Make The Survey Part Of The Culture
An employee or customer survey is a highly visible project. Some companies fear surveys because they know action will be required to address the findings, and they are unsure about meeting employee and customer expectations. This is easily handled with clear, open communication, an important, integral part of the process. Within that communication, management should make it clear that they are committed to the process and to reviewing the information it produces. But only management can prioritize the findings of the survey for the good of the company as a whole. Only management can decide which issues can be addressed this year and which need to wait due to budget, manpower, or other restrictions.
With proper communication, the survey process can bring people together, as common problems and solutions are brought to the forefront and action plans are made to make the Company more successful for employees and shareholders alike. With poor or no communication, the survey process can cause division and distrust, so a plan of frequent, open communications regarding the process is a key element in making it successful.
People will talk about the survey informally as well as formally, and you want to leverage this energy to maximize results. We suggest beginning with a company-wide announcement to build support and enthusiasm. Include basic information about the process. Include key dates that employees can calendar to minimize questions and confusion, and be sure to include statements of commitment from management that assure employees they want to hear what employees and customers have to say.
It is also important that non-English speaking employees and customers be able to participate in surveys. NBRI can translate into more than 30 foreign languages, and we have user-friendly options available for illiterate populations. Most deployment methods will include your company logo and colors as part of the survey layout. You may want to invent a nickname for the survey and use it when communicating information about the survey. Use terminology like “First Annual” to reinforce the fact that management is committed to the process on an on-going basis. Some companies have “kick-off” parties in large, central locations to begin the survey deployment. Be creative! The process is serious and the data is critical, but there’s no harm in having fun with it … make it part of your culture!