High-performance measurement cultures include more than having performance and outcome measures in place.  Success requires coordinated efforts between organizational structures, leadership, and measures.  When these things are aligned correctly, organizations will experience high levels of staff satisfaction and engagement. Organizations with satisfied employees are more successful at adapting to change and becoming more efficient.  These organizations experience less productivity loss and economic impact associated with turnover.

Give your organization the gift of increased effectiveness, by investing in a staff engagement survey.  The best way to understand if your organization is operating at peak performance with highly engaged staff is to ask them.  It is difficult to manage employees’ morale until you have an accurate picture of their perceptions and attitudes.

The act of conducting a well constructed employee attitude survey and using the feedback appropriately helps strengthen your organization’s culture.  It communicates to staff that someone cares about them.  It also reinforces your organization’s commitment to data-driven practices.  As a result, organizations experience increased employee openness, improved productivity, and reduced absenteeism.

The effectiveness of using employee survey feedback to obtain positive outcomes depends on the proper design, administration, communication, and use of the results.  Below are the five top elements that must be considered when implementing an employee survey program.

1. Leaders need to be willing to listen to feedback and make changes based on the data. My best advice is that if you are not willing to make a change to a certain policy or procedure, don’t ask about it.  For example, if raises are off the table, then a survey should not ask employees about their satisfaction with pay.

2. The survey should focus on issues that are important to the staff and related to high-performance measurement cultures.  Communication, feedback, autonomy, training, innovation, supervision, and task significance are some of the important elements to address.

3. Survey results should be aggregated and trends identified. The goal of analysis is to provide information that will lead to meaningful and actionable conclusions. Things such as percentages of positive responses and scale scores should be generated for each item.  Just reading through the results may lead to inaccurate conclusions because of the tendency to focus on the most positive or negative results.

4. Leaders need to play an active role in feeding back data to employees. Employees should be involved in developing successful solutions to identified problems.

5. Positive results should be celebrated. Leaders should use the positive information uncovered in the survey to celebrate the organization’s strengths.  The positive results should be advertised and discussed as much as possible.  Sometimes all employees need is a reality check.  Seeing all of the things the organization has going for it can often boost morale.

A staff engagement survey may be the jolt your organization needs this year to catapult it to its next level. Without assessing staff’s attitudes, organizations can waste resources implementing solutions that are ineffective because they do not address the underlying employee-morale barriers that are impacting success. Survey results uncover underlying causes of organizational inefficiencies.  Once these causes are indentified, open conversations regarding these issues can begin. The results are used to determine the appropriate solutions and guide implementation.

Leaders often find that simple no-cost solutions like providing staff with more informal feedback or increasing internal communications are the only changes needed to meaningfully impact employee morale and organizational success!

If you are looking for a data-driven approach to increase staff engagement and organizational impact, Measurement Resources is here to help! Contact us today for your free 20 minute strategy session.

Want more information on how to increase funding, morale, positive press, and organizational impact? Join the Achieving Excellence Community and receive our free eBook, Ten Tips to Open the Door to More Grants (and Other Funding): Overcoming Common Mistakes of Outcomes Measurement.

 

Sheri Chaney Jones

Measurement Resources Company

December 2013