Employee Feedback Surveys can be a cost effective way for an organization to receive valuable information. Surveys can be in the form of structured questions, individual interviews, open-ended comments, or a combination of such inquiries. The results of employee feedback surveys are generally distilled into themes or patterns for consideration and action.
Here are three brief case studies that illustrate the value of an employee feedback survey process.
Social Service Agency:
Where Does the Time Go?
In response to the employee feedback question: Is there a process or item that frequently wastes your time? Many employees reported: “yes, some timecard client billing codes are inconsistent or unclear and waste time.” Using the survey results, a focus group was assigned to redesign the time reporting system, a process that involved negotiating with several large clients over their needs for billing/payment reporting. In the end, a way was found to simplify the timecard coding. The payoff was more than expected: the timecard error rate declined, billable hours (revenue) increased, and client invoices were generated faster and paid sooner, improving cash flow.
Custom Manufacturing Company:
Get It Out In the Open
The President/Owner of a firm was ready to retire and hire his replacement. An employee feedback survey was conducted to ensure a smooth transition. The survey data indicated some frustration with the President’s management style in the area of inconsistent hiring and disciplinary actions – a sense of favoritism was the theme. At the same time, the employees reported a strong sense of loyalty to the owner and the company. Informed by the results of this employee feedback survey, all hiring and disciplinary policies and procedures were standardized and published. Had this tension not been resolved (not to mention other issues here), the employees, having no loyalty to the new president, may have hesitated or resisted new leadership and limited the momentum of the company.
Professional Services Firm:
Employees May Know Best
In the open-ended comment section of this employee feedback survey, an employee noted: “I wonder if internal controls in purchasing are sufficient.” Management looked into this concern and indeed found they were inadequate – an employee had devised an elaborate and undetected kickback scheme. Surveys are not audits, nor intended to uncover fraud, but this illustrates the fact that organizations are made up of people, and one way to increase knowledge about an organization is to ask the people who work there.
Rita Casey, Ph.D.
Human Resources Consultant
Rita Casey, Ph.D.
Serving Clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and Nationwide by Phone and Email.