Whether you have voted to leave or remain in the European Union, you will probably be relieved when it is all over and you can turn on the news and see something else being talked about. In Scotland especially, two referendums, a European election and a general election later, we are certainly more used to being asked for and sharing our political views but possibly now with a slight air of fatigue. If you have been contacted by polling organisations and already have a number of kitchen and PPI incoming calls each day, you will be especially weary.
However, the government, polling bodies and consumer groups are not the only bodies to ask for our opinion. Organisations too are increasingly seeking the views of their employees. For instance, many companies seek feedback during appraisal processes or seek to measure elements such as job satisfaction and engagement more formally.
When organisations embark on these activities, it is usually by the means of a survey and/or focus groups with work-shops and action planning sessions taking place thereafter. These are all worthwhile activities but they need to be carefully thought out to ensure the right questions are asked in the first place, the best environment has been provided to give honest answers, that feedback will be well managed and critically, that opinions generated will be translated into tangible and prioritised actions to provide both parties with a worthwhile outcome.
In addition, the timing of any activity is key. We would not advise carrying out an engagement survey whilst you are undertaking restructuring and making redundancies for example. It sounds obvious but it is surprising how often this occurs, particularly when different parts of the organisation are responsible for carrying out these activities. Similarly, avoid using the same kind of surveying method all the time. An annual survey is likely to need to have the same format to allow for trends across the years to be formulated and comparative statistical analysis to be carried out but in other instances, try some more creative approaches. Otherwise, you will switch off the very people who you want to tap into for their opinions and ideas.
Navigator has worked with a number of clients to design and carry out bespoke survey and opinion work. Please contact Wendy Meiklejohn for more information.