Employee surveys are today, still one of the most effective tools to create open dialogue with employees. Starting a dialogue with employees and providing a platform for them to be heard, can bring enormous added value to organisations. Employees’ ideas can help innovate and transform organisations and yet, all too often there is a lack of action on the insights gained from employee surveys.
The importance of dialogue
There are two main reasons as to why open dialogue and giving employees a voice is so valuable:
- Employees have a lot of knowledge about organisations. They know exactly what is going on in the workplace. They know the strengths and weaknesses of organisations, and often have ideas on possible solutions to specific problems.
- If employees are given the space and opportunity to share their point of views, employee engagement, commitment and motivation is stimulated.
On a day to day basis, employees’ points of view rarely reaches the upper management and hierarchical layers. A great way to help make sure employees are heard is to conduct regular employee surveys, and HR are in the perfect position to facilitate this.
HR’s unique position
HR occupy a unique position within organisations as they are the mediators between organisations’ stakeholders and the business objectives, and employees. HR looks after the human capital on a daily basis and have shorter communication lines with stakeholders.
The unique position in-between the two enables HR to on the one hand ensure the employee survey adheres to the objectives of the stakeholders, and on the other hand to make sure the survey is effectively communicated to the necessary employees.
The value of employee surveys
When performed well, an employee survey clearly resembles the employees’ point of view. After all, it contains direct feedback from the organisation about the organisation. It provides insight into workload, role clarity, efficiency, work atmosphere and leadership, as well as providing detailed information on employee engagement and commitment.
Alongside this, well performed surveys identify the main issues in an organisation and answer the following questions:
- What are the main issues within the organisation?
- Which departments are performing well? And which departments are struggling?
- Where in the organisation is bad leadership and management an issue? And where is it adding value?
- Are there certain employees that are less engaged and committed and if so, why?
HR’s key role
Performing an employee survey can be challenging. For the end result to be of added value to organisations, HR has a key part to play in both the survey process, and the follow up.
Whilst discussing the survey process, HR have a huge role to play in helping to create synergy between the survey goals, business objectives and stakeholders. For the survey to have impact, it’s important that the goals compliment wider business and organisational objectives.
During the pre-survey phase, HR can play a valuable role in both ensuring the necessary employees are invited and that there is effective communication of the survey itself. Once an employee survey is launched, HR can also aid the response rate by raising awareness of the importance of the survey, as well as the survey goals.
After the survey has been completed, there lies a clear role for HR in making sure from the insights and feedback gained are heard within top management. Transparency is key in this process and by doing so, HR can help guide and add pointers for positive change within organisations.