Let’s be honest, the last time you received that email from your HR function asking you to complete the annual employee survey, you took a deep breath and thought “Not again”.

Having worked with a number of companies we find that the number one issue with employee surveys is that they tend to focus on the employees’ experiences and fail to capture the importance of those attributes and what your employees were really expecting.

You may be very proud of having a music room (as we found Facebook did on a recent visit to their offices in NY), or that you have the best selection of potato chips either side of the Atlantic; however these nice to haves aren’t necessarily key drivers of your employees’ satisfaction.

In engagements we have undertaken with various companies, more often than not, the companies involved have a great view of their employees’ experience but truly don’t have a good measure of what is important to their staff or what their staff’s expectations are around certain areas.

So why do some employees have negative attitudes towards that annual staff survey? The answer is fairly simple, if we don’t understand what is important and what they expect, how can we really create a list of truly actionable points that can be presented back to our employees showing them the value of the exercise?

Many times, employees feel like they fill in the surveys and then go back to their day-to-day jobs, seeing no change and getting no feedback on what has been done. If feedback is provided, it doesn’t tend to be relevant to employees wants and needs due to, yes you guessed it, the importance and expectation of attributes being reviewed not being taken into account.

What can we do about this? Start today – get asking the questions that will give you true insight into what your employees want and how they are feeling.

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