Nicholas Wright explains how to get the best out of staff surveys
Nicholas Wright leads internal communication practice at PR agency Fishburn Hedges. He has worked as a consultant and held similar internal communication posts at Boots and Lloyds TSB.
How do you determine the content of a survey?
One method I've used has been a core questionnaire (put together with input from all the businesses) and then a short set of 'bolt-on' questions for each business.
How are companies running surveys?
Many companies are exploring online polling - ask the 'big' question at the beginning of the week; get responses with say a 48-hour deadline, and, with appropriate software, turn it into results and e-mail a follow-up questionnaire to the employee audience by the end of the week. Motorola created a '60-second survey'. Conducted every other week, and limited to six multiple choice questions with an opportunity for extra comment, results can be viewed immediately by users.
What constitutes a successful survey for you?
That it is both global and local, trend-based, action orientated and linked to other research. The holy grail for employee research is to link it consistently with external customer research - in this way you can establish whether the more satisfied employees are delivering greater customer satisfaction.