Dispelling the top 10 myths about employee surveys

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When you bring up employee surveys, are you faced with opposition from colleagues and executives? This post will dispel the arguments or “myths” that we often encounter when we talk about employee surveys. Hopefully, it will open your eyes and arm you with some arguments of your own.

1.    We already know what our employees will say

Think you know your staff and what’s on their minds? Your perception may not be as accurate as you think. Employees are often too intimidated to be candid with their manager. An anonymous employee survey is a good outlet for honest feedback.

2.    Only cranky employees will respond

Surveys aren’t just an opportunity for disgruntled employees to vent about their jobs. Most employees genuinely want to help make their work environment better. A survey provides the perfect avenue for this input.

3.    Employees just want more money

Money does not make the world go ‘round. While remuneration matters, it’s certainly not the most important factor. What about job satisfaction? Creativity and innovation? Making a difference?

4.    The timing isn’t good

Senior leaders have many priorities, and it never seems like a good time to add more to their plates. But when isn’t it a good time to improve your organization? Is there such a thing as a bad time for making the organization perform better and be more competitive? When you decide to commit to a survey initiative, you are committing to continual improvements, and there’s always time for that!

5.    The executive team doesn’t believe in surveys

You may think getting executive buy in to do a survey will be impossible, but senior leaders believe in getting staff members to perform their best. They’ll be interested in any tool that can help them figure out how to do that, and how to make the workplace, and bottom line, better.

6.    We can do the survey ourselves

Surveys involve more than writing up a few questions and passing around to staff. We’re not saying that you can’t do a survey on your own, but tapping into the expertise of a survey partner can save your organization time and money and ensure you get the most out of your survey process.

7.    Professional surveys are too expensive

It’s important to be budget-conscious, but you’ll likely spend more time, money and resources learning how to do the survey yourself. You can save money by working with a professional survey partner that already has proven, valid and reliable questionnaires and systematic processes to surveying, so you get it right the first time.

8.    Surveys raise employee expectations

A solid communication plan will guide you as you explain to employees that they can expect to see some action as a result of the employee survey, but that the executive team’s role is to identify the top priorities and timing of changes.

9.    Engagement surveys don’t drive business outcomes

Research suggests that there is a strong link between employee engagement and positive business outcomes. Both private and public-sector organizations with higher levels of employee engagement have shown to perform better financially.

10.    Acting on survey results costs time and money

While certain changes can cost money, investing in employee engagement is a smart, strategic choice. The survey will likely highlight some changes that are relatively easy, simple and quick to make, and go a long way in engaging your workforce.

For a do-it-yourself online engagement survey tool that combines the flexibility of a DIY solution with the credibility of a proven questionnaire, try TalentGage Online for FREE. To learn more about how a survey partner can help, contact Sean Fitzpatrick at sfitzpatrick@talentmap.com or 613-248-3417, ext. 501.  

About the Author:

As President and founder of TalentMap, Sean Fitzpatrick has helped many leading public and private sector organizations maximize engagement and boost productivity through TalentMap’s integrated employee feedback system.

TalentMap offers ‘off the shelf’ and ‘custom-designed’ employee engagement solutions that foster continual improvement within your organization.

Expert Bloggers is a marketing feature of Ottawa Business Journal. To participate, please email sales@obj.ca

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