Why you should never do an employee satisfaction survey

You want what? A  Satisfaction survey?

Yeh, we’re pretty satisfied – we get paid lots, management leave us alone, we have flexitime so most of us get Fridays off, no-one bothers much if you come in late, and if you have a hangover you can have a sickie. Sure we’re satisfied.

There are companies like this. And organisations in the public sector.

So I prefer an employee survey with an agenda, not to measure satisfaction, but to understand the values and behaviours of the organisation, and whether they are aligned with the strategic goals. I want to know if employees’ skills are being properly utilised, if the promotion process is fair, and how people feel about change. Does the company do what it says it will do? Do businesses processes work? Does anyone understand the finances? Does the workforce have confidence in the top management? Does the organisation have ethics, integrity and honesty? Does anyone trust what it says? Or is it all just lip service to a politically correct bullshit agenda?

In some organisations dissatisfaction can be positive. It can indicate a hunger for change, a desire to do better, get promoted and earn more.

So my advice is be thorough, be rigorous, ask the difficult questions – the ones where management will not like the answers. And then use the data to engineer a process of change which will transform the organisation into a world-beater.

Richard Gaunt

Founder, Benchpoint


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