The majority of companies use employee surveys to get a pulse of the company. Surveys can be considered beneficial because you can keep the feedback focused – but it’s a double edged sword. Pre-loading questions to your employees only allows them to give feedback on those specific topics. Having general questions can also be a big bust. Surveys make it hard to address topics of what the employees think are concerning for the organization.
Employee surveys may suppress how often feedback is given
When you set aside time once a year or once a quarter for employee surveys, employees feel like they should hold their concerns until appropriate. This may hinder communication in the moments when they are needed the most in order for company improvement to happen.
Employees may give up by the time a survey comes out
When you care a lot about something that is going on in the workplace you want to speak out immediately. If it’s best practice to wait for a survey to come out employees may become too frustrated about what is going on and may give up. They’ll add it to the mounting pile of “stuff” their employer will never get to. Thus, making employees feel that their worth in the company is dwindling.
Employee surveys lose effectiveness when there is little response or updates from management
Employee surveys collect a lot of information and it’s hard for management to wrangle it all. Often, management may respond to only a few of the things brought up in surveys leaving everyone else in the unknown. This deters employees from thinking the surveys are effective enough for them to use later on. When management eventually responds to the survey information they send out a response or two. Employees want to be updated often on the progress made for their concerns, which doesn’t happen.
Employees don’t trust anonymity when given a survey
Employee surveys can be given out in many forms that are not anonymous, or where the people in charge of them will claim they won’t keep track of names or give them out if asked. Some employee feedback software is anonymous, which is great, but employees might not believe it if it’s not on their own terms to sign up and have control over their accounts.
Surveys take a lot of time and employees may only have a few direct concerns
Since surveys may not come out often, when they do they’ll have a lot of questions that require detailed answers. Employees will start to dread doing them and supply half baked answers or straight out lies just to finish them.
Receiving a lot of feedback at once is hard for management
When the whole company participates in a survey there will be a lot of feedback gathered. When management gets this amount of feedback it’s hard for them to address even half of the feedback. This ties in heavily to the effectives of surveys when employees feel their feedback is not being acknowledged.
As you may have noticed there is a lot of gray area within using employee surveys. They are used at a lot of companies and they might not be as effect as we hope they’d be.
Want to try something more effective than a survey? You can start by leaving a public anonymous suggestion for your company now.
You can also tell us about a suggestion story.