The Limits of Employee Surveys

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The Limits of Employee Surveys

Just read a blog post in favor of employee surveys. Mega World blog  I agree, but they are often so bloated and forgotten. Here are my comments.

I like employee surveys too if a few things are in place:
1. The leaders know why they are conducting a survey and what they plan to do with the results before they ever send anything out. Without that keen interest on their part, it will be way too easy for them to blow off the results.
2. Encourage the leaders to include questions that are important to them. It needs to be their survey and not HR’s or the consultants.
2. In addition to the 1 to 5 scale provide space for people to comment. Numerical  results only give a gross understanding of what’s going on. Narrative comments allow you to hear the stories. That’s where the value often lies.
3. Keep it short. I suggest no more than 20 questions. (I usually ask just four or five questions.) Response rate goes way up when people know that this won’t take them a long time to complete. And the narrative comments are a lot richer.

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