Survey Systems Blog

National Customer Service Week--Are your Internal Customers Happy?

Posted by Jackie Jones on Oct 7, 2013 10:54:00 AM

 

customer satisfaction

October 7 through October 11 is National Customer Service Week—a week dedicated to boosting morale, awarding the “front line” service representatives, educating “the rest of the company” on the importance of customer service, and thanking “other departments” for their contributions and ongoing support, and, of course, letting (external) customers know how important they are. A lot to do in a week—and too bad we only spend a week doing it!  

Most employees can readily recite the company's customer related goals and objectives—but do they live them? The phrase “a happy employee means a happy customer” comes to mind. An executive I once had the pleasure of working with, and working for, always said that— “if I keep my employees happy, they will keep our customers happy.”  And, he was right. It was a service company, and a unhappy employee was exposed to many customers every day—unhappy turned to rude which could very quickly equate to lost business.

 

Happy Employees=Happy Customers


How happy are your employees? Are you sure? When was the last time an employee satisfaction survey was done? Asking an employee face to face does not necessarily provide the same information that a confidential employee survey would. Employees may feel uneasy or even threatened truthfully answering questions with a potentially negative response when asked face to face. But when they are allowed to answer anonymously, they find the courage to say what they are really feeling. Another vice president I once worked for was always confident that morale was high, and employees were happy—the total opposite of the truth. But, he was sure because he walked around once a month and asked the entry level employees questions. Imagine, an entry level employee, usually at their first job, being questioned by a Sr. Vice President—most of them could barely get a nervous hello out of their mouths when he came, to say nothing of reporting their feeling of being undervalued, or that there wasn’t enough light to do their work! So, of course everything was wonderful, when indeed it was not! A confidential employee survey could provide the information needed to improve employee satisfaction which would, inturn, improve customer service to the level desired, improve productivity, reduce turnover, improve morale, etc. 

Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Employee surveys, whether paper or on-line should not be voluntary. A random group of employees should be selected, (or the entire work force), to assure a good sampling of results. If done on a voluntary basis, only the very happy and the very disgruntled may respond, skewing the results. 

Employee satisfaction surveys should include some generic employee satisfaction questions, some questions specific to your company, as well as questions that might be considered your corporate weakness questions, or questions targeting issues that may exist within the corporation. Extreme care should be taken in the wording of the questions to assure that the questions are not biased or leading, or misleading, or even viewed by the employee as “trick” questions. Virtually all of the questions can be linkert style questions with ranking values. This type of survey can be easily created as a scannable paper survey form, or an on-line survey.  Results can be reported in a number of forms/programs, and easily tracked and compared year after year.

The survey should also include one or two free form questions or ask for comments, to be sure that all employee concerns are addressed.

Share the Results

Once the survey results are received, it is important that the information be shared with the participants or employee population for the following reasons:

  • Increased trust - The employees know that management is not trying to hide something; and are willing to address the issues.

  • Insure future participation - If the employees feel that their voice is being heard, they will be more likely to participate in the future.  If they feel that the survey results are not valued, they will not “waste their time” in the future.

  • Added accountability - Publishing the results will require addressing or responding to the issues. Employees will know that someone is assigned to work on those issues that can be “fixed.”

Employee satisfaction surveys should actually be done about once a year. This will allow comparison of results, the ability to measure the success of any programs implemented or changes that were made as a result of information from the previous survey.

An employee satisfaction survey that is confidential, not too lengthy and easy to complete can garner a lot of information that could ultimately be critical to the success of the branch or corporation. Employee attitudes impact the entire gambit of a business and spill over to the customer base on an ongoing basis. If your organization does not currently conduct employee satisfaction surveys, National Customer Service Week might be a good time to start the process. It really is true—HAPPY EMPLOYEES DO MAKE FOR HAPPY CUSTOMERS!

 

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Topics: Employee survey, paper survey, employee satisfaction survey, web survey

Employee Survey Data - Key to meeting EHS Objectives

Posted by Gary Wilson on Aug 1, 2013 3:31:00 PM

 

Emplopee survey

Your organization's EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) and sustainability performance is most affected by employees' behavior and this behavior is driven by the intangible aspects of your company's culture; culture that is not necessarily written down in policies, programs and procedures. All behavior is rewarded, whether it is desired or unwanted behavior, whether an employee recognizes it or not, whether a manager recognizes it or not, and it is the intangible aspect of employee perceptions, beliefs, values, motivations and attitudes that guide and drive employee behaviors. Every company encounters this situation and the question is whether employees' behavior supports your EHS and sustainability objectives and how your measure this behavior. One of the foundations of EHS and sustainability performance is employee behavior because without a deep understanding of employees it is possible that your objectives might never be met.


EHS AND SUSTAINABILITY EMPLOYEE SURVEY What Survey Systems can do for you!

Survey Development & Administration

Employee surveys are a great tool to use in order to understand your employees' behavior, morale and motivation. They can help gauge if the perception of your workplace is in line with how employees feel about working there. They can evaluate many different things, but most commonly measure whether employees are receiving constructive feedback, if there are opportunities for job growth, the level of teamwork, quality of the work, whether employees understand the company mission and purpose, and the degree of work-life balance. Along with these items, focused surveys can also let you know employees' perception of its organization EHS and sustainability program.

The most successful employee surveys ask tough questions and address company pain points, rather than seek confirmation of areas you already believe to be strengths. This way, they not only build trust within an organization, but also help create EHS and sustainability goals the company can strive for together.

As you set out to do your employee survey, here are suggestions and how you can make sure it's useful for you:

1. Be prepared to do something with the results. If you ask employees to go through the exercise and then do nothing with it, you're guaranteed to disappoint them, and discourage them from participating next time. If you do EHS and sustainability surveys regularly, be sure to routinely recognize achievements and convey that you're working together toward achieving stated goals.

2. Explain honestly why you're conducting the EHS and sustainability survey and make it clear that, although the data will be carefully assessed, unfortunately not every issue that employees mention will be addressed.

3. Make sure employees know that all data is confidential. If employees think their answers are going into 'files,' their responses are less likely to be honest. Using generic customized survey forms is one way to insure anonymity or contract with a third party that can host an online version of the survey independent of the organization.

4. Conduct your survey at your facility. If a survey is held off-site, it relays a message that it's not safe to be honest or critical at work. That message undermines any value from the results.

5. Ask all employees to respond to your survey, or randomly select those who will. It is not a good practice to allow employees to self-select to participate. If you do, you'll find that only very satisfied or highly dissatisfied and those highly communicative employees will sign up. Your less approachable staff is guaranteed to be unrepresented. To encourage participation, remind employees how past survey results have helped to implement specific changes to the organization's EHS and sustainability programs.

6. Make sure the employee survey is something that translates into measurable results and tangible action. Employees won't groan when you ask them to complete another survey because they'll look forward to making their voices heard.

Sharing Survey Results – Last, But Not Least

Sharing the EHS and sustainability survey results with employees is the last but a very important step. The messenger and the means of communicating these results are very important and will send an underlying message to employees about the importance of your EHS and sustainability program.

Conclusion

Recognizing and managing employees' behavior is critical to understanding and managing EHS and sustainability performance. Performance is driven by this behavior, and employee behaviors are driven by the focus that the organization places on EHS and sustainability objectives that are not necessarily written down in policies, programs and procedures. Understanding employees' behavior from survey data and other types of interactions should allow an organization to reshape and manage progress toward the achievement of your EHS and sustainability objectives.


Topics: Employee survey, Survey Systems, Customized Scan Form

EHS Program - Confidential Employee Feedback with OMR forms!

Posted by Gary Wilson on Feb 19, 2013 10:46:00 AM

An essential part of any EHS (environment, health & safety) Program is a survey that can be answered anonymously by all employees. Data collected from this survey helps Management understand the level of employee engagement, strength of their EHS program and the employees’ view of the company leadership commitment to EHS. Paper based, scannable surveys are the best method to use to insure that employees can express their opinions to specific questions openly and feel secure that there will not be any "blow back" on any of their responses.

A employee survey designed with OMR technology is still one of the best and most reliable ways to collect this type of information and turn it into actionable data. This technology lends itself to those situations where it is important to fully understand how the employees honestly feel about the EHS program. A successful EHS program is based on partnership between employee and management with performance predicated on the degree of trust and commitment among all members of a facility workforce.

MANUFACTURING SAFETY SURVEY (FORTUNE 500 COMPANY)

Over the past 2 ½ years, one of the largest operating divisions of a Fortune 500 copies with multiple domestic and international facilities has been using OMR customized forms to collect EHS survey information from their employees. These surveys are conducted repetitively every 9 to 12 months in order to gather employees’ feedback on how their issues and concerns about safety are being addressed over time.

Employee Survey

Each of the 65+ facilities has unique organizational or operational characteristics that are addressed with surveys designed specifically for each location. Employees in all categories are required to participate in the survey process as part of regularly scheduled events such as group or department level meetings. Using an OMR customized survey form that all employees can complete in a single setting is the best method for collecting feedback from the maximum number of employees in a timely manner. At most facilities and given the diverse population of employees (factory workers, clerical, engineers, management, etc), paper surveys have and will continue to be the method of choice for collecting safety information within this division.

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Topics: Employee survey, OMR customized form, OMR