Employee engagement surveys provide valuable data to managers about levels of commitment and satisfaction among the employee culture. But should you spend valuable resources conducting a survey during bad times? The answer is “absolutely”! It may be tempting to cut survey expenses in tough economic times but such a decision may be short-sighted and costly in the long term. Employee Engagement surveys provide management with valuable data about voluntary turnover intentions and your employees’ current state of mind. It is a behavioral indicator of performance (Van Rooy et al. 2011) and discretionary effort. Pulling the plug on employee surveys to save money may be tempting but it sends a message to the employee culture that their views and opinions are only wanted when responses are likely to be positive. I call this, “the fair weather survey syndrome”. Sending any message to employees that their views and opinions are not wanted can lead to a high risk, Culture of Silence (Bogosian, 2011).
A lot has been written about company cultures in the past. But now, more than ever, shaping a winning culture is an essential ticket into the competitive advantage game. If you work in an organization, there IS a culture and probably many sub-cultures. You most likely discuss culture dynamics with your peers, your boss and your employees, if you have them.