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Ways to Guarantee a Meaningful Employee Engagement Survey

Get Senior Management "buy-in"

It's critical to get management on board for any employee survey. If not, the risk is that nothing will be done with the results and employees will feel cheated; after all if they they were asked for their opinions and nothing changes, then what was the point? That feeling of being ignored is worse than not doing a survey in the first place. There's a tremendous amount of data on how organizations with high levels of employee engagement and satisfaction outperform their competitors financially, so there is a huge incentive for senior management to consider assessing the level of engagement in their own employees. 

Can’t convince your senior management to do a survey? Maybe they don’t realize that your employees’ ideas can result in cost savings and can improve your bottom line.

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Reasons Not To Blow Off Your Next Employee Survey

When you take an employee survey the expectation is that something is going to change and it will be for the better. But what if the changes don’t stick or just fail to make any real difference for employees? If senior management did not respond the first time, the survey won’t have much credibility if it runs a second time. But a second chance still matters because it is one more valuable chance to get employee voices heard so it is critical employees don’t blow it off.

Reasons employees will blow off a survey are varied. In our experience the most common reason is employees are worried they will rock the boat or there will be consequences if a manager finds out what their employee said about them. Fear exists in some workplaces so it is important that employee surveys - at least the data collection part - be managed by an independent third party. We know that there are plenty of "free" or low cost survey tools available that you can use to collect employee data internally. However, protecting employee anonymity - both in reality and in the eyes of your employees - is absolutely essential if you want to achieve the highest possible participation and if you're determined to get honest and reliable answers. Read how we guarantee anonymity here and why we believe it is a vital part of employee research.

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Employee Survey Critics Don't Want You To Know This

It is pretty tough to find out that your employees have harsh and negative feelings about you and the way you manage them. Most humans take that kind of stuff personally and sometimes it hurts.

In a perfect world communication would rock and everyone would feel valued and heard and, If communications were truly working as they should, then you wouldn't need to survey employees because everything would be out in the open. In a perfect world bosses would regularly walk up to their employees and ask how it’s going and they would know if they liked their work or not. Conversely employees would feel confident and reassured and would speak the truth; there would be no need for secrets and problems would be solved in a healthy way.

The reality is communications are tough for everyone and chances are if you are considering surveying your employees it is because you know you have problems. A survey won't solve your problems but it is undeniably the most logical first step in solving problems because it will expose the problems and the barriers you are up against so at least you have the basis for an effective action plan.

Don’t be Fooled by Employee Survey Critics...

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The #1 Reason To Do An Employee Engagement Survey

Employee Engagement hovers around 30% in the U.S. which means 7 out of 10 people hate Monday!

A statistic like that begs us all to wonder what is happening in our own workplaces and how many people are enjoying or hating their jobs. Sure you can ask around or you can take a guess but the only safe and sure way to know is to survey your employees. The only way to know what your employee think is to ask them about their jobs and where they work.

In other words, who’s loving it and who’s not.

That is the #1 reason to do a survey because you have to know what's going on in your organization if you want to make improvements. Disengaged employees  are going to cost you money by being less productive. And disengaged employees do not care as much about their jobs as other employees. They are not concerned with productivity, or even quality. This is because they are just putting in time and doing their job – and that’s it. They are not committed to you; they only care about earning a paycheck. They take less pride in their work, and this lack of pride leads to reduced productivity. Many of these employees though are not hardwired to be dissatisfied. They might be struggling because of the day to day issues they deal with in their jobs. If you could identify and fix these problems, our research shows you stand a very good chance of converting these unhappy employees into becoming your most loyal employees. Read full post

How to Tell if You're Taking a Confidential Employee Survey

Because if your confidentiality can’t be guaranteed, walk away.

Contrary to what some critics say, employee surveys can (and should) be confidential. In fact when searching for a survey vendor, confidentiality should one of the most important differentiators when you choose one.

The purpose of an employee survey is to hear from employees what is really going on…to get their honest input and insights about what it’s like to work for you. It might be hard to swallow but the truth often comes with a reality check. If you can’t promise confidentiality the survey will be a complete waste of time and money. Why would anyone bother otherwise?

Critics will say that ‘any culture that has to make a survey confidential in order to get people to talk is a broken culture to begin with’ are in denial. As humans we are often careful about what we say at work even if we love our jobs. We disagree with this negative attitude because we have seen employee surveys work. We have done millions of surveys and seen first-hand how a broken culture can be turned around and mended. The old saying ‘If you don’t measure it you cannot improve it’ could not be more true with employee surveys and if you really want to know what needs to be improved in your organization, an employee survey remains the best, most effective first tool for finding out what’s broken, and what needs to be fixed. Then, in order to know if your improvements are actually working, you have to measure them again. There is hope for any workplace that wants to make a change and be a place employees are proud to work for, it just has to be 100% safe for them to tell you what’s really going on.

A confidential employee survey not only honors free speech is protects it as well.  Read full post

The Inside Scoop on Designing the Best Employee Engagement Surveys

Most employee surveys are too off the shelf, too short and too impersonal to uncover what’s really going on.

Surveys that brag about being only 10 questions long miss an opportunity to get the details and story’s behind the answers that can often be the most compelling and valuable parts of the whole survey itself. There is a misconception that longer surveys are a waste of time and employees rush to finish them. At Insightlink we know this is not the case and in fact find the opposite to be true. We find that employees like to be asked for their opinions and once they start a survey they finish it 95% of the time.

Open-ended questions give employees the chance to put into their own words what is happening and these stories reveal the truth about what is really going on. The results of an employee survey can sting and cause egos to blow but, if approached with an open mind, they can be a liberating experience where senior management will finally know what the problems are instead of wondering or denying they exist.


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The Importance of Valid Survey Data

  At Insightlink, we live and breathe data. It's what we collect when we run surveys and it's what we analyze when we write reports. Without data, we'd all be looking for new jobs!

employee survey best practice

We often get asked by our clients how we can ensure the data from their surveys is accurate and valid. And it is a very important question. For employee surveys, however, the answer is a little bit different than for other types of surveys like politcal polls or consumer opinion surveys. In polling and consumer surveys, the data you collect is almost always going to be a small "sample" of the entire population. Sampling is a statistical method of obtaining representative data or observations from a larger group. In simple terms that means you want the small number to accurately represent the larger population from which they are chosen. There are many different ways to sample, with simple random sampling being one of the most common, so it's imortant to choose the right method for the purpose at hand. A national sample of as small as 1,000 people can be used to predict outcomes in a much larger population. You'll commonly see this on political polls. Will Donald Trump win the GOP nomination? The bigger the sample, the higher the confidence the poll will be accurate, and the smaller the sample, the higher the "margin of error". 

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What Drives Employees To Perform? Part 1.

The Top 10 Motivators of U.S. Employees

In a 10-part series, Robert Gray, President of Insightlink Communications, answers this question based on results from Insightlink’s Survey of the American Workplace. Through this annual survey, completed by thousands of U.S. employees, Insightlink has identified the 10 most critical influences on job satisfaction and can also show how well most companies are performing on these same factors. In this series, Robert will summarize each of these drivers and give practical direction on what action really needs to be taken.

It may sound obvious but the single most important motivator of job satisfaction is to enjoy the work that you do. U.S. organizations are doing okay on this measure – about seven-in-ten employees agree that they find their work enjoyable, although only one-in-four agree strongly about this.

“I love working with people. I take great pride and satisfaction in the work we accomplish. It seems to be of value and help to our clients. I feel part of something 'bigger' and 'greater' and love being a part of that.”

“The people I work with are all very supportive and have great attitudes, which in turn makes me feel good and reciprocate the same. My job allows me to do more than just the same thing on a daily basis, so I am never bored. I love the flexible work schedule because sometimes life happens and it is great to work with understanding people.”


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How To Make Sure Your New Hires Love You

Millenials, have earned a reputation for being loyalty-lite…..they may not be hard wired to quit, but they do not necessarily plan to stay with their jobs for the long term. This leaves companies and HR departments struggling to find solutions and ways to retain them as long as possible, so as to avoid the costly process of replacing them. In addition, millennials appear to have realized that that loyalty doesn’t necessarily bring rewards or even security in today’s fluctuating economy.

In fact, a recent stuyou're hireddy by PWC found that the number of employers millenials expect to have over their lifetimes has increased substantially over the past few years. One-in-four expect to work for six or more different companies in total and 54% expect to have between 2 and 5 employers during their working lives.

Although a high rate of millennial turnover may be inevitable, having a plan to offset it may help slow it and reduce its negative impact. Organizations can no longer afford to assume new hires should feel lucky to have been hired. Instead, they need to invest in their new hires to make sure they know how lucky you feel to have them. Employers can’t sit around and wait for new hires to "fall in love" with the organization. They need to monitor the onboarding process and check for signs that it’s supporting new employees. Recognizing and addressing problems when they occur will help create long-lasting and successful employment relationships.



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Putting Employees First in 2016

We're all in this together

Whether you conducted an employee survey this year or not, our businesses are connected by virtue of our commitment to making work a better place by putting employees first. Building a company that people love starts with inspiration but we know from experience that developing a team of engaged employees is not easy. HR managers have to juggle a lot of different factors to achieve success and hearing from employees is just one of those factors.

We try to make that step pain-free with our scientifically designed employee survey using questions to help you understand engagement in your workforce. Each question is uniquely designed to provide insight into the essence of your employee’s attitudes and feelings so you know whether their needs are being met, or not. Determining your employee engagement index is our goal and we feel strongly that our ability to get you this information sets us apart from our competitors
Understanding engagement begins by understanding how to go about making changes the right way.

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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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Advancement (1)

Commitment (8)

Communication (9)

Compensation (9)

Culture (43)

Employee Surveys (67)

Engagement (77)

HR Practices (25)

HR Technology (4)

Management (25)

Miscellaneous (1)

Mission/Vision/Values (3)

Motivation (32)

Performance Reviews (2)

Recognition (12)

Training (1)

Work/Life Balance (16)

Favorite Links

Engaged Employees Blog

HR ToolKit Guide to Employee Surveys
Good info on how to write surveys

Insightlink 360
Makes 360 assessment surveys easy.