If you’re still putting all your employee measurement eggs in an annual survey-shaped basket, it’s time for a rethink, says Brandpie’s Chris Holmes.

8th August 2019

An annual employee survey is a significant investment in time, money and energy – but the efforts that go into this measurement and analysis of how people feel often fail to highlight what it really takes to engage a modern workforce.

A single survey offers a snapshot in time. It reflects how people feel over a few weeks of the year, or even just on a certain day. Often, the survey questions are merely copied from the previous year to provide comparable data – but this means little thought has gone in to the most relevant topics.

While the intentions are commendable, there is an inherent problem in the out-of-date methodology used.

Choosing the right software

Thankfully, the market is full of great software that can help internal comms professionals. It is important to start with the end goal in mind. Is this tool going to help me achieve the desired outcome?

A common misstep is investing in capital without really thinking things through. 

Most of the employee engagement software options available offer free trials. It is useful to assemble an “employee board” to test the different suggestions and report back on how they feel about them. Not only are you giving your people a voice, but you’re involving them in an important business decision that will primarily affect them as end users. 

Whatever you choose must be functional for their role and also deliver your outcome. If employees are the advocates, then, essentially, it’s a tool chosen by them, for them.

Asking the right questions

Beyond the technology itself, focus on the questions you ask your people. Rather than going with the age-old cookie-cutter questions, change it up. Ask questions to gain insights, but follow them with action-focused questions to drive solutions. 

For example, lots of employee surveys show that people are skeptical about their organisation’s values.

  • Start with quantitative questions – rate how well your current values resonate with employees and how motivating and relevant they are
  • Ask why they’ve scored them that way
  • Probe how embedded they are within the business
  • Ask what needs to be done differently to ensure they’re part of “how we do things” 

That will get you towards a solution, which, all too often, annual surveys don’t do.  Businesses today need to capture real-time data and use that to deliver small wins and incremental improvements. 

So much can change in a year – after all, data can become outdated fast. 

The engagement survey is just one example of how you can transform the employee experience. But get it right and the business benefits are clear. Engaged employees have been shown to put more effort into their jobs and be less likely to resign that disengaged employees.

With companies searching for even the slightest edge, leveraging your existing talent should be a no-brainer. When you align personal passion with company mission, then you can truly drive productivity.


Tool time: five feedback tools

There are many ways to help you collect, compare and analyse employee feedback. Here are just a few tools that might help.

Capterra – a comparison tool that helps sort through the range of employee engagement offerings. The software compares different technologies against each other, giving professionals a chance to tap into what’s going to help them achieve their goals all on a single page. 

Culture amp – makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. It uses automated pulse surveys and allows for custom surveys to be created, and its analytics and reporting shed light on which areas need improvement.

Interact – connects your organisation, with the aim of transforming business comms and building a more informed and productive way of engaging employees.

Spigit – enables industry leaders to tap into the collective intelligence of employees, partners and customers to find the best ideas and make the right decisions

Waggl – a real-time, transparent engagement platform that crowdsources and prioritises employee voice around topics that matter

Chris Holmes is managing partner for culture and engagement at strategic brand consultancy Brandpie. @Brandpie


Leave a comment

To leave a comment on this article, please complete the form below. Your comment will be posted once verified by our editorial team.

If you are not an IoIC member and would like to join to receive Voice and other membership benefits, visit our Membership page.

Room Booking

Thanks for staying with us! Please fill out the form below and our staff will be in contact with your shortly. The see all of our room options please visit the link below.
See All Rooms