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The employee survey: benefits, problems in practice, and the relation with the high performance organization

André de Waal (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this article is to discuss the role of the employee in the high performance organization. One of the management techniques which has gained much popularity the past 15 years is the employee satisfaction survey. Many organizations, both profit and non-profit, use a yearly questionnaire, which measures the satisfaction of employees with all sorts of things in the organization. Yet recently, dissenting opinions can be heard that are critical of what they call “the yearly employee survey ritual”. The criticism focuses on the results of the survey which are not dealt with adequately so that the employee survey gradually has become a dissatisfier for employees. Another phenomenon is that organizations that are considering to conduct a high performance organization (HPO) diagnosis renounce this using the justification that “we are already doing an employee survey.”


In this article the purpose of the employee survey, its advantages, its problems in practice and its relation with the HPO Framework are discussed.


It is shown how the employee survey can be improved. In addition, its is shown that the employee survey and the HPO Framework are two different but complementary techniques that can and should be used in conjunction with each other.


This article is one of the first to discuss the relation between two important management improvement techniques: the employee survey and the HPO framework.



de Waal, A. (2014), "The employee survey: benefits, problems in practice, and the relation with the high performance organization", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 227-232.



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