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That "Annual Engagement Survey"

The other day, I read a piece in the July/August 2017 issue of Human Resource Executive, and it sparked something that I have been thinking about for some time. How much real value is there in the once-a-year-make-the-back-of-the-house pretty engagement survey? Fellow HR professionals, how often have you had to practically place guns to the heads of your managers to ensure their people are filling out questionnaires?

All we want is for those employees to love us once a year. How about making sure they love the company and the company's direction throughout the year?

We already are seeing companies move away from the traditional annual performance evaluation - how is it of value to tell someone how they did in the past, when we really want them focusing on performing in the future? Apparently (and I welcome this) companies are beginning to look at the Annual Engagement Score in a similar way. To this day, executive bonuses, corporate initiatives, property-directives all surround participation in engagement surveys and resulting scores. Is this really a good metric for companies to continue building around? Whether companies use the "Q12" or some other engagement measurement, they are looking at the past. They are looking at how people feel up to the point of the metric. Regardless of past, present, future - companies might influence scores by using that survey time of year to schedule their annual holiday party, upscale the cafeteria menu or make sure that the executives finally leave their offices to shake hands.

Forget the past and a score that can be manipulated. Seems much wiser for companies to be working on the entire, consistent employee experience. Focusing on retaining current employees and attracting curious candidates should be the goal. The overall work experience, with a focus on healthy, comfortable lifestyles welcoming all people and all backgrounds should be the focus at all times. Companies should take a look at their employee lifecycle, from onboarding to offboarding, and ensure the experience is welcoming, respectful of personal lives.

What does not get measured does not get valued. I recognize that. Companies should focus on figuring out how to measure employee satisfaction, "buy-in," dedication and investment throughout the year and throughout the work cycle - NOT in December after the White Elephant Exchange or in September after the Summer Picnic Bash.

We all work hard and long; that experience should feel right at all times. Take a look at your employees, and think about how to make their whole experience special so they can align with you and your forward-thinking objectives any day of the year.

Just my 2-cents. . .

Employee survey

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