The problem with employee engagement surveys – June 2011

Knowledge @ Australian School of Business

“Employee Engagement Surveys: Is Your Team Ticking Five To Survive?”
By: Chris Sheedy
Editor: Deborah Tarrant
1700 words

High-scoring employment engagement surveys make managers feel good because they suggest staff will apply discretionary effort, ultimately improving productivity and promoting growth. Bosses' bonuses also may depend on those stellar results. But many companies use desultory tick-a-box engagement surveys that are filled out by employees under pressure to "tick five to survive". Measurement of engagement needs a rethink as real value only comes from data that shows an organisation's true climate, suggests Julie Cogin, Head of Organisation and Management at the Australian School of Business. She warns that half-hearted survey efforts may be worse than none at all.

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