GNcareers, from Gulf News

How to develop the voice of employees

Employee satisfactionImage Credit: Supplied

Employee satisfaction surveys are a good means of listening to the issues simmering below the surface in an organization directly from the source, in an anonymous and non-threatening way.

With the feedback obtained during the survey, it becomes possible to nip the problem in the bud. The employees get the opportunity to be heard directly by the HR department, and the latter gets to know first-hand the impact of initiatives they have undertaken or to be taken up next.

Utility of the survey is maximized if it is rendered periodically, to monitor the ups and downs of employee satisfaction.

Of course, there are many off-the-shelf surveys available an organization can use to keep track of employee feedback. Some companies participate in an industry benchmark survey, which is a full-service and comprehensive questionnaire with different categories for easy comparison with other companies.

However, it is best to initially carry out an in-house survey to identify the factors relevant to the business and employee satisfaction, and to get the organization acclimatized to measuring satisfaction while using the results obtained to improve HR measures like retention, engagement or culture.

The best way to start is to get the buy-in from the business and department heads. Draw up a broad list of job factors important to employees. From this long list, a shorter list of five to seven factors can be extracted which are common to each department. There are many free software available which can help convert these factors into an easy-to-render survey tool.

More than the brand name of the survey, employee involvement is important so that the management can hear their opinions and most importantly, they can address the issues in a timely manner.

Handy Hints
• Surveys let employees provide feedback, voice their issues
• HR improves employee retention, engagement and culture
• Management must address these issues in a timely manner

Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a practicing HRD consultant and speaker