Why are employee surveys still needed?

The phrase “employee survey” sounds somehow old-fashioned. It makes one think of questionnaires that are forced on the personnel, asking a bit of this and a bit of that. One could well ask whether these surveys lead anywhere, and whether their results are being read, or whether they are needed any longer. Would it not be enough that the personnel’s feelings would be measured once a month, say, with a “vibe meter”?

The nature of work is changing

We live in a world that’s changing at breakneck speed. Digital development is opening up all manner of new possibilities. Globalisation and new work are forging a new kind of working life. At present, it’s estimated that technology could replace as many as 50 percent of the work hours done by humans. What kind of working life will we be seeing five years from now, and in ten years?

People’s attitudes and expectations of working life are undergoing a sea change. What the younger generation expect from work is completely different from what their parents expected in their own day. There is no longer much consideration of long careers with the same employer. Work is increasingly seen as a channel for realising oneself, and as a means of fulfilling one’s own ambitions through various endeavours that have the character of projects.

People create success – is leadership needed?

Some brave souls have even questioned the existence of leadership. Is it needed anymore? Aren’t bright people able to take responsibility themselves for what they do?

In the future, artificial intelligence will enable routine tasks to be transferred to robots, and work will become ever more project-oriented. In the years to come, the work done by humans will be ever more challenging. The realisation of one’s ambitions through one’s work is a wonderful opportunity. How will all this work out, and is there a need for leadership in such a world?

Research shows that employee engagement is behind any successful company. It is also known that one of the key elements of engagement is quality leadership.

When people are expected to take on more and more responsibility, and to produce stronger results through the intelligent planning of their own work, management will have to be able to support this development. I would argue that in this development, leadership will become even more important than it is now. As working life becomes increasingly fragmented, and as change becomes a permanent state, it is ever more important for a company to succeed in creating order and a framework for the company’s operations. Research shows that employee engagement is behind any successful company. It is also known that one of the key elements of engagement is quality leadership.

Employee surveys create the framework for leadership

Let’s rewind to the start. What are employee surveys really needed for? To my relief, this question is no longer asked as frequently as it was a couple of years ago. Employee surveys create a clear framework for leadership, and show its growing importance in a continuously changing world.

Employee surveys are a tool for communicating and measuring common intent, and for identifying cultural strengths and areas that need development.

Employee surveys are a tool for communicating and measuring common intent, and for identifying cultural strengths and areas that need development. A high-quality employee survey identifies the present stage of the journey, and what must be done to keep things on a successful route, with a clear direction and goals.

Putting the surveys to use is a core part of continuous development work

And do the surveys lead anywhere? Based on the survey, the organisation’s main development targets are identified and evaluated at different levels. Development targets are broken down into everyday actions that are monitored and supported. Making good use of the results a well-executed employee is an integral part of an organisation’s development – and it is the most important phase of the survey!

High-quality employee surveys include elements for developing both strategic and practical work. In the best case, conducting and making use of employee surveys are linked to form an integral part of the organisation’s annual development. Of course, feeling meters are needed too, but as part of an intelligently thought-out system.