Maximising the benefits of staff surveys
A well designed staff survey can give very useful information to any organisation focussed on continually improving. Most organisations today face the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent. Conducting an annual staff or employee attitude survey can help you keep in tune with any issues that might need actioning. It is an important health check and it is well worth ensuring that you conduct a very robust process to gain maximum value.
The following important tips are worth noting:
Ensure that senior management is on board
Take the time to get ownership from senior management. Make sure they understand and agree with every step of the process. Appoint an internal sponsor at a senior management level to help drive the survey project.
Market the survey in every possible way
Ensure that the survey is introduced at first by the most senior management levels. Make sure the aims of the survey process are clearly communicated. Make sure it is then reinforced at a local management level . Also use a range of media - emails, newsletters, noticeboards etc.
Protect anonymity and confidentiality
Communicate clearly and strongly to survey respondents that their responses will be anonymous and confidential. Using a third party provider to conduct the survey is the best way to achieve this outcome.
Tap into expertise
Designing and conducting staff surveys is a job for experts. There are real benefits to using a third party to access the latest thinking and technology plus you have access to additional skills and resources
Publish the results
Regardless of the results it is important to communicate the summary results to staff. We do not recommend that you publish verbatim responses but just the overall strengths and challenges
Seek to understand the results
Once you review the results it is important to get underneath the data to see what is really worth actioning. Running focus groups at a local level can be one useful way of getting further information.
Action the results
Once you have taken the time to understand the results it is important to take action and communicate this to all staff. Be aware that you might already be actioning some issues and it is important to communicate this to staff as well as any planned, new action.
Repeat the process
It is important to repeat the staff survey annually as you can gauge progress on the actions you have undertaken. You may wish to alter your survey slightly each year to ensure its relevance.