I received this note after my webinar last week with HireRight on engaging and retaining talent. It’s such a good question I wanted to share it with you.
Hello Sharlyn. We’ve done employee surveys in past and plan to do one again soon. How do I ‘sell’ the value of doing an engagement survey to some of the managers/VPs who feel they have such a good repertoire with their employees that they don’t need the survey?
I totally get it. Your organization has worked hard to build a great culture that includes excellent communications. That was the goal so, now that the organization has achieved it, employee surveys aren’t necessary. Right?
The purpose of building good working relationships and developing open communications isn’t to eliminate surveys. An employee survey serves a valuable purpose. They allow organizations to gather consistent feedback in an effective manner. Yes, organizations could conduct face-to-face surveys but it would take an incredibly long time and you would need to have some sort of consistent way of measuring comments. Surveys provide an means to collect information efficiently.
Where managers and employees having a good repertoire becomes valuable is in debriefing the survey results. Managers will feel comfortable being transparent about survey results. Employees will feel comfortable giving open and honest responses.
So if you’re trying to sell senior management on an engagement survey, here are a few things to consider:
- What’s the purpose of the engagement survey (versus other surveys being conducted)? In this note, there’s mention of other employee surveys. While surveys are important, I think we all realize there is such a thing as survey overload. Be prepared to articulate why the engagement survey is different, valuable and worth consideration.
- Is it possible to combine efforts? If in preparing your response to the first question you realize that a separate survey might be too much, explore adding a couple of engagement related questions to your existing survey. Updating survey questions to keep up with current business trends is perfectly normal. And smart!
- How does the engagement survey benefit the bottom-line? We know the value of engagement. That’s not the purpose of today’s post. But to sell an engagement survey, we have to draw a connection between doing the survey, getting employee responses to the survey, and the bottom-line of the organization.
Surveys are a very effective and efficient way to gather information. They are not a replacement for human interaction. Nor is face-to-face conversation a replacement for gathering and measuring employee feedback. They are designed to complement each other.
The worst thing a company can do is ask for feedback and then do nothing with it. So pitching the idea of a survey involves research and preparation. But it can be done. Just be prepared with the right answers.
Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby0