Summer is weirdly great for employee engagement surveys

The main goal of an employee engagement survey is to discover what drives your unique group of employees, so you can engage quickly with them. The curious details are that the best time to discover what drives your employees is often during the Summer months.

A large number of companies avoid making this kind of survey during Summer, as employee vacations are common and businesses often slow. But something else happens during this time of the year; as urgent operational crises often become less frequent, you get a more stable and accurate glimpse into employees’ motivations to keep working as they do in your company.

According to Mark Murphy in an article published by Forbes: If your company gets slammed with an onslaught of customer orders in the Fall, it is a good thing. But on the other hand, it’s likely to increase employee frustrations and burnout. Now, if you conduct an employee engagement survey during that time, are you likely to discover employees’ underlying motivations, or are you picking up their current workload-related frustrations?

As you might imagine, you’re likely picking up their frustrations stemming from the intense workload. Of course, that’s valuable information to have, but those temporary and exogenous shocks are probably masking employees’ underlying issues. And if you hope to make a lasting change and improvement in employees’ engagement, you need to understand the underlying factors.

Data from the online test, “How Good Is Your Employee Engagement Survey?,” reveals that only 22% of companies are actually getting good results (i.e., increased scores) from their employee engagement surveys.

One of the reasons that companies fail to see improvements is that they’re often looking at employee responses that are heavily influenced by one-time or temporary situations. If an employee gets into a fender-bender on their way into the office, that could drastically and negatively skew their perceptions for the rest of the day, if not the rest of the week. That’s natural and understandable, but what if it happens right as you’re conducting your engagement survey? That’s what it’s like when you survey employees during periods of intense workloads.

Operations and workloads during the Summer months often slow a bit for many companies, and that’s good. You want to assess how employees feel about your corporate values, their leader’s coaching, the efficacy of performance management processes, or the transparency of the executive team.

For example, research shows that the extent to which a leader takes an active role in helping employees to grow and develop their full potential can be a major driver of employees’ engagement. Similarly, the extent to which leaders hold people accountable to the company values can be a big predictor of engagement. And the list goes on.

The problem is that during times of unusually intense stress (like during abnormally high workloads), it’s tough to assess which of those issues is most important for your unique group of employees.

Of course, measuring employee engagement during peak workloads is much better than not measuring employee engagement at all. But the point is that you’ve got an opportunity right now, during what is probably a bit of a slowdown, to get an even better measurement of your employees’ engagement. And by measuring engagement now, you could be taking steps to ameliorate employee frustrations when workloads inevitably spike again in the Fall.

At eSmart Recycling, we realize how important it is to strive to ensure a safe work environment for everyone because it improves productivity and competitiveness between co-workers and companies.

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