Employee satisfaction surveys are hot. Many Fortune 500 companies now conduct them. But both research and my own discussions with management suggest that employee surveys often fail to deliver on their promise.
Conducting an employee survey isn't easy. Many companies perform these surveys by throwing questions together haphazardly and hoping something great will happen. Often, this approach not only fails to work but can alienate employees.
Before constructing an employee survey, company leaders should be clear on its purpose and committed to acting on its results.
Management often fails to appreciate how the information in an employee survey links to profit. Because an employee survey is an investment in time and money, it requires a return-on-investment analysis to measure its success.
Using employee surveys to enhance profit requires investigating the causal pathways between three linkages that begin with the survey and end with profit.
However, to construct an employee satisfaction survey, you must begin with profit then reason backward to the survey - a process known as backward induction.
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