3 Reasons why organizations will stop the annual ESS in 2019
By Robin van der Meulen | March 7, 2019
Every employer considers it important to collect employee feedback. And employees find it extremely important that they are listened to by management. Nevertheless, the annual employee satisfaction survey (ESS) is a thorn in the side within many organizations. It feels like a must. How did that happen?
To give the answer: actually, this is almost always due to the frustration with the traditional way of measuring. The employee satisfaction surveys are very boring, take a long time and, more importantly, they are only annual. Annual measurements only show snapshots. They mainly show how an employee feels at the time of measurement. It also usually takes a while before the research results are known, so that the data again shows an outdated situation. Annual measurements are therefore boring and not very reliable. And that often leads to frustration.
We believe that this can and must be done differently. And luckily we are not the only ones. More and more companies are daring to make the step from traditional annual measurements to pulse or continuous measurements. That makes us happy! As HR experts at 2DAYSMOOD, we see that many more organizations will follow in 2019. Why?
Read below the 3 main reasons why organizations will stop the annual ESS in 2019.
“For the success of your organization, it is more effective to focus on the enthusiasm of your employees, instead of just their satisfaction.”
1. Extra attention to what employees consider important
Due to the long-term use of annual employee satisfaction surveys, many organizations have created internal benchmarks. Employee survey providers often also offer external benchmarks within the same or comparable sector. These data provide context, show a trend line and provide guidance. Management and HR attach great importance to this data. And that is very understandable. Moving away from the traditional annual survey could mean losing the benchmark. It is therefore the most frequently mentioned reason to stay with the current provider.
However, fewer and fewer organizations believe in the possibility to compare their organization one-to-one with another organization within the sector. After all, every organization has its own organizational culture. So instead of looking at others, it is much more important to focus on your own situation and ask questions such as:
- Are our employees ambassadors for our organization?
- What do our employees find most important for their job satisfaction?
- What bar do we want to set together?
That is why 2DAYSMOOD advises to measure both satisfaction and importance in an internal survey. The satisfaction score then reflects the current situation and the degree of importance of the desired situation. This is how you create your own internal benchmark. Because in our opinion, your own employees determine the objectives. Setting priorities becomes a lot easier for HR and team leaders in this way. The most impact can be made in the areas where the negative difference between the satisfaction score and the importance score is greatest.
Of course it is possible to use an external benchmark. Our employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is an internationally validated question that can be used as an external benchmark and tells you to what extent your employees are the ambassadors of your organization. In our view, this is the KPI that you, as an employer, should steer.
2. Measuring more than just satisfaction
Do you know the difference between satisfaction and enthusiasm? Many companies actually only measure satisfaction. “Stop this immediately!” says Bas Kodden, professor at Nyenrode University and author of the book How do you become a HERO (Hoe word jij een HELD). Satisfaction only says something about the past, about situations that people look back on, but satisfaction, on the other hand, says nothing about the future and the level of action of your employees. Enthusiasm does this.
One of the most striking differences between the satisfied employee and the enthusiastic employees is the difference in behavior; where a satisfied employee can behave conservatively, wait-and-see and sometimes even defensively, the enthusiastic employee is happy and energetic to pull the cart in your organization (Kodden & IMPACT on the job, 2018). It is therefore more effective for the success of your organization to focus on the enthusiasm of your employees, rather than just their satisfaction.
3. Autonomy: everyone owns his or her own data
There is a chance that you have had to wait a while for the results of the employee satisfaction survey. Often the board, management and HR ultimately get the results of the annual ESS together in a thick report on the desk: an abundance of data that is difficult to interpret. Moreover, it is realistic that after the long wait for the report there are already other topics at play.
Innovative players in the field of continuous measurements and employee feedback approach this very differently. The results of the measurement are presented in a clear and attractive way that also has an activating effect. Data is available in real time and the data display is kept simple and manageable.
Moreover, the data feedback takes place at every level of the organization; on an organizational, team and personal level. This way everyone owns his or her own data. The collected feedback then offers employees autonomy, supports taking action, and stimulates personal leadership. This positive change also demonstrably motivates employees to participate in the research.
2019: renewed ESS
In order to conduct an effective and efficient employee survey, it is important that this is done in an attractive manner. That is why we have developed a 15 second survey at 2DAYSMOOD. With this weekly survey, employees invest a total of 13 minutes per year to offer you, as director, HR or team leader, perfect insight into the organizational culture. Fast, simple and entertaining. So that employees remain inspired to participate in the survey throughout the year. With effective, clear and relevant feedback, you have everything you need to build a positive organizational culture.
Is your organization one of the organizations that dare to say goodbye to the annual ESS in 2019? We are happy to tell you more about our innovative ESS, philosophy, working method and practical cases within various industries!