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HR & Employee Surveys

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    Today marks National Employee Health and Fitness day! This annual event occurs the third Wednesday of every May and is dedicated to encourage physical bikeactivity in the workplace. Though it’s only recognized once a year, it’s important for businesses to realize that instituting health and wellness programs are a wise investment: employees that are in good health will perform better than those who aren’t.

    There are many benefits to being fit and active at work that can enhance your company’s overall success according to The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA).

    What are the benefits for both employers and employees?

    • Enhanced employee productivity
    • Decreased healthcare costs
    • Reduced employee absenteeism
    • Reduction in turnover
    • Develops employee leadership skills
    • Lower levels of stress
    • Increased well-being, self-image and self-esteem
    • Improved physical fitness
    • Increased stamina
    • Overall healthier workplace

    Here are 7 ideas to help you kick off National Employee Health and Fitness day (and your year-long fitness endeavors!) to get your employees engaged and active:

    1. Partner up with a nearby gym and offer an employee discount
    2. Start intramural athletic teams like softball, kickball or soccer and compete against other companies in your area
    3. Encourage biking or walking to work if employees live nearby
    4. Post signs to take the stairs instead of the elevator
    5. Bring in your health insurance provider to the office to give employees physical exams
    6. Form lunchtime exercise groups – go to the gym with some co-workers or take advantage of a walk or run if weather permits
    7. Establish healthy meal clubs that share recipes and healthy snacks throughout the day

    And it’s always good to keep a pulse and what employees think of the wellness program you choose to implement. So go ahead and survey them to figure out what they like about the current offerings and what they’d like to see more of. With programs like this, it’s definitely a joint effort to ensure that everyone at work is reaping the fitness benefits.

    What does your office to do celebrate this day? Or what types of programs does your workplace run year round? Post your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!


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    Not long ago, I learned some startling statistics: The loyalty of employees who work for small businesses has dropped by almost 20% since 2008, and currently stands at a paltry 50%. Although I have never experienced any serious turnover in my own venture, I decided to take preemptive action by implementing online employee surveys.  My goal was to impact the profitability of my business by improving the level of satisfaction of my staff. Once I implemented online surveys, I found that not only were employees less satisfied than I originally thought, but that they also possessed a wealth of creative ideas to improve the business.

    There are multiple benefits to utilizing online employee surveys:

    1. Surveys Provide Concrete, Actionable Data

      In the past, if you had asked me how company morale was, I could only guess. However, now that I utilize employee surveys, I have real, practical numbers that I can analyze. I can tell you how my company stacks up over prior years regarding employee satisfaction with management, compensation, benefits, and other important areas. It has given me the peace of mind that I need in order to more confidently run my business.
    2. Feedback Is Objective

      With the online survey format, I never have to wonder if there's an ulterior motive behind the answers. Also, since my surveys are anonymous, the staff knows that they have the ability to speak openly and honestly.
    3. Communication Is Streamlined

      Thanks to online employee surveys, I've found the level of upward communication to be much more effective and streamlined. In the past, I often only heard of troubling interoffice issues via second-hand information. After utilizing surveys, however, I hear about problems first-hand. My staff is encouraged to come right out and say exactly what's on their minds - though I strongly encourage them to do it in a professional and respectful manner.
    4. The Cost Is Low

      Previously, I elicited all employee feedback at the end of their performance review. This was easily the longest part of the process. I would have to let them have their say, which usually took quite some time. I have since found that the feedback I received could have been communicated in just a few minutes via an online survey.

      In fact, I've used this saved time to generate additional sales, which has made the online survey format extremely cost-effective. More importantly, due to these surveys, I now have a staff that's more productive and happy, which is priceless in terms of business cash flow. The turnover rate has also decreased, which reduces labor costs by eliminating the need for frequent new employee training periods.
    5. Customer Service Can Improve

      I've found that I receive much more objective, believable feedback when asking my employees to rate their level of customer service via an online survey. In the past, in face-to-face settings, it always seemed that their answers were inflated or embellished compared to how I would have rated them.

      I've also received more specific ideas on how the company can improve. Thanks to the information gathered from surveys, we have revamped and upgraded our customer service standards.

    Final Thoughts If you decide to use online employee surveys, consider issuing them at times far removed from performance appraisals. If you issue surveys during a time-frame that is too close to performance evaluations, you'll receive rave reviews from those who received significant pay increases, and less-than-stellar comments from those who did not. However, implemented properly, online employee surveys can help you establish a more pleasant workplace - and a more profitable business.

    What experience have you had with online employee surveys?

     

    This post was contributed by David Bakke. Bakke runs an online business and shares tips related to small business, careers, and marketing on Money Crashers Personal Finance.

     

     

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    In a previous post we examined the fundamentals of Likert scale development. In case you missed it, Likert survey questions are designed to measure attitudes using a five or seven-point scale agreement scale (e.g. strongly disagree to strongly agree). These scales and their derivatives continue to be used extensively in both consumer and B2B market research.

    As the old song goes, attitudes lead to intentions which lead to behaviors, which can lead back to attitudes. With the advent of customer relationship management systems (CRM) and marketing data warehouses, market researchers can compare stated attitudes to behaviors or transactions. This allows us to ask such questions as:

    1. Do higher levels of customer satisfaction lead to greater profitability?
    2. Is this consistent across all market segments?
    3. What is the average time to second purchase for a new customer?
    4. Is this impacted by their attitudes toward their first purchase experience?

    Our last post on the topic ended with thoughts around further development and refinement of attitudinal scales. Given that survey real estate is at a premium, we want to develop a scale that is both valid (it measures what we think it is measuring) and reliable (it measures consistently over repeated applications). Only when both criteria are met should we fully implement our scale.

    Pre-testing items for a scale allows the researcher to narrow the focus and keep only those items that have the highest level of input. This can be accomplished using Cronbach’s Alpha, which provides a measure of the scale’s reliability. Output from this test (which is common in most statistical packages) highlights those items which could be deleted without loss of scale reliability.

    Another test to consider is principal components analysis (PCA). This is a closely related cousin to factor analysis. If we include a large number of items in our initial test then PCA can be used to highlight the underlying structure. Our group of items may in fact be measuring a smaller set of factors. Output from this test allows us to identify those factors and which items are most closely related to each factor (or dimension). A full treatment is beyond the scope of this post, but more information can be found at Wikipedia.

    We want to ensure we are measuring those attitudes most closely related to a key criterion, e.g. loyalty, satisfaction, profitability, likelihood to recommend, etc. This process requires testing and calibration, but ultimately will lead to survey data that has an impact on the bottom line.


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  • 05/31/13--04:44: Heard It On The X(tab)
  • There are a few go to techniques that we use for survey data analysis. The primary tool used for analyzing survey data is the crosstab. There are fancier multivariate techniques, and those have their place, but for everyday use the crosstab is the preferred method for analyzing nominal and ordinal data. Questions that generate these data types dominate most consumer and B2B market research surveys.

    The crosstab (xtab for short) can accommodate two, or more, variables. It’s purpose is to examine the shared distributions of the variables. When used with a statistic, such as the chi-square, it is used to assess the degree of association between variables. Please note that I did not say causation, but association, this important distinction is reserved for another discussion.

    The sample below provides an illustration of a two variable xtab with three levels for the row variable and two for the column variable (3 x 2). A third variable can be added to ‘control’ for potential influence. In this case we could add gender to see if the relationship between current job security and the desire to look for a new job is impacted by gender.

    Our Job Security * Look for Another Job Crosstabulation

      Look for another job YesNoTotalOur Job SecuritySecureCount73421552889% within Our Job Security25.40%74.60%100.00%% within Look for Another Job19.90%36.00%29.80%SomewhatCount131428864200% within Our Job Security31.30%68.70%100.00%% within Look for Another Job35.60%48.20%43.40%InsecureCount16.439.5125.94% within Our Job Security63.30%36.70%100.00%% within Look for Another Job44.50%15.90%26.80%TotalCount36.9159.9296.83% within Our Job Security38.10%61.90%100.00%% within Look for Another Job100.00%100.00%100.00%

    Chi-square tests

      Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

    Pearson Chi-Square

    980.497* 2 .000 Likelihood Ratio 968.016 2 .000 Linear-by-Lindear Association 807.954 1 .000 Not Valid Cases 9683     * 0 cells (0%) have expected count less than 5.
    The minimum expected count is 988.79.

     

    We view crosstabs from the perspective of rows and columns. For example we can say that 25% of those who feel secure in their current position are indeed looking for a new position. This compares to 63% of those who have an insecure feeling about their current position. In other words, those who feel insecure about their current position are over twice as likely as those who feel secure to be looking for a new position. From the column perspective 45% of those who are looking for a new position feel insecure about their current employment. This compares to 16% for those who are not looking for a new job.

    When making comparisons we can compare one cell to either another cell or to the row or column totals. For example, 31% of those who feel only somewhat secure in their position are looking for new work, compared to 63% for those who feel insecure  and 38% overall.

    In short, we can say that a person’s desire to seek new employment is associated with their sense of security in their current position. This type of information would be very useful to corporate HR managers tasked with employee satisfaction and retention.

    Crosstabs are extremely useful in analyzing relationships between two or more nominal or ordinal variables. They are the primary analytical tool for market research. So take a few minutes and get to know your rows and columns.

    You might find these other articles on crosstab and causation helpful:


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    This month’s feature that I’d like to highlight is the recent enhancements to two of our question types: data list and matrix-spreadsheet.

    Data list drop-down:

    data list

    Now survey authors have the option to provide a list of choices in the format of a drop-down data list allowing respondents to choose the answer that best fits.   

    For instance, (refer to the example on the right), if you are taking a survey about a specific product you’ve purchased, survey authors can include a data list of manufacturers to choose from (must have at least one entry in the drop-down list). The remaining detail questions are then treated as open text where respondents can fill in the appropriate information regarding the product from the manufacturer they chose.

    Matrix-spreadsheet:

    matrix

    The matrix spreadsheet question format is a vertical list of categories with a horizontal series of open text boxes and survey authors can specify the input type (e.g., general, number, currency, phone number, email address, or custom data format).

    This format can be used for many different questions. In the example to the right, the open text boxes allow respondents to answer how much money they spend on gifts for children, spouses and friends.

    In addition to these question types, our web survey tool has over 20 different other question types ranging from standard checkboxes and radio buttons to complex matrices, sliding scales and Net Promoter® Scores, helping to ensure that you have the right tools you need to ask every question the best way.

    Want to learn more about the variety of question types we offer? Sign up for a demo of our web survey solution today!


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    watch What’s the vibe in your office? Are your employees engaged or are they watching the clock all day in hopes that 5 o’clock will roll around as quickly as possible?

    Well – according to a recent study conducted by Gallup, seven out of 10 employees have “checked out” and/or are "actively disengaged". This statistic is alarming ‒ knowing that just about 30% of your workforce is engaged is a scary thought.

    An even more startling number though is that Gallup estimates that these workers who are actively disengaged cost the United States as much as $550 billion in economic activity yearly. These numbers are hard to fathom, not to mention very frightening for business owners and the overall economy.

    But how do you go about curbing this problem if it is already so out of hand? You can start by listening to your employees. Collecting employee feedback is the most sure-fire way for you to improve employee satisfaction and engagement at your organization and doing this via surveying is the most effective way.  By understanding why employees are disengaged, you can take that actionable feedback and make necessary changes. Giving your employees more of what they want will help to increase productivity, increase retention rates, drive excellence and innovation, and most importantly, increase your bottom line.

    But simply just implementing an employee feedback program is not good enough and won’t yield the results you need. You need to put in a significant amount of time and effort to make sure the program is successful.

    Here are a few tips to help you with your employee survey that you should keep in mind:

    • Make it anonymous
    • Make it relevant
    • Give employees enough time to fill out the survey
    • Create awareness that you’ll be administering a survey – send emails, post flyers, etc.
    • Don’t just do one survey and call it quits – collecting feedback is a continuous process
    • Make sure someone owns the follow-up
    • Analyze the results collected
    • Report back to your employees what you found out via the survey and make change!

    Want to learn more about conducting employee feedback, how to overcome employee surveying challenges, and how we can help you get started with your own employee feedback initiatives? Check out a recording of our recent webinar, Avoiding Awkward Moments in Employee Feedback or sign up for an online demo of our web survey solution.

    Want more details on the Gallup report? Click here.


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    testing survey Web surveys are a great way to gather customer and employee feedback and market research if they are crafted properly. However, a challenge that many companies face is getting high enough response rates to guarantee the data collected and reported on is accurate and trustworthy.

    Here are a few tips you should take into consideration while putting together your surveys to ensure respectable response rates:

    1. Make your survey short, sweet and to the point ‒ It’s simple. The shorter the survey and the easier it is to complete, the higher the response rates will be.  State in the beginning how long the survey should take and put a progress bar at the top of each page to let respondents know how far they are into the survey.
    2. Know your audience – Tailor your survey questions so they are appropriate for your audience. Make sure you know what they care about so the questions you’re asking are relevant.
    3. Create buzz – Just because you create a survey does not mean people will take it, unless, however, you promote it! Send invitation and reminder emails, post it on the intranet, hang up flyers, etc. Just make sure to create buzz so people are aware of the survey.
    4. Test, test, test! – Send around a test survey to members on your team to double check for any grammatical, logic or technical errors.
    5. Clean your contact list – Make sure your contact list is clean and up-to-date to ensure deliverability.
    6. Send automated reminders – Schedule automated reminder emails and messages 2-3 times after your initial email invitation. A friendly reminder never hurt response rates.  
    7. Analyze the data and make changes ‒ If you tell people before they take the survey how you’re going to make changes based on the feedback collected, you can plan to have higher response rates. Then, by actually acting on the feedback and making organizational changes, your customers and employees will be even more satisfied and inclined to participate in future surveys.

    Still have questions about how to get higher response rates? Let us know because we’re here to help!

     

     


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    While we do not dispute that comparison to competitors and other organizations within your own industry is important, we have found that starting with feedback from within your own organization is the most beneficial place begin. Companies share many of the same industry challenges, and even successes for that matter, but gaining clear insight into your own employees via surveying will make it that much easier to determine where you stand in relation to others. In addition, historically we have found that any issue that is unique to a particular organization is even more important to survey and collect feedback on (in other words, industry benchmarking may not be useful in these various situations).

    We often find that these "areas of opportunity" are specific to an organization - meaning what Company X  needs to focus on is different than what another company in the same industry might need to focus on. To that end, we recommend focusing on your specific key drivers of satisfaction and company loyalty

    Our customers tell us that they actually find this more valuable than industry benchmarking ‒ It’s great to know that 81% of your employee base is satisfied, while the industry average is 70%, but what does that really mean?  How is that going to help you keep and retain employees, and turn passive or disengaged employees into actively engaged employees? These metrics are known as vanity metrics– numbers that look good on paper, but often don’t provide any actionable insights.

    This is where Cvent’s Key Driver Analysis (KDA) comes into play.

    kda

    The aim of KDA is purely to determine the attribute(s) on which to allocate additional resources for getting the maximum ROI. For instance:

    Which dimensions are most influential on overall satisfaction/perceptions of the company? Which areas should we focus to see a bigger ROI when it comes to employee loyalty and retention?

    Cvent’s Survey Professional Services team performs this analysis by using a combination of Regression Testing and Correlation Analysis to understand the strength of the relationships between different indicators (called key drivers) and overall satisfaction/rating. Drivers that have the strongest linear relationship with overall satisfaction are said to be the strongest drivers of satisfaction. Focusing on improving these drivers will have the most dramatic effect on your employee’s overall rating of your organization.

    Interested in learning more? Click here. Want us to help you perform a key driver analysis for your organization? Feel free to email us at surveys@cvent.com or call 866.318.4358.


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    happy employeesAccording to a recent study by AON Hewitt & Mercer, 50% of employees characterize themselves as passively engaged or actively disengaged. Additionally, one disengaged employee can drain $10,000 from your company’s bottom line annually. These statistics are alarming! And because of this, HR professionals are constantly competing to attract and retain top talent that won’t put a drain on their company. However, organizations are finding out that tangible benefits like pay, vacation time and employee perks are echoed by many companies across like industries, so this means it’s the intangible benefits that will make the difference when trying to steer clear of the employee disengagement trenches. But what are those intangible benefits that will amplify employee engagement at your organization? Are they motivated by growth prospects? Recognition for a job well done? Professional development opportunities? Dress code? You won’t know until you ask.

    Investing in your employees is key. Not only do you need to listen when your employees talk, you need to make changes based on their feedback. Employee engagement is one of the biggest drivers for improving organizations’ bottom lines because when talented, engaged employees perform better, customers reap the rewards of a better product or service and overall experience. Hence, happy employees = happy customers. 

    So what are you doing to ensure your organization doesn’t fall into the disengagement trap like so many others? Take Cvent’s Employee Feedback Assessment to evaluate your current engagement efforts, and based on how you’re doing we’ll follow up with tips, best practices and strategies for improving (or initiating) future employee surveys at your organization.

    Take Employee Feedback Assessment

    An employee feedback program is necessary to measure your staff’s satisfaction, productivity and overall engagement. And if you do it right, you’ll gain a firsthand look into what motivates them, what impedes their growth and how to make their experience a positive one.

    Remember, the best way to protect your brand and ensure a valuable customer experience is to continuously collect feedback from your most valuable asset: your employees.


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    Employee Retention is the New BlackWhen the word retention comes to mind we often turn to customer retention first. After all, retention management programs are a key component to successful growth of the customer base. However, as the economy continues to slowly move out of the depths, another version of retention is becoming increasingly important. A company’s employees are one of its most critical assets and as such are worthy of retention efforts as well.

    An article posted on LinkedIn by Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, states that the ‘tide has turned.’ Some industries, retail for example, expect 30 – 40% annual turnover in their employee base. However, research by Bersin and others indicates this is not a sound strategy, since seasoned employees drive more value than employees who are simply cycling through the business. Why bother working to retain employees?

    First and foremost, it can run from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 – 2.0 times the annual salary to replace an employee. The total includes both observable and hidden costs such as:

    • Cost of hiring a new person (advertising, interviewing, screening, etc.)
    • Onboarding costs
    • Lost productivity – it can take 1 – 2 years before new employees have reached a productivity level equivalent of the person they replaced.
    • Lost engagement – remaining employees see turnover as a driver of disengagement
    • Training costs – according to Bersin companies often invest 10 – 20% of an employee’s salary in training during the first three years of their tenure.
    • Cultural impacts – when someone leaves, those that are left often ask ‘why?’

    High performance companies treat their employees as well as they treat their customers. Although I cannot quote exact statistics, it makes perfect sense that a satisfied workforce is better equipped and motivated to take care of the customer base.

    One of the key ways the Cvent online survey platform can be used is to measure employee sentiment, in a similar fashion to how we measure customer sentiment. Insight from these employee programs is just as actionable as is customer insight. It can be used to create a more dynamic workplace environment, one that is driven more by data and less by heresay.

    Take the Employee Engagement Assessment to see how your organization ranks and what you could be doing to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.


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    Who's Responsible for Employee Engagement and Satisfaction?Over the last few months, we've seen a trend. An increase in the number of organizations who are looking to measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels. While I've always believed employee satisfaction is the key to the ultimate customer experience goal of delighting the customer, it seems others are beginning to see the link (check out this infographic to see what poor employee engagement can do your organization).

    So it brings up the question, who is responsible for employee engagement? On instinct you might point to your human resources department, and that may be who handles it at your organization. But human resources teams are no longer the only stakeholders in this discussion. More than ever, the demand for Voice of the Employee programs are coming from those responsible for customer experience.

    Customer satisfaction, loyalty and experience metrics do not live in a vacuum. The ratings customers give are not just related to the product they're using, the sales experience or the last time they called customer support. It's a combination. As we work with more organizations, we're seeing that they're thinking the same thing. There's a correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

    Happy Employees create Happy Customers.

    Let me repeat...

    Happy Employees CREATE Happy Customers.

    This goes for your entire workforce, from your receptionist to your R&D teams to sales, marketing and client services. All employees play a role in the echo system. If your billing and finance groups aren't engaged, they wont go the extra mile—and that could trickle down to sales and account management who are getting slow commission checks or just don't feel like the team is behind them to resolve billing disputes. Unengaged marketers are going to put less effort into that new campaign or understanding the target market. Causing potential prospects to get the wrong understanding of what the products can do, and you can't undo those expectations.

    I started off by saying happy employees create happy customers. While true, that's not the only thing you should be focused on. The level of engagement is important as well. Engagement doesn't always mean satisfied—although that is better. A dissatisfied employee is still engaged, it means they still CARE about what's happening in the organization. The unengaged employee is the most detrimental to the organization. They don't care what's happening. They don't have a passion for what they're doing. They're not going the extra mile to improve things.

    Do you know how engaged and satisfied your workforce is? Do you know how that is impacting customers and their loyalty?

    I challenge you to participate in our Employee Engagement Assessment. Whether you're in human resources or part of the customer experience and customer strategy team, I think you'll find the results of your assessment eye opening. At the end, we'll give you some quick pointers and then follow up with a more details on what you could be doing at your organization.

    START THE ASSESSMENT

     

    Photo courtesy of Hubspot


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    togetherEmployees are a company’s most important asset, so it’s critical that they are happy, engaged and satisfied with their jobs. I’ve read a lot of articles recently about the benefits of engaged employees and some of the statistics I’ve come across have really drove home the importance of this topic. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, business units that rank in the top 25% of their organizations for employee engagement show 21% higher productivity and 10% high customer metrics. Not only that, these factors among others account for 22% higher profitability.  Just think – if you could ensure that your workforce is just a little more engaged, the outcome would be significantly worth it.

    Here are a few helpful tips to create a more engaged workforce:

    1. Be transparent– Employees don’t want to hear about things going on in the company from outsiders. Be proactive and share information like where the company is headed and what’s in store for the future before sharing this with the press or outside companies. Employees are more motivated when they are part of a work culture that promotes pertinent information sharing up front to eliminate speculation.
    2. Have an open door policy– Employees don’t want to be intimidated by those who have higher titles and positions. Create an open door policy so employees can feel comfortable talking to their superiors whenever necessary. Employees that have good relationships with their managers and executives are more inclined to be engaged.
    3. Survey them – The best way to get employee feedback is to ask them for it, and not just in passing. Put together an employee feedback survey a few times a year to get their thoughts on what’s going on in the company, their department, their role, etc. The more often you survey, the better idea you’ll have of why they are or are not engaged and satisfied. Getting continuous feedback will not only help you develop more strategic company goals and it will ultimately impact your bottom line (in a positive way)…if you listen.
    4. Let them know you listened – So now you have pages and pages of employee feedback, but what do you do with? Well, the most important thing is to make sure you do something with it! Don’t just let all of that valuable information sit around because that won’t get you anywhere. Take the employee feedback and analyze the results. Of course you can’t address every issue or employee wish, but if you start to make incremental changes throughout the organization based on the feedback, employees will appreciate the fact that they are being listened to to influence change.

    Want to see how well you’re doing with employee feedback initiatives at your company? Take our Employee Engagement Assessment. At the end of the assessment we will follow up with you to review your current efforts and provide you with some tips on how to improve your employee feedback program.  

    I’d also like to hear from you if you have other easy ways to engage your employees (use the comment box below).


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    not engagedEmployee engagement (or lack thereof) has been a popular topic of conversation recently, as this issue is not something companies can afford to take lightly when 70% of Americans don’t show up to work committed to delivering their best performance, according to Gallup. I’ve wrote about the poor engagement levels before, but I just came across a Gallup article that defines the different types of employees, their levels of engagement and how companies can work to improve employee satisfaction.

    Types of Employees:

    Engaged (30% of American workers) – These employees feel a connection to their organization and want to work hard to drive the organization forward.

    Not-engaged (52% of American workers) – These employees are not passionate about their work. They are simply going through the motions to get through the workday.

    Actively disengaged (18% of American workers) – These employees are not only unhappy at work but they also talk loudly about their unhappiness, bringing negative energy to coworkers.

    As you can see, the percentage of non-engaged and actively disengaged workers is nothing to take lightly. We’ve identified how much of an issue this is nationwide, but how do we go about curbing the black hole of employee engagement? Here are a few suggestions that you should take into consideration if you’re looking to improve your employee’s experience at your company:  

    • Identify employee engagement champions – First and foremost, someone or a certain department needs to take the reins if you’re going to improve or measure your employee engagement. Identify a champion to start the process, follow it through and run with the results to ensure change is implemented. If no one is in charge, any type of feedback collecting that takes place is guaranteed to go nowhere fast if nothing is done with the results.
    • Collect feedback from your employees – Survey your employees, but don’t just survey to survey! Think carefully about the questions you are asking, make sure you have a goal you are trying to accomplish and make sure your questions tie back to your goal. Also, don’t ask your employees questions that you can’t change. Here are some tips on how to get high survey response rates.
    • Connect with employees – Get to know and understand your coworkers and the people in which you manage. Everyone has different needs and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Get to know them and work with them. If an employee feels as though his/her needs/talents/weaknesses are known and being taken into consideration, they will feel more engaged.
    • Show employees that you are listening – So now you’ve learned more about your employees via surveys and personal interactions, but now what? This is the time where you act on your results! You have the data, you’ve analyzed it, and now you can make sound decisions on what areas/processes, etc you’re going to implement change. Tell your employees that they spoke and you listened! This is the most important part. The more they feel that their opinions and thoughts are valued, the more engaged your workforce will be.

    If your organization is suffering from ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ employees, you need to start collecting feedback and listening. Even if your employees are engaged, you need to keep those engagement levels up, so collecting feedback should be a continuous cycle.

    And once you get employee engagement right, or start to get it right, you’ll see change take place within your organization: more revenue, greater customer satisfaction, lower turnover, etc. Hard work does pay off, and in the case of employee engagement, the payoffs are totally worth it.

    Want to assess how well your organization is doing in the field of employee engagement compared to others? Take a few minutes to complete our Employee Engagement Assessment and we’ll provide you with a benchmark report and valuable resources to initiate or improve employee engagement programs at your organization.


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    turkeyDoes it seem like your employees are still in a Turkey Coma from Thursday’s meal?  Or maybe it seems like they are losing focus as they begin talking about all of their holiday plans and New Year resolutions. Whatever the case, you still have a job to do and that job is to collect employee feedback!

    As the end of the year approaches, many companies are running employee engagement surveys to recap and review the last few months of the year, so they can go into the New Year with ideas for change and improvement. But, how do you engage employees to take an employee engagement survey when their heads are elsewhere? (Hint: This is where you rack your head and think back to your marketing courses in college. Take a guess, it’s one of the 5 P’s.)

    Promotion!

    Here are a few ways you can create some buzz around your office to entice employees to want to take your survey!

    1. Intranet posting – Post reminders about the survey here and include details, survey close date and participation rates to date.
    2. Emails – Send out an email prepping employees of the survey launch date, its purpose and other important details.
    3. Flyers – Hang up flyers and posters in the hallways, kitchen, conference rooms, and bathrooms where employees are guaranteed to see them.
    4. Company Newsletter – Dedicate a spot in your internal company newsletter to promote the survey.  
    5. Incentives – Provide an incentive for employees to take the survey – see who can get the most participants across departments or which department can get all employees to respond the fastest and offer a free lunch or happy hour.
    6. Internal Meetings – Host a meeting to let employees know that the survey will be coming their way.

    Using a combination of these different tactics will help wake up your employees and get them excited about taking the survey.

    Now that you know how you’re going to promote it, check out some of our sample surveys– these might spark some ideas for your employee surveys!


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    The Value of Employee Engagement on the Customer Experience

    Business leaders agree that employee engagement is an important issue, but now more than ever, they’re starting to realize that an engaged, satisfied staff impacts more than just workplace culture.

    I’m excited to announce that Cvent is sponsoring a Demand Metric eWorkshop, ‘The Value of Employee Engagement on the Customer Experience,’ on December 12 at 1:00pm ET.

    During this eWorkshop we’ll unveil the results from a recent benchmark study aimed at measuring the impact of employee engagement on customer experience. You’ll hear insights and best practices derived from the input of more than 250 organizations.

    Key takeaways that we’ll discuss:

    • Customer retention rates are 18 percentage points higher on average when employees are highly engaged
    • Medium-sized companies reported the lowest level of employee engagement:  only 40% of them report engagement levels of 50% or above.
    • 33% report a significant impact of engagement on profit margins when employees are highly engaged
    • It doesn't matter which department owns employee engagement, it just matters that someone champions it.

    Registration is limited to the first 500 people, so reserve your spot now!

    Speakers: Jerry Rackley, Chief Analyst, Demand Metric and Mike Phillips, Director of Feedback Strategy, Cvent

    For more information on the benchmark study, check out Demand Metric’s blog!

    BONUS: eWorkshop attendees will receive a free copy of the Employee Engagement Benchmark Study report!


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    actionplanAn engaged workforce is critical to an organization’s success so collecting employee feedback is essential. However, if you’re looking to put together an employee engagement survey or if you’ve done so in the past, it’s important to realize that it will only be as successful as leadership deems its importance – so you need to sell the importance of collecting employee engagement to your leadership team prior to launching your initiatives. It’s vital to get executive buy-in right from the start for three main reasons. If leadership is onboard:

    1. You can work together to better instill employee engagement as part of the company values
    2. You can incorporate employee engagement into leadership’s strategic plans
    3. They will help to encourage participation

    Once leadership is on your side, it’s your responsibility to craft your survey, put together your plan to promote it and launch the survey. At the conclusion of the survey you need to pull the data, analyze your results and present your findings to leadership. This should include addressing survey participation, providing insights on the data collected, and proposing the next steps you’d like to see the company take based on your results.

    Once you’ve proposed the next course of action, you’ll need to devise the plan with leadership’s approval. This might take some back and forth so you can ensure that your proposed action steps align with the direction that leadership would like the company to go, but it’s important that you are on the same page.

    And leadership’s role doesn’t end with the action planning. Leaders need to be at the forefront of the engagement efforts and share what actions they are taking based on what their employees had to say. This could include conducting town halls, lunch meetings, internal communications, etc. to share the results. Transparency is key and this will only work if leaders are onboard with the feedback initiative right from take-off.

    How do you go about getting executive buy-in at your organization when it comes to employee engagement efforts? I’d love to hear from you (use the comment box below).

    And for more information about the importance of employee engagement initiatives, download our Retain of Drain: The A.R.T. of Engaging Employees Playbook.


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  • 12/19/13--06:00: Top 15 Blog Posts of 2013
  • 2013

    I can’t believe 2013 is almost over! There are so many great blogs that we’ve posted over the past 12 months, that I wanted to keep up with tradition and give all of our readers a recap of the most popular blog posts of 2013! Enjoy!

    Samples at Random

    Sometimes being random is exactly what your survey needs. "Randomness" can be a very useful tool in survey research, and online survey platforms such as Cvent allow leading survey designers the ability to add a level of randomness to the question design process.
    Read more

    Ozzy Osbourne’s Advice for Questionnaire Design

    In one of Ozzy Osbourne’s songs he uses the phrase “going forward in reverse.” Little did the singer know that his lyrics would also apply to survey research, specifically to the area of questionnaire design.  One of the key concerns facing researchers today is data quality. It is all too easy for respondents to go on auto-pilot and straight-line responses.
    Read more


    Consider How You Measure

    Scales in market research share a similar purpose with those devices found in bathrooms, gyms and doctors offices. They are both designed to measure. In one case it may be our physical weight, while in the other it may be the importance of an attribute or attitude. In the context of B2B and consumer market research the literature is deep on best practices for scale construction.
    Read more

     

    5 Key Tips for Stakeholder Surveys

    At some point throughout the year, you need to reach out to your stakeholders to increase your organizations’ understanding of their opinions, knowledge and attitudes in order to optimize success. Read what Scott Maxwell, Sr. Managing Director and Founder of OpenView Venture Partners suggests to help your survey stand out in order to obtain the response rates and feedback you’re looking for.
    Read more

      How to Avoid Survey Question Failure

    Survey failure can lead to an ugly, public black eye. But can also easily be avoided. Some tried and true methods can ensure that you won’t have to experience survey failure. Here’s some valuable advice regarding different question types, and when you should use them.
    Read more

     

    What Did You Expect? Customer Service Satisfaction Measurement Tips

    Customer satisfaction with a product or service is a function of expectations. Are they met or better yet are they exceeded? This is the playing field that marketers have to navigate on a daily basis.
    Read more

     

    When Twitter Customer Support Goes Too Far

    Twitter has made everything instant, and in the world of customer service, this means a chance at instant damage-control. But there's a fine line between being helpful, and actually pouring gasoline to the fire. Here are three customer service tips worth tweeting about.
    Read more

     

    Successful Employee Training

    Effective training sessions are critical to your business's success, and today's companies are dealing with the realization that a one-time onboarding session, or even annual training events, are not sufficient to keep up with an ever-changing environment. Not only that, but most companies are no longer throwing money into elaborate employee events like in days gone by. So how do companies ensure that the money they contribute to the $100-billion-plus per year training industry is worthwhile? Find the right tools to measure its effectiveness.
    Read more

     

    Q&A from The Voice of the Customer: From Feedback to Action Webinar

    In June, we hosted a webinar with Senior Research Analyst from Aberdeen Group, Aly Pinder, and Global Client Experience Senior Program Manager from Cornerstone OnDemand, Jen Maldonado. We had TONS of great questions. We've gone through the all questions from the webinar and answered them here.
    Read more


    Top 7 Ways to Improve your Survey Response Rates

    Web surveys are a great way to gather customer and employee feedback and market research if they are crafted properly. However, a challenge that many companies face is getting high enough response rates to guarantee the data collected and reported on is accurate and trustworthy.

    Here are a few tips you should take into consideration while putting together your surveys to ensure respectable response rates.
    Read more


    The Emotional Dimension

    Online survey platforms allow for the ability to test various advertising messages and formats easier than ever before, including ads for print, online (or TV), and radio. In this post we examine the method for evaluating ads based on their emotional content.
    Read more

     

    Survey Reporting Tips

    The primary reason to run surveys is to get the right information and insights from your respondents – the feedback that matters. Therefore, the most important part of your survey is the data you collect, and our goal is to ensure that you’re confident with that data, and can use it to drive strategic decisions.
    Read more


    Customer Satisfaction Plus Importance

    Customer satisfaction measurement can be best described as part art, part science, and part intuition. Regardless of how you view it there are several moving parts to this equation. Satisfaction, as a measure itself, is part of a larger equation centered on profitability.
    Read more

     

    6 Social Media Fun Facts

    Marketing VP Mike Lewis has a very cool infographic about social media over on Awareness, Inc. Here are six "fun facts" drawn from his whitepaper in case you're more of a list person.
    Read more

     

    7 Steps for Gathering Customer Testimonials

    Customer testimonials are a great way to gather feedback that you can share with others, whether they are current customers or prospects. The idea is to share happy customers’ experiences and praises, ultimately influencing others. Social networking and word of mouth are so important today, that collecting and sharing customer testimonials is critical for marketing success and building trust in an organization.
    Read more

     

    Now it's your turn, what was your favorite post this year? What would you like to read more of in 2014?

    Don't miss any of 2014's most popular posts. Subscribe to the Cvent Web Surveys Newsletter and get them delivered directly to your inbox each month!


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  • 03/17/14--04:30: Balancing Competing Demands
  • Spheres Balance by Danilo RizzutiAs a Libra it is fairly easy for me to visualize the need for balance. As someone who practices consumer and B2B market research, I can also see this same need in my professional work. Although I am by no means a professional counselor it has become apparent to me that in order to achieve a balanced state that one must have the ability to draw boundaries.

    What do I mean by balance?

    Regardless of whether you work in an internal market research department or if you are on the agency-side, you will be faced with competing demands at some point in your career. In this case, those demands typically line up with what your internal or external clients see as necessary compared to what you know is acceptable for the respondent. There are a few steps that we can employ in order to balance the needs of both camps.

    Agree up front to a specific purpose and goal for the survey. As the researcher it is our task to put forth ideas of what will work and what won’t. If these concerns are addressed early in the process and committed to writing then there is a lower likelihood for scope creep (the gradual increase in project scope over time).

    Where possible avoid survey by committee. The committee approach often leads to lengthy and poorly designed surveys. It is acceptable to get feedback on areas where there are knowledge gaps and build those into the survey. However, when committees design surveys there is a tendency for scope creep and a loss of perspective, respondent perspective that is.

    Try the “put yourself in their shoes” exercise. When a client feels it is necessary to have a 20 minute survey with several multiple response questions and open-ends then ask him or her to put themselves in the shoes of the respondent. Would they want to take this survey? Even if you are dealing with an engaged audience there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is too much. Remember surveys that are lengthy and involve significant cognitive burden will result in lower quality data, especially for later questions.

    There are times when we need to push back, with grace of course. However, it is not the client’s job to manage the relationship between the organization and respondent. That is our task and it is one where we need to establish a balance between providing actionable insight to our clients and not violating the trust and respect of the respondent.

    Photo Credit: Spheres Balance by Danilo Rizzuti courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


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    This post applies to consumer and B2B market researchers as well as those who design questionnaires for measuring employee satisfaction and engagement. Multiple response questions where the respondent can select any or all options are a valuable question format. However, if not handled correctly they can lead to an early exit from the survey.

    Multiple response questions allow the respondent the flexibility to select those items in a category list that relate to them. As the survey designer you have the option of setting maximum and minimum number of items a respondent can select. In the graphic below the researcher has set the limit to three. This is where my frustration level takes a step up.

    Frustration

    One of the first points in creating a multiple response list is to keep the list as short as possible. More than 10 -12 items and the respondent’s eye are likely to glaze over. If you have a lengthy list and cannot shorten it, then consider breaking it up into multiple questions each using an abbreviated list. ALWAYS make sure the order is set to randomize. Order bias is an issue we can control with randomization. If you are working with multiple questions then leverage Cvent’s chapter feature which allows for question and category randomization.

    Back to the visual – by limiting the max number of responses to three you can easily create a distinct sense of frustration in the respondent’s mind. Given the nature of the list all of the items are likely to be deemed as important, which is exactly why you would not use a scaled approach. If you have the background you could take a max-diff approach, but that requires special programming.

    An option would be to leverage masking. Allow the respondent to select as many categories as they feel necessary then follow up with a masked question (only showing those they selected) and ask them to select the single most important category. This two step approach, although not as sophisticated as max-diff, creates a scenario where you are making greater use of the available data without placing too high of a cognitive burden on the respondent.

    For more information on masking see the piece I wrote for the Cvent e-book Crimes of Survey Design.


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    Gathering employee feedback as we all know is extremely important. It can provide insights into what motivates our employees, what impedes their growth, what they love/hate, how they feel about the office environment, benefits, etc. Employee surveys come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one commonality: in order to get the most honest data, you should make your employee surveys anonymous. Employees will speak more candidly when they know their responses can’t be tied back to them, it’s just human nature.

    Watch our fun commercial below to get a better understanding for what you don’t want to do when collecting employee feedback.

    Once you make a survey anonymous, make sure you’re communicating this when you promote the survey. Reassure your employees that they should answer honestly because none of their responses will be linked to their names.

    Going along with that, an important thing you need to be conscious of as you design your survey is to avoid asking questions that can single people out, even though you aren’t asking their name. For example, don’t ask what department someone is in if there’s only one person in the marketing department or don’t ask gender and what department someone is in if there’s only one female in technology. Things like that will make employees feel as though they are being misled and tricked into what should be an anonymous survey.

    Interested in learning more about the importance of anonymous employee surveys and the overall benefits of collecting employee feedback? Download our free playbook, Retain or Drain: The A.R.T. of Engaging Employees.


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