Often, the best way to find out what people think of something is to ask them. Businesses are advised to get to know customers through surveys and other tools that get at the heart of what they want and do not want.
While surveys are the go-to technique for finding out things about a defined population, they have problems. How many people have had a brief sinking feeling when completing an online purchase and seeing a customer survey pop up? Online surveys promise they will not take much time, but sometimes they do.
When it comes to answering surveys, people want to know, “What’s in it for me?” That is why many retailers and other organizations offer some sort of compensation for answering a survey. Perhaps participants get a discount code or are entered into a prize drawing. People also crave anonymity, particularly if the organization presenting the survey is their employer. How can they be sure their answers will not be traced back to them? To succeed with the employee survey app, you must first build solid trust with employees.
Here Is What Happens in Groups That Lack Trust
Business strategist Christine Comaford points to brain research by scientists at UCLA indicating that the brain has both a “pain network” and a “reward network.” Both are necessary, and both make sense in the right context. Your pain network is piqued when you experience physical or psychological pain, unfair treatment, or negative social comparison. Your reward network comes to life when you feel pleasure, safety, cooperation, and a sense of belonging and being treated fairly.
Groups can evolve so they stimulate the pain network more than they stimulate the reward network, and when this happens there are negative consequences. For one thing, when group leadership asks for feedback, they either will not get it or what they do get will be untruthful. Why answer honestly when your honesty will be punished, right? For another, group and individual vision can become seriously misaligned. Finally, delegation will fail more, because people fear micromanagement and assume that if they do the job they are asked to, it will somehow be “wrong.”
Why Employees Are Skeptical of Employee Surveys
Employees may be skeptical of employee surveys because their work group dynamic depends on activation of group members’ pain network. They may also fear employee surveys because they worry that if they are honest, their words will come back to hurt them. It is essential that any organization that wants to survey members and get meaningful results be built on a foundation of trust.
Employees need to trust that participating in a survey will not be a waste of their time and that they can be candid without fear of retribution. You cannot build trust overnight, but there are several things you can do if you want to conduct an employee survey and get results you can hang your hat on.
Building Trust for More Comprehensive, Believable Survey Results
If an organization has a track record of retribution against people who speak out, it can take significant time to turn things around and develop genuine trust. However, for the ordinary organization that employees mostly believe is trustworthy, it is still wise to emphasize trust in the lead-up and follow-up to deploying an employee survey. Ensuring confidentiality can be done by having an independent third-party administer a survey and tally the results, or it can be done with technological tools, such as the employee survey app.
Why the Employee Survey App Is Such a Great Tool
The employee survey app can address many of the pitfalls that people associate with surveys. If they are designed with skill and care, they will not take much time to complete, and if it is the app itself that collects and reports the results, steps can be taken to reassure participants that their responses are and will remain confidential. With an app, there are no worries, for example, that someone tallying written responses will recognize a survey participant's handwriting.
Surveys are immensely valuable in organizations where there is sufficient trust between employer and employee. Administering them with an employee survey app offers clear advantages over doing so in other ways. With hubEngage, you can develop a custom employee app that does exactly what you want it to, including delivering content, offering news and training modules, and soliciting feedback. Since the app itself does the analytics, it is easier for employees to be honest and candid. We encourage you to try the hubEngage app for free and see the possibilities for yourself.