Jessie Medina, Surveys Specialist, Custom Opinion Surveys
When I tell people that I help employers create and conduct employee opinion surveys, some ask me why any employer would ever do such a thing. I usually find that people who question the logic of these surveys either don’t understand why an employer would want to communicate in such a formal manner with employees, or don’t understand why an employer would want to know about employees’ frustrations.
The first rule of employee opinion surveys is not to ask the question if you do not want to hear the answer. Employees generally like being asked their opinion about the workplace, however, they do not like it when the information they provide is ignored. When we plan an employee opinion survey with a member organization, one of the most important considerations is the follow-up that will be done after the survey is complete.
Here are a few reasons why employers conduct opinion surveys:
• Meeting overall business goals. Annual and bi-annual surveys are done as a check-up on employer business plans. Savvy employers recognize that their employees play a very important role in their organization’s overall business plans. These surveys serve as a check-up to see if employee needs are being met.
• Maintaining positive customer service standards. Some organizations must conduct them as a part of a contract with a customer. This is often required to make certain the employer has employment practices that will generate positive customer service.
• Change management. For employers who have just undergone significant changes, or are contemplating changes to benefit plans, an employee opinion survey may provide insight into the impact of the changes, or into the benefits likely to be popular among the employee population.
• Gauging morale. Employers may conduct employee opinion surveys to assess morale and get ahead of workplace issues to avoid losing productive employees.