The evidence is undeniably clear – employee culture and engagement drives company performance. In response to this evidence, the employee engagement survey has risen to near ubiquity over the last three decades.
Millions and millions of employees have taken engagement surveys – some year after year. Employee engagement surveys are the single most common tool companies use to measure and manage employee culture and engagement.
Is it time to sack the annual employee engagement survey?
Most engagement surveys are focused on composite scores and generalized benchmarks – based on employees responses to rank ordered questions about their sentiments on different topics.
These responses are then weighted and calculated to create a set of average scores against a range of engagement categories. While these numbers seem intuitively important – in reality they are just mathematical fabrications.
In an attempt to assign meaning to these fabrications, benchmarks are developed. The promise of these benchmarks is that they let leaders compare their composite scores to others and know how they are doing. But really this is just comparing mathematical fabrications across contexts and it gives leaders little actionable insight.
Traditional engagement surveys don’t actually help leaders act
Traditional engagement surveys do not help leaders understand what they should actually do to increase employee engagement in their specific cultures and teams. And more broadly, they don’t tell leaders how they can most effectively cultivate employee motivation, mindsets, behaviors and habits that lead to business performance. Traditional engagement surveys don’t actually help leaders act – they just give them a set of difficult to interpret scores.
Time for a change – A new industry of culture and engagement tools
But the days of the annual engagement survey is coming to an end, to be replaced by a much more holistic, integrated, and real-time approach to measuring and driving high levels of employee commitment and passion.
An industry of new culture diagnostic and feedback tools is emerging. New, mobile and real-time tools to assess culture, collect regular and real-time feedback, and analyze employee sentiment are disrupting the market for employee engagement and culture surveys.
These new tools each have different ways of actively measuring employee feedback and sentiment. Consider these tools as the anonymous “heartbeat monitors” of the business.
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