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Surveys: The Best Way to Measure Employee Engagement?

Surveys: The Best Way to Measure Employee Engagement?

When in charge of a group of individuals it is important to keep track of their attitudes towards the company. However, it can be difficult to gain employee engagement, surveys, best practice a genuine response from your colleagues which truly measures their honest opinions in an effective manner which doesn’t use up too much time.

The Options

Group or individual discussions may seem like a promising way of gaining information regarding employee engagement, though there are numerous flaws with this method.  Whilst some people may feel completely comfortable discussing any concerns they may have with their job face to face, many will find it intimidating and may not be as open. Additionally, these discussions may be rather time consuming. A survey, with the option for anonymity, generates far more fruitful responses so long as they are constructed properly. Most individuals find it far easier to express themselves coherently on paper, and the questions within the survey allow the employer to categorise the responses meaning it is easier to accurately measure employee engagement.

Dealing With Negative Feedback

Different individuals will strive for different things within their role, and it is important to note within the survey that not every employee’s opinion is equally credible. Some individuals may fill out the survey in a negative manner in an attempt to unjustly gain more from their job, and it is important to correctly distinguish these from the valid responses. Given that employers have access to levels of pay, workload and other benefits that individuals can acquire, it is possible to ensure that they are being distributed fairly, and therefore take less notice of exaggerated complaints. However, these responses need not be totally disregarded; they can be viewed as a sign that communication needs to be improved throughout the business, so people are made aware that the company practices and policies are fair.

Potential Problems With Surveys

Some people may argue that a survey limits their responses; however this can be rectified with open ended questions focusing on many aspects of the working environment. Measuring employee engagement is full of complexities, as the level of satisfaction will differ not only from department to department, but also from person to person. A mistake that can be made when collating the data from surveys is to place different weight on someone’s opinion depending on their place within the company’s working hierarchy. This leads to dissatisfaction amongst many other members of the team. Take particular note of those who have taken time to explain any concerns with relevant detail, as it is likely that the time they have taken to explain these problems reflects their level of dissatisfaction.

The Aftermath

Of course, it is pretty difficult to create a workplace where every single employee is 100% engaged and happy with all aspects of the office. However, following through after distributing these engagement surveys is crucial in order to achieve a more successful working environment. Well thought out feedback will be appreciated by your colleagues, and implementing changes (even small ones) show that you value their contribution. Surveys are an extremely useful tool when attempting to measure employee engagement simply because they allow everybody to have a say. Making sure you address any significant issues that are subsequently brought to your attention is imperative.

People in charge of constructing the surveys and analyzing the completed responses must be willing to put in a sufficient amount of time in order to gain a true reflection of levels of employee engagement. Although they are not the only tool that should be used (regular communication within meetings and focus groups is also important), surveys are the most successful means of gaining a response regarding satisfaction on a large scale within your company.

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Craig Henderson

This article is a guest contribution by Craig Henderson. Craig is a passionate writer and lover of all things business related with a current interest in employee engagement.

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