Employee Engagement Survey Used as Best Communication Tool

86089312_4When you think about conducting an employee survey, consider the benefits of it being one of the best and most significant communication tools you can use at your company.

Employee engagement surveys are not used strictly for collecting feedback. Pre-survey communications; advertising that the survey is coming, should relay survey goals, anonymity and post-survey findings. These communications should come from the organizations top leadership.

  • The first message should be that the organization’s leadership is genuinely interested in what employees have to say.
  • Each question on a survey should be examined thoughtfully to ensure they are consistent with the company goals.
  • Show where there are areas of strengths and weaknesses and communicate to employees how the company intends to change them.
  • On the survey, remember to ask about employee benefits. This may be the only time you can elicit feedback about them.
  • Employees should be able to share their thoughts without retribution when they voice their opinions – whether on an employee survey or in person. Does your company have a culture of trust? If employees do not trust the organization, they may not answer survey questions honestly if they fear retribution.
    Some employees think that online surveys are much less anonymous than paper, because they think their IP addresses will link survey responses to individuals. They must be assured by management that the data and feedback collected will never be singled out or individuals identified. TNS ensures that privacy and anonymity is lock-tight when using our online survey technology.

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Finding the Truth from Resident and Associate Surveys in Senior Living Communities

Bonding timesIn my blog on Monday, I touched on the essence of employee engagement in the Senior Living Community. Here, I want to write about the value of examining data from both resident and associate survey answers.  Though much more complicated than I can explain in a blog, and without the expertise of our data analysts at my immediate disposal, simply put, we have the capability to examine items from both resident and associate surveys via our sophisticated adhoc tools.

For example, here are some survey items posed to both resident and associate. Naturally, they are completely separate surveys, but the survey questions are designed to obtain opinions from both:

Resident Survey Item:   I feel valued as a resident of my community.

Associate Survey Item:   In my community, we are focused on enriching the lives of those we serve.

When we examine the answers from both, we are able to understand if the community is meeting its objectives to serve seniors.  If associates answer that the community is failing to enrich the lives of those they serve, it probably will reflect in the resident’s answer; not feeling valued as a resident in one’s community.

Extrapolating the data en masse, filtering it through adhoc, then examining by DIVING deeper into survey results will bring you to the TRUTH about what is occurring at your community/facility. What could be better than the truth?

We guide our clients every step of the way. Come see us at booth number 2013 at LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo 2014 October 19-22.

TNS Dance Card Full for October

TNS-Tradeshow-BalloonThis is our busiest season of the year for attending trade shows!

OCTOBER 2-3 – Our first stop is in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center to attend the HCA Human Resource Leadership Summit “Our Time is Now,” from 7AM to 11PM.  If you plan on coming, please come see us. Attending will be two of our experts in their fields. You’re going to want to talk to them!

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Tip 8 – Act On Employee Feedback

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts. construction-blueprintConducting a survey without acting on the results is like making blueprints for a house, but not building it. Employee engagement surveys are only worth the actions built around them. When posing survey item, “Management at my organization takes action based on employee survey results,” our global research shows a score of 70% favorable for highly engaged employees versus only 2% for the disengaged. It’s really up to the managers and directors to ensure that the results are communicated to the employees and find solutions to problems and congratulate teams on the high marks. If you can’t find the time to conduct meetings on the results, you’re never going to get that house built!

Tip 1 – Get to Know Your Employees

supervisor_cares

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

“My supervisor cares about me as a person.” Our research shows that highly engaged employees respond favorably to this survey item by 83%, compared to 4% of the disengaged. I wish there was an item which states, “I can’t wait to get home each day so that I can talk to my loved ones about my work.” If this were an actual survey item, and if it were answered, “Strongly Agree,” then it leads me to think that the person does not confide in others about work or anything else to his or her supervisor. If one were to answer “Disagree,” to that statement, it might be an indication that he or she is satisfied with leaving work at work, and feels free to discuss matters with his or her supervisor without fear of retribution. What kind of a supervisor allows you to feel that way? The answer is one that cares about you as a person. At one time or another, most supervisors were subordinates too, so they should know how the shoe feels on their other foot.

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Let Management Have Its Say

The point of an employee engagement survey is to inform executives of where the problems lie within their organization. So how can a survey truly be effective if it is only the executives that weigh in on the survey design process? Sure, we have our own sets of proven survey items for different industries, but every organization is different and it’s important to gauge engagement based on the different cultures and specific processes within each organization.  In most cases, employees point out how executives have no idea what’s going on in the lower levels of their organization. This presents a problem when it comes to survey design because there are variables executives may not take into consideration due to their lack of knowledge of what their workforce deals with on a daily basis.

This is why it is important to include line managers in the survey design process as they have valuable insight into what may contribute to disengagement of the workforce. Get them involved in the process and customize your survey to fit the needs of your employees. This will produce valuable results and will help foster significant change in your organization, as well as directly increase the engagement of your managers as they will feel their input is valued.

The Importance of Word Choice when Developing Questions

imagesAKQ1ZA01Clarity is key when creating open ended (comment) questions.  It is very important to use words that will not be misinterpreted by the person reading the question. Misinterpreting even one word can change an individual’s entire understanding of the question. In developing surveys both through school and in my professional career, I have noticed a few common errors that can be avoided with better word choice.  The first problem being that an individual may not understand a word in the question, and therefore the survey taker may try to draw meaning from the rest of the sentence.  This can lead to survey takers answering in a way other than what was intended, therefore skewing the results of that particular item.

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Custom Items or Standard Items?

Answers Marked on a TestMost, if not all, survey companies normally have a list of questions that clients can pick items from.  Also, survey companies allow clients to create their own items that are more specific to their organization.  Which questions should organizations try to use more of, standard items or custom ones?

There is an initial draw to use custom items because it allows organizations to get as specific as they want.  Every business is unique in some way, so custom items can be catered to these differences.  One drawback to custom items is there is no standard to measure the scores against (unless an organization surveys numerous times and continues to use the same custom items, but even then they only can measure a company standard not an industry standard).  Another drawback is that custom items have not been tested for clarity as much as standard items.  The standard items are used time and time again, and have normally eliminated any ambiguity in the questions.

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