planning Model  Ongoing monitoring of action-implementations  Continuous communication linking actions to the survey process  Make surveys a regular part of your business measurement Surveys are not opinion polls. They are a process! 22
  23. 23. Best Practices in Surveys  Line ownership of the process  Executive buy-in and commitment  Focused on strategic/operational issues  Integrated with other organizational processes  Accountability for action  Communication, communication, communication 23
  24. 24. Survey Pitfalls  Unclear survey objectives  Insufficient planning/resources  Poor questionnaire design  Inappropriate administration methodology  “Paralysis by Analysis”  Failure integrate link survey with standard business practices  Lack of accountability for survey-based improvements  Poor follow-up communication 24
  25. 25. Contact Information For more information, please contact: Jack Kennedy Executive Director Half Moon Consulting (914) 923-5051 25
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