• Patti Johnson

    So true – and especially like the point about not asking unless you are willing to listen to the naswer & act upon it. Also agree that almost all are too long. Great post and good advice on what to do when you are in this situation.

  • LIbby Weber

    Agree 100%

  • Jazzpiano

    While surveys are important the best  way to create engagement is to make it happen. Talk is cheap and managers are often puzzled by how to do it.  Asking people to participate by offering them opporunities will make it happen. Unless managers take the lead, all the surveys and ‘programs’ to create engagment will fail.  Living engagement by being an example (managers working with other managers) will create a template for encouraging employees to do the same.  But, in the end, engagement has to have a payoff for employees. If it becomes “HR program” or categorize it as such is a killer.  Relax and do what comes naturally.

  • Heather Nelson

    Another suggestion… team-based surveys, where the team works together to identify issues/barriers as well as actions and resolutions. Since managers drive most of what people like/don’t like about their jobs, it seems that focusing efforts at the manager/team level is the best place to start.

    Great wisdom, Barbara. Thanks!

  • KMErickson

    A short and actionable survey – wouldn’t that be nirvana!  I always find it frustrating when surveys just go on and on and you feel like you’re answering the same items over and over.  Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/MartaSteele Marta Steele

    I couldn’t agree more. 
    Surveys give the numerical “proof” to what everyone in the organization already knows. Spend an hour asking thoughtful questions to a few employees and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money. And probably come to the same conclusions.

  • http://twitter.com/DePaulWLP DePaul Training

    “Survey fatigue” is one of our biggest challenges!  Thank you for a great and thought-provoking article.

  • Sheribrowning

    Totally agree Barbara – and nothing is worse for apathy than conducting a survey, summarizing the fine points of data, and having nothing acted upon for employee morale…

  • Martha Duesterhoft

    Very insightful! I think this is one of those “habits” that organizations fall into. Taking time to really think about what you want to accomplish and figuring out then the best way in which to get feedback from employees will typically yield much better results. Thanks for sharing!

  • Daan van Exel

    All good and valid points. Surveys can be long and tedious, badly constructed, and the whole process often lacks inspiration. All these factors lead to bad (if any) follow up and that, in turn, adds to scepticism towards this kind of survey. All avoidable errors.
    But what counts most are points 1 and 2:
    (1) the survey should act as (and be intended as) a springboard for discussion at team level as well as for management. Survey quality doesn’t even have to be that good for this to occur (but it helps if it is…). I agree this is often not the case so it’s good that you point that out.
    (2) I’m sorry, but the survey is not to blame if management lacks integrity.I can go out and beat someone up with a baseball bat and it could still be a good bat. If this kind of thing happens in your place of work, forget about surveys and just get out as soon as you can.

    • Bmilhizer

      Very good points. I do think good management can be fixated on results so much that it drives some bad behavior.

  • Swalker

    All great points Barbara, I think companies get into a routine and forget why they are taking time and resources to ask for feedback.  Surveys timed with team projects, individual milestones are a good idea. But any kind of employee engagement survey should be the starting point to opening up real conversations among teams and managers.

  • jos.knopick

    Nice article. I really appreciate the concept here. I was wondering what your prospective is on Customer feedback/exit surveys that we are all being prompted to do after we visit an eatery, or shop a boutique?

  • Monika Singh

    Well written indeed. Organizations link employee engagement to survey results. While what is written bold on the walls and on the employees attitude is so often ignored. I liked Employee High Touch point, One organization I know,GE has it in the HR Scorecard.