Your employees have a huge investment in your organisation, working many hours a week on its behalf. Each employee is a link in the chain that delivers profit and, if that link is broken, it could have disastrous consequences.
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While employees are often happy to be listened to we never over-research - employees should never be overtaxed with survey after survey. However, it pays to remember that a company that does not listen to its employees - formally or informally - is unlikely to build a dedicated workforce.
Listening can be achieved in many ways: individually, in groups, face-to-face, on the telephone or online. The tool we use is chosen to fit the objective of the task. For instance, if you believe there is a problem in your workforce but unsure what it is then diagnostic research - in the form of one-to-one interviews or focus groups - may be appropriate.
It is sometimes good practice to measure the views of employees on a number of different subjects and benchmark these against other employers. This can be done by a quantitative study and, in many cases, online. It is vital an independent market research company is employed for this so employees feel they can speak openly, confidentially, and without prejudice.
Our client is a large university. As with any organisation, the quality of a university is very much dependent on the engagement of the academic and support staff, which was something this institution wished to look at in more detail.
We started by holding focus groups with students, who commented freely on the strengths and weaknesses of the staff. This was followed by staff focus groups. Finally, an employee satisfaction survey was carried out with all employees of the University. It was important everyone had an opportunity to express their views - and they did, in their hundreds!
The results of the Employee Engagement Research included deep insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the University. Workshops fed the findings back to staff, providing a platform for ensuring that everyone was pulling in the same direction.