Good, Better, Best – how can employee surveys improve performance?

I have been researching employee surveys with a view to implementing one. Search on Google and millions of ideas come up. I have been working with a company who are consistent in carrying them out and I have worked with the management team to understand how the feedback can be used and I am not too sure. Consultants can charge very large sums of money to do the employee surveys and supply a plethora of data analysing the results. I have a slight concern that they can be guilty of providing too much data and wonder if that is more about justifying the costs rather than adding more useful value? I do understand the benefits of an external body managing the process – there is a trust issue around internal surveys and the anonymity of them – a decision I now need to make.

Back to the questions; I want the survey to help shape the development of how we manage our resources and assets. I came across a survey that has been developed by Gallup, and is based on research over 30 years and from 17 million employees. The questions really got me thinking about me and about how my performance might improve if I could respond positively to all 12 questions – here they are:

Gallup Q12 Questions
1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good
5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
10. Do you have a best friend at work?
11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?

I was thinking about question 3 – do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? What do I do best? What do you do best? Should we be developing people to be better at their best skill or better at their weakest skill? There is no right or wrong answer to this, it’s an opinion but if collectively the workforce is not doing what they do best everyday, then surely this will have a detrimental effect on the performance of the company? If we spend a high proportion of our time trying to be better at areas of weakness – is that helpful?

Penny Whitelock FinstLM

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