Investigation carried out by staff survey explore relation of staff to guidelines, rules and values accepted in company. If you detect and eradicate concrete reasons of staff dissatisfaction, administration may raise labor effectiveness without additional costs.
From small to large
Survey helps to solve both categorical problems (for example, concerning psychological climate in team) and global ones. Some companies can even build company’s mission and its strategic goals based on data received by survey. Survey may be used for detection of wide range of problems of the company connected with its development. They may be connected with change of company’s structure and management system, payment for labor, organization of education and work with candidates pool. It is suitable to build plans for activities of human resources management based on surveying results. Their activity becomes more adjusted because it is based on fixed data expressed in numbers and facts.
The most often questions asked by top managers via questionnaire are about person’s relation to company in general, internal management structure and administration.
Except solving organizational problems survey helps administration in personified estimation of staff. In this case every employee of company answers questions marking strong and week aspects of his subordinate, colleague and chief. This information is a base of individual development plans created for every employee.
Such kind of survey is very popular. Usually it is performed when some staff appointments are planned and it is necessary to reassure in specialist’s adequacy for new job. In addition to IQ tests and proficiency of employee, survey helps to explore his role and position in team. Such survey is held in cases when administration is interested in modernization of corporative culture of company.
Staff survey concerning some single topic may be organized by managers and authorized representative of company. To perform survey single-handed you should know well the particularities of company, imagine structure of its activity clearly and internal factors having influence on employee. This information is a working area for HR coordinators who help to compose questionnaire or choose among questionnaires, which are presented at market, just one suiting this concrete company.
If investigation is performed single-handed, it costs rather less than it is performed with the help of consulting agencies. But in this case you should take into consideration both qualitative and time factors: if survey is complex, HR specialists may handle these results during several months.
To solve complex problems concerning, for example, change of organizational structure, it is better to involve specialists. Sometimes investigations in consulting agencies are ordered by top managers who don’t know exactly why it is so important. Consultant’s task is to explain aims of such survey, methods of its performance and result which really help to improve situation in company to administration. Advantage of external consultants involvement is also seen in the fact that it is easier for employees to talk about different problems to them, and employees have less fair as for consequences of administration’s critics.
It is all about questions
Surveys may differ, but there are some general rules that help to gain more effect while its performance.
To make your staff to give more honest answers and avoid formal approach to questionnaire filling, it is necessary to perform internal PR before performing the survey in company. You should tell staff about aim of this survey, its benefits for company in general and for each employee in particular. Those who organize such survey should involve managers of all levels for making influence on consciousness of subordinates by explanation of survey benefits. The experience has shown that if less than 70-80% from planned staff quantity takes part in survey, it means that preliminary preparation was conducted badly.
To make the respondent desire to fill questionnaire, it should be short and precise. Specialists tell that oral interview should not be longer than 45 minutes. Here the main success factor is right formulation of questions. They should be composed in the way that helps to avoid different hypothesis while data analysis. The results of research will not display real situation if questions will give advantage to some questions in relation to others.
Also questions should be well-defined to avoid misunderstandings between interviewers and responders. For example, if you write the word “education” in some question, somebody will think that it is training, and somebody will think that it is getting of scientific degree. If you don’t pay attention at such details, employees will not be satisfied with changes made according to results of survey.
If the aim of survey is to find out the reason of staff dissatisfaction, it is good when questions contain logical prompt about it. For example, if employees are dissatisfied because economic reward is assigned according to formal signs, questions may contain information as for these signs. People can write exact signs which are not taken into consideration in the time of reward assignation: knowledge level, professionalism etc.
Also questions should contain only those variants of answers which are acceptable for company. If responders have wide range of possible variants, for example, about social support on the part of company, employees can choose scheme that the company can not afford. It will disturb confidence of staff in survey.
While performing interview or survey it is necessary to choose the group of responders. Besides, you should determine the survey format: either standard survey cards or online. If you choose online survey format then you can use php contact form for it. If it is necessary you should divide employees according to sex, age, official level etc. Opinions of employees working in manufacturing and non-manufacturing units also may be different. Also if your task is finding out things which stimulate top managers, you should not ask middle level managers these questions, because for them everything connected with the possibility of passing to level of top manager seems to be attractive. Also it is not logical to ask specialists near retirement age questions concerning career growth or retraining.
It isn’t recommended to perform survey very often because employees will become tired of it. It is recommended to perform it not more often than twice a year. But if something new based on research results is implemented in company, it is reasonable to perform survey for assurance that employees got just what they had expected.
Report is composed on the basis of research results. At least it should contain the following information:
- Primary data received as survey result and handled statistically;
Conclusion as for results of qualitative data assay. It is expert estimation of main problems and variants of development as for current situation;
- Complex of recommendations directed to correction and improvement of situation.
Honesty is earnest of success
If employees are involved in company management, it requires honesty from the company. Results of survey must be accessible and reliable. If administration wants to implement changes in large amount of company structures and questions are scalable, it means that such survey should be performed rarely. Survey should be followed by obligatory action from the side of company that has influence on concrete aspects of employees’ activity. Administration of company must understand that results of single survey may be reason for modifying of whole management system up to corporative culture. Besides, changes may lead to unpopular measures which are not expected by employees. For example, administration may implement attestation which employees don’t like, but it is often used for more objective estimation of specialists’ work.
If serious diagnostic of company structure is performed, employees should not expect quick changes implementation because results of research are basis for long analytical and organizational work.
Results of survey should be declared, and administration should tell its intents connected to received information. You should remember that indifference or actions disagreed with wishes may lead to dissatisfaction of employees.
Relation of staff to survey is considered to depend on management style and company size. If management structure is complicated, a lot of bureaucratic restrictions arise. Employees of large companies often have formal approach to survey. If company is small, its staff is more opened for questions, and it is interesting for employees to take active part in internal changes of company. In some companies there is some kind of distrust as for survey. It is necessary to talk with employees about importance of this activity.
The results of survey often differ from concept of administration and HR managers. It may happen, that while diagnostics of management, the results of survey may reveal another the problem of payment scheme.
There are even cases when company spent much costs for arrangement of parties for employees of head office and regional representatives. Research results showed that people want to meet to discuss problems related to work and not to rest. Administration started paying more attention to arrangement of public discussions, and child companies became more independent.
Staff survey is very important. It helps to detect and eliminate some disadvantages, and these actions lead to positive results and profit. Sometimes companies increase their profit per 20% without involving additional resources only due to elimination of dissatisfaction connected with work of employees (for example, in goal-setting, division of responsibilities etc.).
You see, survey cannot be useless. If its results turned out to be predictable and didn’t detect any serious problems, it simply means that administration is on the top of issues. There is no doubt that well performed survey raises level of staff’s satisfaction. First of all, employees think that somebody is interested in their point of view, that their opinion is taken into consideration and administration meets their wishes. The opportunity of indirect company management raises personal interest of employees, and they become a team of confederates.