Overview – Surveys
Surveys canvass employees’ opinions and measure their perceptions. This provides an audit of important aspects of the organisation as seen through employees’ eyes. Surveys are a valuable communication tactic because they provide a feedback mechanism for employees and a vehicle for leaders to listen. They fulfill many functions, including:
– Providing a comparative analysis of leadership effectiveness.
– Taking a pulse check during a large-scale change.
– Auditing the effectiveness of communications.
Surveys can be conducted in many ways, including:
– Email with a link to the intranet.
– Written questionnaires distributed at the end of an event or with the organisation’s magazine.
– Hard-copy format sent to employees’ homes or workstations.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Giving employees a voice and leaders a listening tool.
✓ Measuring employee morale and/or leadership effectiveness.
✓ Establishing employees’ views on significant aspects of the organisation’s culture so that action can be taken if warranted.
✓ Determining the effectiveness of individual communication tactics in achieving desired outcomes.
✓ Identifying employees’ communication needs.
Things to consider:
⇒ Determine the reasons for conducting a survey: what will it aim to accomplish and what will be done with the results.
⇒ Develop questions that relate to employees’ areas of experience and knowledge, and will result in leadership action.
⇒ Target high participation rates (80-90 percent) across all locations and levels.
⇒ Incentivise the return of questionnaires for large-scale surveys. For example, commit to donating a specific amount of money to a nominated charity for every completed survey that is returned by the due date.
⇒ Communicate the survey results honestly.
⇒ Take action to respond to identified issues and road-blocks where warranted.
⇒ Communicate to employees the linkage between the feedback they provided and the resultant actions to encourage further participation.
⇒ Follow-up with subsequent surveys to measure the impact of action or consequences of inaction.
It’s critically important that the survey feedback is seen by employees to be acted upon. If no actions are taken in response to employees’ feedback, their participation in subsequent surveys will decrease and credibility of any such initiative will be eroded.