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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWorkplace EngagementThe Trouble with Benchmarking for Employee Engagement Surveys

The Trouble with Benchmarking for Employee Engagement Surveys


I am often asked by prospects and clients about benchmarking for employee engagement surveys.

Here are the key things we need to accept:

  1. Surveys are very sensitive to the companies in the survey.
  2. Surveys are very sensitive to the items in the survey and the order in which they are asked.
  3. Surveys are very sensitive to “non-employee engagement” questions such as those around compensation and benefits.
  4. Surveys are a point-in-time measure; using data from other surveys done at different times can be a challenge.
  5. Surveys are more about giving the employees a voice so they can feel listened to and valued.
  6. Every company has unique characteristics (industry, internal culture, strategic alliances, and so on) that impact the perspective of employees; this makes comparisons across industries, or even companies, difficult.

An article by David Bowles, Ph.D., titled “A Troubling Issue in Consultants’ Employee Engagement Trend Data: Why Do They Disagree?” discusses this very issue. Click here to access the article.

The bottom line from this article (and you won’t get much argument from the vast majority of practitioners in employee engagement) is that you truly can’t compare from one survey to the next.

Employee engagementHow to Use an Employee Engagement Survey Effectively

The key to surveying is to take a point in time and measure it. You use the results to start a dialogue, and then to take action.

Once you’ve taken action on the results, you must measure again so you know how well you are doing.  Ask yourself whether you’re getting traction with the plans you put in place.

Measuring employee engagement is like going for your annual check-up.  It gives you a baseline to start making change. The rest is up to you. 

Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. 

>> Workplace Engagement Insights offers standard and customized employee engagement surveys to suit your organization’s specific needs. Contact us now to get started.

Start engaging your employees right away. Get access to my FREE cheatsheet for improving employee engagement in just 10 minutes!

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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