Despite the overwhelming advances in technology, we still haven’t made much progress in really knowing what people are thinking. While machine powered analytics can parse through an ocean of data to give insights on behaviors and tendencies, if we really want to know what someone is thinking – we’ve got to ask. The ability to survey a population provides huge insights into understanding the what and why of any particular population.

Decades ago savvy, marketing experts realized that surveying customers would help them better understand their target audience. However, the value of the data was never in the asking, but in the listening. By listening and acting on the survey/review data, organizations have found great success in making sure they only produce goods/services that customers want to buy.

Recently, organizations have caught on to the idea that this same principle applies to its employees. For companies that are cognizant of the mission-critical importance of the Employee Experience, being able to survey their employees is a huge advantage. By asking the right questions, organizations can gain insights into the lives/well-being of its workforce, these insights can drive change and produce a positively boost employee engagement.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just asking employees questions and figuring out what to do with the answers. The factors that affect each employees experience are numerous. Being able to piece together a series of questions where the answers accurately reflect an employee’s experience or level of engagement is no small feat.

One of the main difficulties of getting good date from your employees is asking the right question.

The other major element to gathering survey data was highlighted by a recent guest on our podcast Kasper Hulthin, cofounder and Chief Growth Office of PeakOn. He said that people don’t respond to a survey to give feedback, rather they respond to a survey to be heard. If employees don’t see meaningful change to prove that management is listening to their responses, they will stop giving honest answers. When employers ask for employees to take the time to let them know how everything is going, employers must respect that effort; otherwise, future survey attempts will be fruitless. To hear the rest of Kasper’s episode, visit us at Forging Employee Experience. Feel free to reach out to Kasper through LinkedIn or visit www.peakon.com.

Surveying employees is a powerful tool (and currently the only tool) in understanding how to improve the employee experience. To harness that potential, organizations must ensure that their questions are expertly crafted to provide meaningful insights and that once they have those insights, they make actual changes to prove to their people that they are listening.

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