4 Reasons why organizations will stop using the annual Employee Satisfaction Survey in 2020
By Robin van der Meulen | April 14, 2020
In 2019, we saw that more and more organizations were saying goodbye to the traditional, annual Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS). The switch to a frequent or even continuous ESS is a relief for many HR managers and team leaders. “The continuous data is relevant and usable, and the breakdown into teams means you know exactly what and where you can improve.” and “It is extremely valuable to gain insight into your corporate culture through targeted feedback and trends.” are statements that I regularly hear as a Strategic Happiness Expert!
And now, in the unpredictability of 2020, interest in continuous employee feedback is growing even faster. Whether it is a period of working from home, uncertainty or change… working on a sustainable connection with the employees and engagement in teams is essential to guarantee the continuity of your company.
Not convinced yet? Read here as to why you as an organization should stop using the traditional ESS. I hope you will join the innovative, data-driven, and people-oriented employers of 2020!
1.Time to take away the frustration regarding the annual ESS!
First of all, from a HR perspective, a number of recognizable frustrations can be identified in regard to the annual employee satisfaction survey. Consider, for example, long preparation processes and an intensive push and pull on employees to get the participation rate high(er). The intrinsic motivation of employees to participate is often lacking. And that makes sense. Past experiences have often taught employees that little happens with the results.
Secondly, there are recognizable frustrations from the perspective of employees. For example, ask what your employees think about an annual ESS and you will hear things like: “it is boring“, “it takes a long time to fill in” and “I don’t understand what is meant by that statement“.
And lastly, the frustrations from perhaps the most important perspective, namely the board, management and team leaders. An annual survey is just a snapshot. As a board or management, do you want to base your strategic plans and action plans for one year on only one photo moment in the year? That is like a photo album that often only appears on your desk after a few weeks. How can you use this information to find out in time whether the actions and improvements taken have the desired effect? Annual insight makes agile working impossible.
At 2DAYSMOOD we believe in the power of a film of your organization. Which can be made and viewed in a short, simple and real-time manner.
“With today’s technology you can measure in a smarter way. At 2DAYSMOOD we believe in fast, simple and fun so that employers can collect relevant data all year round”
2. Extra attention to what employees find important
Due to the long-term use of annual employee satisfaction surveys, many organizations have collected enough data, that is useful for internal benchmarking. Also, providers of employee surveys often offer external benchmarks within the same or a comparable sector. These data provide context, show a trend line, and provide support. Management and HR attach great value to this data. And that is very understandable. Moving away from the traditional annual survey might mean the loss of this benchmark. It is therefore the most common reason to stay with the traditional provider.
However, fewer and fewer organizations believe in the possibility to compare their organization one-on-one with another organization within the sector. Every organization has its own organizational culture. Instead of looking at others, it is much more important to focus on your own situation and to ask questions like:
- Are our employees ambassadors?
- What do our employees consider most important for their job satisfaction?
- What do we want to achieve?
That is why we advise to measure both level of satisfaction and level of importance in an internal survey. The satisfaction score then reflects the current situation, and the importance score reflects the desired situation. The latter is thus your internal benchmark. In our view, your own employees determine the objectives. Setting priorities is 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 the 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 also the ambassadors of your organization. In our opinion, this is the KPI that you as an employer should focus on.
Measuring the eNPS in combination with employee satisfaction provides a complete picture of the engagement of your employees.
3. Personal leadership: make everyone the owner of his or her data
An employee satisfaction survey is often a tool for management and HR and is implemented top-down. Employees and team leaders, who are always looking for the “What does it offer me?”, are often poorly involved in the process and the ultimate goal. Moreover, increasing the engagement and job satisfaction of employees requires not only the responsibility of management and HR, but of everyone in the organization. It takes two to tango!
Innovative players in the field of continuous measurements and employee feedback, such as 2DAYSMOOD, tackle this very differently. The results of the measurement are presented on an organizational, team and individual level in a clear and attractive way. This will activate and involve all employees and make them owner of their personal and team data. The collected feedback provides employees with autonomy, supports action and encourages personal leadership. Moreover, this positive change motivates employees to participate in the research.
4. Building a remote corporate culture
2020 is a year of crisis, uncertainty and transition. As a CEO, HR manager or team leader, it is your time to make a move. This is because your employees need guidance and support to be able to perform at their best. Even if this is from home, at flexible times, or in an office where distance and safety are the norm. How do you keep your employees happy and motivated, during and after all new changes? How do you go from crisis to continuity in a people-oriented way? What are the pillars of a successful corporate culture at a distance?
To answer those questions, you need to be able to switch quickly and determine again and again which factors are most relevant to your employees, their happiness at work, and their performance. Through continuous, action-oriented feedback, you can co-create a positive and productive organization. Waiting for the next MTO is pointless at this time.
EES in 2020: collecting feedback, monitoring, measuring effect.
In this crisis year, we notice more than ever that speed is an important factor in making decisions. But no leader wants to make decisions based on just a gut feeling. With 2DAYSMOOD, our real-time measurement method always meets the current needs of directors, HR managers and team leaders.
We developed a science-based Crisis Monitor for this, which provides insight into the factors that now determine a healthy working atmosphere (remotely). You start with a baseline measurement in your team or organization. This way you discover in concrete terms which subjects need extra attention. You monitor stress and satisfaction and then measure the effect of your actions.
You can keep repeating this method in order to, data-driven and in co-creation with your employees, transform your organization to the “new normal” organization.
P.S. we always keep it fast, simple and fun!
“Gathering continuous insights in your company culture, collecting targeted feedback and monitoring trends, that is truly valuable!” – Jan Herman Hanskamp – HR director at Koninklijke Rotra.