To read this content please select one of the options below:

The employee survey: more than asking questions

Paul M. Sanchez (London‐based partner with Mercer Human Resource Consulting and the global leader of the firm's Organization Research and Effectiveness group.)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 6 March 2007

9168

Abstract

Purpose

Leading organizations invest large amounts of time, energy, and financial resources in conducting employee surveys. Through Mercer Human Resource Consulting's work on more than 1,000 survey projects, ten key areas within the survey process have been identified that consistently stand out as potential stumbling blocks to survey success. The purpose of this paper is to make companies aware of these potential blocks, and show that by adopting best practices to avoid them, organizations can significantly improve the odds of conducting a successful survey.

Design/methodology/approach

According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting's What's Working™ research, upwards of 50 percent of employers in Sweden, Japan, Singapore, the USA, Brazil, Australia, Canada, the UK, and Ireland regularly conduct employee surveys. Employee engagement is more often the intended ultimate outcome of employee surveying. All the same, employee surveys often fail in their strategic aims. Through Mercer's work on more than 1,000 survey projects, ten key areas within the survey process have been identified that consistently stand out as potential stumbling blocks to survey success.

Findings

This article identifies the ten key stumbling blocks to employee survey success as: Project planning; Communication; Questionnaire design; Timing; Prioritization of issues; Engaging senior management; Data delivery; Follow‐up support; Monitoring and accountability, and Linking survey results to business outcomes. These stumbling blocks and methods of overcoming them are described.

Originality/value

It is becoming increasingly clear to organizations that employee engagement has a significant influence on organizational performance and can become a long‐term source of competitive advantage. An original connection is made between effective employee surveys and employee engagement, and best‐practice guidance is provided on ensuring survey success. Otherwise, a survey runs the risk of destroying rather than building employee engagement.

Keywords

Citation

Sanchez, P.M. (2007), "The employee survey: more than asking questions", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 48-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/02756660710732657

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles