Logistically complex environment

Many HR managers find carrying out an employee survey in a logistically complex environment an extremely difficult task and so prefer to avoid it. How do you reach all employees, for example? Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) has, despite the complexity in implementation, decided to carry out an annual employee survey. Effectory International has proven to be the perfect partner, because HMC is currently preparing for its third survey.

Dido van Holthe, responsible for Corporate Communications at HMC, says: “Working for an offshore company is a really exciting challenge. Everything is larger than life: the crane ships, cables, cranes, tools and platforms. The offshore industry is not only tough but also extremely complex.” HMC transports, installs and dismantles offshore installations and pipelines for the international oil and gas industry. The organisation employs almost 1,000 people, more than half of whom are office-based while the rest work offshore. Van Holthe continues, “These are two very different worlds. But it is still a single organisation, because they can’t operate without each other.”

High response rate

Carrying out the survey at HMC is relatively complex. Employees are spread across several office locations, three crane ships and two tugboats. Reaching someone in an office is a little easier than reaching an employee on a tugboat. Despite these complex logistics, HMC and Effectory International succeeded in achieving a response rate of more than 70% for both the first and the second survey!

Response rate of 75%, despite a logistically complex organisation

“It’s going well this year, too, and we’ll finish with a response rate above 70%,” says Van Holthe. Are there no disadvantages at all to conducting an employee survey in logistically complex organisations? Van Holthe explains: “Good preparation is half the battle. It’s important to think through all the steps in advance. Before the first survey, we had to jig things around a little to make them work logistically, but now that we’ve discovered how to do that, everything runs smoothly. Effectory International manages the entire execution. We also consider each person’s specific situation. In the office, employees are given a digital questionnaire, while offshore employees receive it at their home address as well as having the option to fill it in digitally. In addition, the questionnaire is available in three languages: Dutch, English and Spanish, because our people live all over the world. It’s not just the logistics of the survey, but also the communication around it which determines its success.”

Most important asset

HMC is proof that there is no need for logistically complex organisations to avoid an employee survey. “Employees are your most important asset and that’s precisely why it’s essential to devote a lot of time and attention to them”, says Van Holthe. “The way in which Effectory International helped us to set up the survey has been ideal for doing that.”

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