You may have already heard of or participated in employee surveys or other types of employee feedback tools. Although the effectiveness and utility of surveys can be limited by how management treats the data collected, some employees see these as an opportunity to express how they feel about their company and workplace.
In general, employee surveys enable management to collect feedback and gauge the level of employee engagement, as well as to get a feel of employee morale. Surveys are also used to get a fair idea of how employees perceive management, working conditions, job satisfaction and motivation.
Background of employee surveys
The earliest employee surveys, called “employee-attitude surveys,” were first used in industrial settings in the 1920s. These types of surveys are used by managers or business owners to find out about the views and opinions held by employees regarding issues affecting the company, as well as the position they occupy.
During the mid-1940s, the National Industrial Advisory Board observed a 250 percent increase in the number of companies that administered attitude surveys. The popularity of attitude surveys stemmed from a growing familiarity with tools designed to measure morale and duplicate high-morale environments developed during the Second World War.
A good example of this was the Soldier Surveys conducted by the United States Army Research Branch. Opinion data from more than half a million soldiers on a range of topics, including food quality and confidence in leadership, was collected in these surveys.
Early survey methods varied and included the use of unguided interviews, directive interviews, and printed questionnaires.
Present-day use of employee feedback tools
For employees, surveys and other forms of employee feedback tools are their only opportunities to effect change or exert their influence in their company with the assurance of anonymity.
Today, employee surveys and feedback tools are generally used to assess and develop organizational health from the perspective of personnel. Topics are usually focused on workplace culture, employee engagement, commitment, and return on human capital (ROHC). Surveys are conducted by the organization or company itself, handled by a survey provider, or done using a combination of these two.
With feedback data, employers have access to comparison databases, which they can use to show correlation, causality, association or some other statistically significant relationship between certain factors at play. Examples of these include how job satisfaction relates to income level, leadership or the extent to which employees are able to exercise independence in their roles.
The availability of survey software such as online programs has also empowered management and human resources to design and administer custom surveys, as well as collect and analyze data.
Employee engagement and retention – challenges and the solution
For most companies, the key challenges they need to address in terms of human capital are employee engagement and retention. It seems that growing economies and robust job markets usually see employees jumping from one job or company to the next. This is particularly common among millennials who are known to be job-hoppers seeking more than just a big paycheck but a positive work environment as well. They are often unwilling to stay in dead-end or stressful jobs.
This is why companies are competing to become employers of choice, offering free meals, wellness programs, flexible work setups, unlimited vacation, educational benefits and other perks. However, these haven’t really addressed problems with employee engagement and retention.
With so many factors at play, such as job and management quality, career development, job opportunities, job security, workplace flexibility, learning culture, level of recognition, incentives, bonuses and perks, and many others, it is now more challenging to keep track of and satisfy everyone’s needs.
This is where employee feedback tools like DropThought come in.
With DropThought, we make it quick and easy for you to get to the heart of the matter. We help you collect the data you need using our instant employee feedback platform to improve employee experiences and increase job satisfaction ratings. This ultimately helps to enhance employee engagement and increase retention levels.
So, if you’re ready to make a change or want to know more, please get in touch with us at DropThought.