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The truth about employee feedback

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Marcel Chenard:

How often a survey should be conducted for an entire organisation? yearly, every second year?

Thursday, September 08 at 3:09 pm | Reply

Ted Thaler:

In short, it depends on your objective. You don’t want to conduct a survey just for the sake of conducting a survey. There needs to be a reason.

For example, if you are looking to introduce a new benefits program, or change the one you have, you’ll probably want to:
• conduct a survey before you develop the new plan design (to get a sense of employee expectations and needs);
• hold pre-launch focus groups to “test” the new plan design (so you have time to tweak the design and communications before the launch); and
• conduct a follow-up survey after the launch to determine what adjustments, if any, need to be made.

Similarly, if your organization is in a constant state of flux, or if there is a gap between employee preferences and business objectives, or an ongoing issue with morale or trust, then an annual or bi-annual survey may make sense – at least until things are back on an even keel.

If, on the other hand, things seem to be running fine, then conducting surveys on a less frequent basis is probably the way to go. The occasional survey will still give you an opportunity to take the “temperature” of the organization and identify any emerging issues before they become a problem.

Keep in mind two key points:
• If you conduct too many surveys, you run the risk of survey fatigue. Employees will simply stop responding – especially if there is a disconnect between the survey results and the actions of management.
• Surveys are part of a two-way communication process. They can be a great way to engage your employees, but they can just as easily alienate those same employees if you don’t feed back the results and address their concerns in a meaningful way.

Friday, September 16 at 8:47 am

Cindy Dicenta:

Our company just did a survey and your recipe for a successful survey was followed for the most part. We were offered an incentive for each department that got 100% participation. Turns out everyone got the same thing regardless. Some departments did not get 100% and got to partcipate anyway. Needless to say there was some animosity.

Sunday, January 08 at 1:35 pm | Reply

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