Your Employee Survey: When Positive Can Be Negative
The way you report your organisation’s employee engagement survey results is as important as the survey itself, according to research from Engage for Success published this week.
The report warns of the risk of stifling the employee voice through percentage positive reporting. The infographic [below], created by Headlines – the Internal Communications Agency to accompany the report, highlights this common pitfall and how to avoid it.
The report, Engaging the Engaged?, is based on research into employee engagement in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. Its title is prompted by the finding that many of the 827,000 people employed in the NFP sector in the UK are engaged more with the cause than their organisation as a place to work.
This means their employee survey results can show artificially high levels of engagement. The report offers insights and tools that can help organisations in any sector get a more accurate picture of their employee engagement levels – and learn how best to act on them.
James Court-Smith of Stillae Ltd, one of the contributors, explained how percentage positive reporting – the common practice of grouping together the percentage of employees who have responded ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ – denies employees of their voice: “Say I had scored ‘strongly disagree’ on a question last year, but then we’d made significant progress so this year I scored ‘neither agree nor disagree’. That’s a huge shift upwards but percentage positive reporting would totally ignore this.”
David MacLeod, Engage for Success co-founder and chair, said organisations ignored the employee voice at their peril: “It’s one of the cheapest and most effective ‘smoke alarms’ you can get because it means little niggles can be caught and acted upon early on.”
Access Engaging the Engaged toolkit