Anonymous Engagement Surveys – why they don’t work!

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Anonymous engagement surveys

I was discussing Employee Engagement Expectations with a customer recently and he happened to mention that they had just completed an anonymous engagement survey. He was disgruntled because, although the survey suggested pockets of people who were likely to leave the organisation due to lack of recognition, as just one example, he didn’t know who or where they were and couldn’t therefore take action.  In other words –

‘Someone somewhere in the organization is unhappy about something but we don’t know the details and can’t therefore have a progressive conversation’

So why do organisations involve themselves in the anonymity of such surveys?  Frankly its due to a perception (not always reality) of a lack of trust.

In other words they believe that employees will be more open if they don’t have to put their name to something.  Doesn’t this reflect on the very organisers of the survey who unconsciously believe the organisation can’t be trusted?

Engagement tools are really useful for retaining talented staff!  But they have to be used properly.  Dan Harrison believes that employee engagement is a two-way process – it’s as much the organisation’s responsibility to keep staff engaged as it is for them to be engaged.  A survey should be the foundation for a conversation on an employee’s expectations.  For example, if an employee wants recognition, in  what format does he/she expect this, who from and how often?  If an employee is looking for development – in what areas, when and what format?  OK so it won’t always be possible to fulfil expectations but at least the employee receives the message that the organisation is interested in them and will consider them when opportunities arise.

Such an approach requires trust so pre-framing the exercise is crucial.  Employees must understand that the tool is to be used for improving engagement and not for anything else.

If you would like to know how to assess groups of employees, individuals or even the whole organisation for engagement expectations quickly and effectively, and to see the results instantly on an easy-to-read visual dashboard so that you know with whom to have progressive conversations please get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244 or find more information here. You can also read further about engagement analytics in this blog.

In the meantime ‘Stay Engaged!’

Pat Hutchinson

 


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