The Evolution of Modern Engagement Surveys

Monday, 7 July 2013

As managers began to recognise the value in employee engagement and its effects on running a profitable business, interest grew in how it could effectively be measured.

Business analytics agency, Gallup, is commonly accredited with inventing the modern engagement survey and their research has been published in a number of publications including the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Applied Psychology

Gallup has claimed that employee engagement can be measured by asking 12 key questions:

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work?
  3. Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best at work every day?
  4. Have you received recognition or praise for doing good work within the last seven days?
  5. Does your supervisor or someone at work seem to care about you as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  7. Do your opinions seem to count at work?
  8. Does the mission or purpose of your organisation make you feel your job is important?
  9. Are your associates or fellow employees committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do you have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
  12. Have you had opportunities to learn and grow at work within the last year?

Gallup uses employee engagement as a method of benchmarking businesses and publishes a list of organisations every year that have achieved its “Great Workplace Award”, based on levels of employee engagement and productivity.

The future of employee engagement surveys

After reading the research by Gallup and other business consultancies statistics agencies, many organisations jumped on the employer engagement bandwagon with little planning. It became common for companies to survey their employees but then do little with the findings, provoking a spate of headlines in HR publications such as “Don’t Waste Your Time on Engagement”.

It’s now recognised that traditional employee engagement surveys such as those based on the above 12 questions may not always be the best methodology and a more flexible approach to surveying is required for each individual organisation. Additionally, it is important to analyse the data resulting from the engagement survey and use this information to construct an action plan with the aim of improving results in the future.

The rise of the Internet and improved technology over the years has now made it possible for small businesses to carry out their own DIY engagement surveys and compile the results in an easy to digest format. These advances mean that more companies than ever before are benefiting from the knowledge that a well designed employee engagement survey can provide them with.

Read on to find out how employee engagement surveys are being used effectively within organisations today. (link to next article)

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