Friday, July 22, 2005

The right questions v the right process

I've recently been doing some work around employee surveying - engagement surveying seems to be the term of the moment - and it has been a revelation seeing why and how organisations survey their employees.

The spectrum has run from an organisation's communication team that actively manipulates focus groups so that the results they come out with matches their expectation when they went into the room; to several organisations who have been asking the same questions for five or more years, despite huge changes to their organisation, to one company where the process of collecting and tracking information is all important - and they don't really do a whole lot with it between each annual event.

And that's what has got me thinking: how many organisations treat their EOS as an annual event rather than an integrated aspect of their people process. How many actually do the pre-work to identify potential drivers of employee engagement and then build their surveys year-on-year around that? How many really follow through on the actions using PDPs, team goals and the organisation's business strategy to deliver changes to/for/with their people? And how many complete the loop by saying what they've done, and then carrying the learnings into the next round of surveying? And how many are now moving their surveying on from an annual event to six monthly or even 90 day checks?

Some clearly are - luckily I've been able to work with a couple who are really making use of the stats to inform their people strategy and have made the links from organisational objectives right through to PDPs. However for others, I'm still seeing the holy grail of the upward employee satisfaction curve as all important. But if you're not asking the right questions in the first place, how useful is that?

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