Why Employee Engagement Surveys often fail
Employee engagement is one of those “holy grails” that many HR, OD and management professionals seek to achieve for their organizations. Today I was reading an interesting blog by US firm Performancepoint LLC.
In the article they list 10 comon mistakes:
1. Conducting an in-house survey
2. Putting the onus on managers
3. Questions that spread discontent
4. Findings that aren’t actionable
5. Using the goals of others
6. No follow-up on findings
7. Hosting just one event
8. Skirting transparency
9. Looking for the quick fix
10. Not training managers in wider EE issues & tools
Now I am not convinced that all of these are in themselves mistakes – sure they are all areas where things can go wrong.. but mistakes?
Take the first one – “Conducting an in-house employee engagement survey” – is this wrong…no! but when it is done this way care must be taken to ensure that all responses are seen as anonymous and that individuals feel free to give honest feedback.
Number 2 – “Putting the onus on managers” – sure any survey needs the commitment of managers, but not for the survey to be reliant on line managers – they have an operational job to do which should be a high priority.
What we know from our Employee Engagement & Satisfaction Survey tool, its development and deployment is that it is not about the survey – but the whole process from end to end… to end. It must be an on going process not a one off project. Indeed the very best organizations have employee engagement surveys, there review and actions as a part of “the way we do things here”.
Employee Engagement is not, and can never be a “tick box” system or solution. It is about engaging with and through the people we use to deliver and facilitate the product of our organizations.