A Publication of WTVP

Although committed and loyal employees are the most influential factor to becoming an employer of choice, it’s no surprise that companies and organizations face significant challenges in developing energized and engaged workforces. There’s plenty of research to show that increased employee commitment and trust in leadership can positively impact the company’s bottom line.

How do you couple what “should be” with the “real world” situations like these examples? An organization is experiencing issues with excessive turnover as a result of an overzealous supervisor. Or employees are disgruntled because of the excessive overtime hours they’re working. In either of these scenarios a common theme presents itself: the company didn’t know there was a problem until it was too late. Morale and productivity had been damaged. It’s hard to create an energized workforce if you aren’t aware of “the lay of the land” in your own organization.

So what’s an organization to do to acquire a better understanding of the “mood” of its employees? One solution is for the organization to periodically conduct an employee opinion survey. A survey allows for the opportunity to anonymously inquire about employee thoughts and feelings on a variety of subjects. Employee opinion surveys are a proactive approach to learning employees’ level of engagement, if they’re planning to leave, or even if there are issues with their supervisor.

It’s important to recognize that through the survey process, when employees indicate the intention to leave, they generally do. This means that attrition can be predicted through survey measurements, which give employers an important “window of opportunity” to foresee and address potential talent losses. Research has indicated that the biggest gaps between those who intend to stay and those who intend to leave can be summarized best as (1) the opportunity for employees to use their skills effectively and (2) differing perceptions of the leadership ability of senior management. In conjunction with these key differences, projections have shown improvements in the areas directly related to turnover can lead to a potential 5 percent decrease in actual turnover, which has real financial benefits for the organization.

If you decide to conduct a survey, be prepared to discuss the results with employees. You don’t have to respond to every comment that was made, nor are you required to implement every suggestion. You must, however, talk to employees about the survey results and tell them what you are/aren’t able to address. If you aren’t prepared to take this step, don’t conduct a survey. By not addressing employee issues, there’s a direct negative impact on the employees’ commitment and trust in leadership.

Finally, conducting an employee opinion survey provides organizations with the feedback necessary to improve employee engagement and improve the bottom line by demonstrating to employees that the company cares about them, wants them to advance in their careers, and will help them satisfy their need for personal growth. IBI