How to strategically survey your employees

What is one of your biggest considerations when deciding on a survey for your workforce? As you ponder this question, see if you can relate to two common responses. Some will default to the length of the survey; others will focus on the number of surveys that have been circulated so far in the year. There can be many more responses, but these seem to be two popular ones. Interestingly, neither is strategic. Both are based on preferences that come from some perceived bias. Surveys are an excellent way to quickly obtain information from a workforce to help make decisions. Workplace surveys are typically one-way interactions. Employees fill in their responses and their data is collected, stored and aggregated. Some type of analysis is performed and a report of sorts is created for the person who requested the survey. Sometimes employees hear what a survey said and the actions taken as a result. Many times, however, the average employee who completes a survey doesn’t know how the data is being used, nor are they clear on what happened as a result of the survey.

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Article by Bill Howatt, chief research & development officer, workforce productivity, with Morneau Shepell.