Measuring employee engagement with a survey is the very definition of irony

How many surveys are you asked to complete each week?

I did the math and last week I was invited eight times to give my feedback. I declined all but one. The one that I accepted I barged through to find a question that related to what I wanted to say. I didn’t find it and I stopped the survey half way through.

In each instance, I had valuable feedback to share, however, I simply could not bring myself to spend 10 minutes on each one – every single survey would have been structured with the same set of question and rating response, maybe a bit of open text at the end IF I could stick with it. The more surveys are templated by the big global platforms, the less interested I am in using them to communicate with the brands I use and want to share my feelings with.

These words ran through my mind as I was deleting yet another request for my precious time: repetitive, static, formulaic, shallow, suffered and cynical.

In the employee feedback realm, has anybody asked employees how they feel about the annual feedback survey? Or the quarterly or monthly pulse? And when I say “feel”, I mean “how do they feel when asked to complete another survey?”. Perhaps we should add this question to the end of the next employee survey?
Where do we head next as an industry from surveys? Is there a better way? Why are we stuck in this rut? Is the data we get from surveys so good that we don’t care about the actual experience of completing a survey?
These are good questions to be asking.

I often spend my time thinking about a better way. I’m very fortunate that I work for a company that believes, like me, there IS a better way to get feedback about engagement than via a thoroughly disengaging survey process. Not only do we believe in it, we are doing something about it too.

Our solution is called EVE.

EVE has a dislike for surveys in their standard format and EVE prefers an engaging conversation and to listen to what people have to say.

I envisage a future where organisations are a network of empowered teams. Cross functional by therapeutic area. The relevant point is that using conversational AI as opposed to surveys, aligns to this. It is about lateralisation of accountability and solutions to organisational issues.

The high-level conceptual future where workplaces become self-managing and where management means enablement. 

A survey is, in my opinion, a top-down process imposed by management as a form of control. Conversational Engagement AI will democratise work and create higher levels of involvement and participation.
When I was a young graduate, I remember a wise man once told me that the art of Listening is possibly the most important skill in business to practice.

So true.

The game is changing, moving away from “it’s important to listen to feedback from your employees”;
taking employee feedback is now standard and expected…….
And moving to – “HOW do you listen to and engage with your employees?”
Surveys are analogue, the digital future is conversational.