Conducting an employee engagement survey is like visiting a doctor in many ways. An individual consults a doctor when he/she wants to assess his/her health; it could be because they are currently experiencing some ailment, or because they wish to check their general health. Similarly, the leadership team of any organization would partner with employee engagement consultants to conduct an employee engagement survey when they want to understand the issues in their organization.
Given the criticality of such a survey initiative, it is imperative that your organization keeps certain points in mind while choosing their survey provider. We have listed 5 such key criteria to look out for while selecting an employee engagement partner.
- The science behind the survey
When visiting a doctor, an individual always checks if the practitioner is well qualified for the job. Similarly, it is critical for organizations to assess if the survey partner is qualified for the job of running their survey. One important parameter gauge this is to understand the framework or the science behind the partner’s survey solution. The framework usually forms the backbone of the survey, as both the design and the results will be based on the framework. Hence, while shortlisting your survey partner, look for someone who understands how to drive not just engagement, but even business performance.
An employee engagement survey requires employees to share their honest opinion on myriad facets about the organization. Some of these opinions might not be seen as ‘favourable’ to the senior leadership team. Consequently, employees would only be comfortable in sharing their honest opinion when they are confident that it would be completely anonymous and would have no repercussions on them. Hence, it is important that organizations partner with service providers who are established for their credibility, thus eliciting honest employee feedback. An important data point to ask the partner is the number of engagement projects they do annually and the data points / available benchmarks in your industry.
- Lead time to launch the survey
Let’s draw a parallel here with the time when an individual has a medical emergency. The said individual would like the doctor to diagnose the ailment at the earliest. Having to wait in a long queue might aggravate the condition, while almost certainly affecting the individual. Similarly, when an organization is looking to run an engagement survey, they want to get started as soon as possible. Having to wait for the survey provider to get all the requirements in place to launch the survey is not ideal. Hence, while looking for an employee engagement survey partner, check on their lead time to survey launch. Anytime up to 3 weeks is your benchmark.
- Quick access & dynamic reports
Suppose the individual got all the tests done. How long would he/she be comfortable waiting before receiving the results? Not very long, clearly. Waiting for the survey results is equally uncomforable for organizations. With the best technology in place, partners should provide results the minute the survey concludes. This immediate reporting helps the organization to study, understand and action on the survey results at the earliest, while the survey results are still relevant.
- Post survey consulting & support
Finally, the individual who had gone to the doctor and has received his/her report. Now what? The individual would obviously want the doctor to work with him to understand the reason behind the diagnosis, and what could be some of the medicines/therapy to get well. Similarly, the survey provider should also have the consulting capability to understand, interpret, and share the action plans for the survey. That would give the senior leadership team very specific issues to execute. Your organization may also want a longer term engagement with a survey provider who can not only conduct the survey and share the results, but also hand hold your organization to improve engagement in a sustainable manner and also impact business performance.
In summary, conducting an employee engagement survey should be considered as a strategic imperative which should highlight insights shared by your workforce that can help you leapfrog your business and retain your talent. It’s also a strong signal to your workforce on your commitment to their success in your organization. Hence, while selecting the best consulting firm with whom to partner, carefully weigh in the five parameters above and thereafter choose on the basis of the firm which provides you the best fitment – in terms of understanding your organization’s context.