When to survey…
When you need frontline feedback from a mass amount of people. Get their feedback, then act.
When you want new and different ideas to help solve problems. Survey people and let them ask questions too.
When you want to assess culture, engagement or connect with people from far away. Use an assessment, then tell people what you learnt.
When NOT to survey…
When you know the feedback, but are too hesitant to act. Do not use a survey to get feedback you already know. It wastes people’s time.
When you have no plans to use other people’s ideas to help solve organization problems. You are doing it as a management feel good technique and it destroys trust.
When you know the culture or desired culture, but choose not to live the culture. Then do not do a survey, just live the culture and be the change you want to see in your organization or universe.
The worst example I ever saw of a survey is when someone did a lengthy values and engagement type survey amongst thousands of people, then never followed-up or acted on the survey. Months and years later, people still wanted to know the results of the survey. Imagine they still wonder.
Leaders of people can do better. I can do better. Be the change, connect with people who live the change you want to see and you will not see or feel any need to survey. Do that or just hide and send surveys. It will be easier for you and likely just as effective.
Lastly…if you know for sure you need to survey, check out CueZero. They are an Australia based start-up who brings transparency and responsiveness to the survey… Tell them you learned about them via the HR Hound.