Understanding the mindset of the employee and the team is one of the important qualities of being a leader. Employee attitude surveys are one entry through which business owners and managers try to understand the employees. In simple words an employee attitude survey is a tool which is adopted and used by employers to estimate the perception of employee regarding the working environment or the company. Few aspects included in an employee attitude surveys are competitiveness of benefit and compensation programs, management effectiveness, communication issues, health and safety aspects, general workplace culture and initiatives sponsored by the company. Listed below are a few advantages and disadvantages of employee attitude surveys.
Advantages of Employee Attitude Surveys:
1. Useful for employers: Employee attitude surveys can be beneficial as it offers important information about what the employee feels about the working environment, the company image, the morale, and about the management. By this kind of surveys, the employee is informed that their opinion also matters a lot. The employers can gain an insight about their style of management as perceived by the employees. These surveys can throw positive or negative light on certain managers or departments; moreover adjustments based on employees’ perceptions can be made.
2. Can discuss in a free manner: Discussing or mentioning facts openly about any organization or employer can be a reluctant factor for all employees. This is because they may feel that they would be criticized or terminated. The main advantage of employee attitude surveys is that employers gain honest and also insightful feedback. They are able to know number of aspects from employees which they aren’t comfortable to share with.
3. Showing employees that organization cares for them: By conducting employee attitude surveys, it shows employees that the organization and the employers are taking interest in their ideas and views. By conducting such surveys, the organization takes necessary steps and actions based on the survey results. Actions and necessary steps are taken once employee attitude survey is conducted.
4. Can know the strength and weakness of the management: Employee attitude surveys are ones which help to identify the strength and weakness of the organization and its policies, procedures and technology. By this way the operational efficiency is improved which in turn improves employee satisfaction and reduces cost. The employee attitude surveys stands to be a clear outcome for improvement in the various organizational performances and not restricted to just one department.
5. Makes the organization more valuable: With the help of employee attitude surveys, there can be reduction in cost of recruiting, replacement of staff and retraining. By this way the organization is made an attractive and valuable employment proposition.
6. Employee morale is boosted and maintained: Employee attitude surveys are ones that offer information on the sources of morale and also facilitates towards guiding management in motivating employees. These surveys stimulate commitment, promote dialogues and enhance employee job satisfaction.
7. Acknowledging commitments: The best advantage of employee retention survey is that the employee work environment is improved. This is achieved by acknowledging the employees commitment for the organization. By this way there is a better work balance maintained between home lives and work life of employees and they gain a clear path towards the career path. Real and important paybacks can be provided by all the changes that happen during employee attitude surveys. By following these aspects staff absenteeism is reduced along with voluntary turnover.
8. Identifies the right employee: Barriers as well as key contributors can be identified so that excellent customer service can be achieved. More improved ideas from employees who deal with customers can be obtained. Existing procedures can be hence improved by conducting employee attitude surveys.
9. Communication is enhanced: The line of communication between the employees and managers is enhanced by means of employee attitude surveys. There is also transparency developed amongst the employees when such surveys are conducted.
10. Engagement is enhanced: Not everyone would open up their thoughts and mentions that they are unhappy in their work place. Such surveys are mandatory to get to know how employees feel to work in their work pace.
11. New ideas: Employee attitude surveys can also be considered as ones which bring in new ideas from employees. New ideas and concepts can be included and introduced to the work place by various employees. With such kind of surveys even a shy employee would feel comfortable in sharing their ideas and also, business concept ideas which employees may think unconventional may also be shared.
12. Sensitivity: There are employees who feel intimated or undermined in their work place either by their supervisor or colleague. Such employees might find it difficult to voice up their issues. For such scenarios an employee attitude surveys can be beneficial as they cover up the hindrances and issues that cause problem to the organization.
13. Leads to development and training programs: There are number of advantages when employee attitude surveys are conducted. With the survey results employers focus on a number of employee development programs. They look forward for training needs assessments, evaluation of training; improve management and employee relations, customer satisfaction survey, organizational climate survey, and more. All these factors are performance motivators and shows employees that their ideas and opinions are taken into account.
Disadvantages of Employee Attitude Surveys:
1. Many employees ignore: There are many employees who aren’t interested in such employee attitude surveys and hence do not desire to spend their time and effort. Other categories of employees who ignore these surveys are ones who may feel uneasy to open up their thoughts and answers. Thus the responses for employee attitude surveys are relatively low.
2. Surveys develop expectation: The main issue with an employee attitude survey is that it develops a lot of expectations. In order for the survey to be successful, it must be made to believe that the survey is accomplished to complete it in a constructive manner. The employees must also believe that the management would like to know the issues that arise so that it can be improved. When such kinds of surveys are conducted, employees expect that something would be done so that the problems are solved. Hence expectations are considered as major issues when such surveys are conducted and not fulfilled.
3. Costs money: Another key disadvantage about employee attitude survey is that it costs more money. By this way it is clear that money can buy happiness by conducting such surveys. When money is invested in such surveys it is assured that benefits would be reaped, along with retention and financial returns.
4. Takes time: It really takes some extra time from employee’s busy schedule in answering employee attitude surveys. If the survey is a simple one with just few questions then there is no problem, but with an employee attitude survey which has more number of questions to be answered, more time is required.
5. Gaining employees in-utility: One of the biggest disadvantages of employee attitude survey is its un-usefulness. This attitude depends on the managers to crush such mindset of employees. The managers should take responsibility and show their employees that they are working on the feedback and thus develop trust. By this way when the employee sees more changes then they come forward to voice out their opinions about the organization.
6. Takes too much time: Another main disadvantage about employee attitude survey is that it takes quite a lot of time as it has a numerous questions to be answered. An annual employee attitude survey has as many as hundred questions which takes long time to complete.
7. Surveys conducted rarely: Employee attitude surveys are conducted rarely, annually in a year. By this way there can be a great gap and lag in where the issue has raised in the work unit. It also eats up more time until it is discovered and addressed. In order to encourage employees and make them happy, such surveys conducted rarely can make it useless.
8. Only satisfaction measured: The only main intention of employee satisfaction survey is that they measure the satisfaction of the job and not the happiness of the employees. Though happiness and satisfaction can have the same concepts they are not the same, in such surveys they do not measure how happy an employee is at work. Job satisfaction is a rational judgement and it is only about what you think about the job rather than positive and negative emotions. Happiness is far more important than job satisfaction because happiness affects an employee’s performance, well-being and health, than satisfaction.
9. Survey to result takes too much time: It takes more time with employee attitude surveys where survey comes out in a month, results are made due over another month, results are made available during the later months and then the departments and teams start tracking and following the results later. More months pass over once the employee completes the survey and waits for results. When such long time is taken, employees even forget what they filled out and what needs to be done. Instant data and instant gratification must be achieved and there should never be a huge lag in such scenarios.
10. Lower responses: Employee attitude surveys these days have become a chore for employees. The real fact is that they aren’t able to see the real value and expectation that it will work and improve the conditions of the work place. With such conditions it leads to a very low response rates in many work places. When employees are not able see the value, they think that filling forms for employee attitude surveys is a waste of time.
11. Negative focus: When results of employee attitude surveys are released, more gossip and attention is directed towards the scores and areas which are low. There would be very less time or no time to talk about areas that are doing well. There were employees who were much good than others but they weren’t focused as the complete concentration was on low scoring teams. Employee attitude surveys must be ones which must be used to pin point issues so that they can be fixed. They should use it as an opportunity to identify best practices and disperse their learning from good areas and good teams.
12. No local ownership: The ownership for survey is either owned by the HR or the by the whole company. The individual departments have no idea about the way the survey goes. Hence there is no proper outcome about the ownership of the survey, and the results that come out. Hence by this way there is very much less incentive to act on such results.
Importance of Employee Attitude Surveys:
Behavior is important and locates the employees and their attitudes. If there exist anything bad about the job, any issues about their employees and the company and more, they may have a change in their attitude about the company. It is hence important for companies and organizations to evaluate their employee’s attitude. The employee attitude survey is a test or a special program which is conducted so that the real attitude of the employer towards the organization can be known. By this way essential steps are taken in order to make changes in the work place. Hence an employee attitude survey plays a main role in almost many organizations and companies.
Above mentioned is a clear statement of few advantages and disadvantages of employee attitude surveys. Every employee and employer must be aware of employee attitude surveys. When employee attitude surveys are utilized in a proper manner, they reap long-lasting and valuable results. In the same manner when they are used in the wrong way they can lead to damage of the organization and gain a bad name for the organization. Hence the advantages and disadvantages of employee attitude surveys must be understood well before stepping forward for such surveys.