The world is changing, the labor market is changing, as are the needs of workers. SmartScale's CEO believes: to respond effectively to these challenges, we need to ask more precise, targeted, and tailored questions in internal surveys than before.
According to Iris Nánássy-Kassim, COVID, the economic crisis and labor shortages have intensified processes that now require different answers than before when thinking about individual employee surveys or employee engagement research. "It's important to consider the current situation of the organization, the external and internal challenges it faces, and its short- and long-term goals, in order to get the precise data that will most effectively support strategic decision-making and action planning as a result of an employee survey."
The expert in the field says that the questions can't be generic anymore; instead, they need to reflect the specifics of the company's operations, culture, and even language. It's important to ask clear, concise questions that get to the heart of the matter and to keep the survey to a manageable length.
"Relevant questions have a positive impact on employees, targeted topics help to make effective use of the survey results."
– she explains.
"However, it is also important to remember that an internal survey also addresses employees personally, influences their emotions and affects their well-being," the company's founder and CEO tells Connect Magazine.
Iris Nánássy-Kassim says
it’s not a good idea to ask employees questions that are not relevant to them or to which they will not be able to give adequate answers.
One such sensitive issue could be compensation. SmartScale's research has shown that satisfaction with pay and other benefits packages should only be included in a questionnaire if management is willing to make changes, has the will to improve pay, or has prepared answers and solutions. However, it is of course also important that the manager or employer is able to define as precisely as possible what they would like to achieve and what development objectives they would like to support with the results of the survey.
"My experience has been that employees also prefer to participate in internal surveys that address them personally, where they feel they can express their views on issues that are really relevant and important. This is also demonstrated by the fact that a significant proportion of employees take the trouble to express their views in their own words and provide constructive feedback to management.”
However, it is also important that surveys have an afterlife, that the results of surveys do not end up in a drawer or stuck at senior management level. It is necessary to give feedback on the survey results to employees, to show that
managers have not only asked for, but have also listened to and really understood employees' views.
It is worth communicating what changes and improvements can be expected following the survey. Even greater engagement can be achieved by involving employees in the development of action plans.
Iris Nánássy-Kassim, referring to the typical research findings, says that the radical changes and events of recent years have "stirred up the waters": "Internal surveys show the impact of the external economic and labor market situation on employee perceptions and loyalty. We have seen a significant increase over the past few years in the proportion of employees who often consider changing jobs and do not plan to stay with the same employer in the longer term".
At the same time, the surveys also show that a growing proportion of workers report feeling frequently or almost constantly overworked, whether due to the high number of long-term vacancies or the constant influx of new staff. Declining employee loyalty and increasing workloads carry a high turnover risk in an already challenging and crisis-ridden economic environment.
However, internal surveys also show that every company's situation is unique and that different challenges require different responses. For example, under COVID, companies with mainly physical workers had to place more emphasis on the physical and material well-being of employees, while for intellectual workers, more emphasis was placed on the effective design of the home office and on assessing and supporting the mental well-being of employees.
The surveys also show, however, that the picture within an organization is often very diverse and the workforce is not homogeneous. When analyzing the results of internal surveys, it is important to diagnose which factors are well defined
segments of the workforce that carry the main risks and require a tailored approach and diversified strategic action planning.
– adds Iris Nánássy-Kassim.