It’s Time to Get Rid of Employee Surveys | Wall Street Journal

People Analytics

During a time when employee sentiment and listening strategies are essential, employee surveys(ES) –when done well–can be a useful tool for collecting feedback in a scalable and efficient manner. And this is why I was initially surprised when I saw the headline of this article. However, as I dug into the article, the criticism of ES was more about ending the “annual ES” in favor of more frequent pulse surveys, a practice that I believe is well underway in many organizations. The article also argues that organizations have new and more efficient ways beyond ES to understand worker sentiment. These tactics include using exit interview data to understand why employees are leaving or analyzing employee benefits choices during open enrollment to determine what employees value, to name a few. These are all effective strategies, AND well-designed and executed ES and listening tools can augment them. Another issue to underscore when it comes to obtaining employee feedback is creating a culture of psychological safety (PS)- where workers feel they can openly share what they are feeling. Without PS, employee surveys, or any employee feedback mechanism for that matter, will yield marginal value. In case you missed it, you can check out a podcast where Amy Edmondson and David Green have a discussion about creating PS in organizations. (Please note that I have a WSJ subscription, so you may not be able to access the full article given the recency of its publication).

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