Tanya's Talks: Surveys don’t work

Posted in : HR Updates on 15 June 2016
Tanya Kennedy
Purpose Consultancy
Issues covered:

My experience is that many companies invest considerable time and effort developing well-intended, well thought through approaches to employee engagement and high performance. Yet, one major barrier prevails and that is a focus on measuring engagement without a clear move towards improving engagement.

Combine this with ‘what’ is being measured often having limited alignment with business objectives, and you might begin to see a reason emerging for companies often failing to make the real changes that engage employees or meet workplace needs. The reality is that metrics on their own don't drive change or increase performance and that action based on information that is not aligned with business needs, or ‘what we know works’, is unlikely to lead to positive change.

Let’s face it, there is a spectrum of surveys available ranging from traditional employee satisfaction surveys to much more sophisticated offerings. Today technology makes it easy for us to create an 'employee survey' that people often accept as being an engagement programme in itself – especially when we’re under pressure to fulfill an apparent organisational need and 'tick a box'.

So, if surveys don’t work. What does?

Two suggestions come to mind.

1.  Employ an ‘as is – to be’ approach with people at its centre.

Understanding your organisational context enables you to identify what you need to address to move forward towards an ultimate, clearly defined ambition.The recently released Investors in People Generation VI Framework adopts this approach and, from the outset, takes organisations on a personal journey towards success and high performance:

Surveys Don't Work - Organisation Ambition - Leading Supporting Improving

Interestingly, an on-line assessment and survey form part of a broad discovery process that sets the context for a journey aimed at achieving high performance through a winning culture.

2.       Look at your organisation through a Lens.

When it comes to employee engagement, I find that the four common themes that emerged from David MacLeod and Nita Clarke’s extensive research captured in ‘Engaging For Success’ provide useful lenses. These include Strategic Narrative, Engaging Managers, Employee Voice and Integrity. When taken in to consideration as part of an ‘as is – to be’ approach, or as a framework for an employee survey, they can help move your organisation from measuring engagement to making meaningful and lasting change.

There’s no doubt that a winning culture is one of engagement and individual contribution to an important mission and purpose. Human beings are looking for meaningful, fulfilling work; it is the new great dream - to have a job in which you work for a great manager; where you constantly develop and where you can use your strengths every single day.

And that won’t be achieved through a survey!

If you would like to find out more about Investors in People Generation VI or Engage for Success, please don’t hesitate to contact me at tanya@purposeconsultancy.com.

This article is correct at 15/06/2016

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Tanya Kennedy
Purpose Consultancy

The main content of this article was provided by Tanya Kennedy. Contact telephone number is 07710488905 or email tanya@purposeconsultancy.com

View all articles by Tanya Kennedy