More Survey Twaddle

HR folk believe engagement surveys help with engagement. Shame no one else does.

My mate Jon Ingham is at a Westminster briefing today. I know this because he is tweeting from there. He’s just thrown me a bone as follows:

“#westminbriefing audience poll: do surveys help or hinder employee engagement? 72% help, 9% hinder (one for @dougshaw1)”

I ask Jon what the audience make up is – “nearly all public sector HR” comes the reply.

Across the civil service less than four out of ten people believe action will be taken as a result of them filling in engagement surveys. (and the joke is – I got these figures from the 2010 civil service staff survey!).

So there you have it – evidence that the people who count don’t believe this stuff. What this shows me is that HR folk need to spend more time with people in other roles, otherwise as these figures from Jon show – they begin to believe their own hype.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

4 thoughts on “More Survey Twaddle”

  1. Said it before …. will say it again.

    When will HR actually figure out what the “H” stands for?

    I don’t want to fill in a survey to tell my employer what is right and what is wrong. I don’t want to ring some HR call centre and get a reply to why I haven’t been paid within a 48 hour SLA.

    Ever tried replying to an HR question /phone call saying that you’ll respond within 48 hours? They get really miffed!

    pot ….. kettle …… black

    1. H….Holed up? As in should get out more perhaps? I work with a lot of hard working good people in and around HR and I think the single, most powerful thing HR folk can do is get out there more. Go and sit with the teams you support, listen, ask, learn. And don’t expect this to necessarily yield rapid results. Folks may not trust the HR person at first, so gentle persistence is useful. Then in time we may see each other, colleagues in a light where we all want to respond – in much quicker than 48 hours when we can and without an SLA.

  2. Should get out more ….. definitely. No, I meant Human actually. You are right that there are a lot of good people but the Human element has been pretty de-Humanised for us customers of the systems imposed in the name of efficiency and cost-saving. We don’t have HR / People / Personnel Managers any more, but HR Business Partners, outsourced advice services and (sorry) SLAs.

    If companies want their most valuable resource, who happens to be their face to the customer as well, to operate and be viewed like a machine then by all means keep treating them like a machine. Personally, I prefer dealing with people.

    1. I hoped you meant Human 😉 I was kinda pulling your leg earlier, although I do observe a lot of folks who carry out important functional roles sticking together and not getting out and about. If they did get out and about more, then more folks would be dealing with people – and like you – I think more folks would like that.

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