Finally! Big Data 2.0 addresses causality…

Why socially acceptable answers corrupt 99% employee surveys

Employee surveys are wide-spread as managers rightfully want to feel the pulse of the organization. In one study, nearly half (47%) of all employees who said their organization conducted a survey and demonstrated visible actions at the organization or department level were fully engaged. Yet, conducting an employee engagement survey alone is likely to lead to significantly decreased levels of engagement. The question, therefore: how to ensure that the best possible actions are coming out of the survey?

  • Read below mentioned sources to understand what ensures that the worst possible outcomes are most likely to happen.
  • There is difficulty with identification: a "good" response rate for an employee survey is about 50% so you can wonder what the "other half" really thinks.
  • There is severe lack of truthfulness: in the vast majority of cases, employee surveys do not measure actual behavior, only the behavior people report. The threat of socially acceptable answers will totally pollute any potentially interesting outcome.
  • As the majority of employee surveys asks for opinions about management, management may not like the results and report back in a distorted way (or not at all) to the employees.
  • The lack of useful outcomes more than often results in little tangible action: affirmatively asking for employees' feedback and then ignoring it is worse than not asking at all. Nearly 1 in 3 employee survey respondents are actually disengaged when there is a survey but no action afterwards.

5 tips to crank up the results of any employee survey:

1. ONLY ask for verifiable behavior and/or activities (actions speak louder than words)

2. Management commitment will sky-rocket when the survey’s content is about actionable items. Show them.

3. Check the questionnaire with selected employees in advance for maximum buy-in from the lower ranks.

4. Include a pay-off for respondents. Example: individual improvement plans and knowledge sharing

5. Report back in a week after concluding the survey. Communicate again in 1 month about the quick wins.