BMG Research used its July 2019 omnibus survey to examine the prevalence of employee engagement activity and the impact this activity is perceived to have on delivering workplace improvements.

Two fifths (40%) of the employees we surveyed did not recall their organisation running an employee survey since they started working at their organisation. Even among those who have been at their current organisation for over 5 years this proportion is very similar at 38%. The ONS estimate that there are over 32 million people aged 16 and over in employment in the UK, that would be nearly 13 million workers who have not been asked how they feel about their working life. A place that most, spend more time at than at home!

In our view this represents a huge missed opportunity. Employee experience research if carefully designed can offer clear messages on issues as diverse as process and resourcing frustrations, gaps in internal communications, management competencies, barriers to innovation, employee’s resilience to change and workplace wellbeing. In short engaging with employees can provide insight that is potentially of mutual benefit to the organisation and to employees going forward.

Indeed, our research shows that 80% of the employees who do not recall their organisation running an employee survey would be likely to participate if their organisation ran one in the next 6 months. They want to have their voices heard!

At BMG Research we always retain a clear focus on providing fresh insight to help employers make improvements.  We do this by getting to know our clients in detail, exploring the challenges that they face and designing our consultation activity accordingly. But we know that this isn’t always the case.  Generic, benchmark-led question sets for example, can make it difficult to identify what changes need to be made and where.

The perils of poorly designed research and/or a lack of communications of findings and actions can be found in our research.  This shows that around a third (35%) of those who recall an employee survey within their organisation, agree that the survey made a real impact, with a similar proportion (33%) that disagree. Furthermore, 31% disagree that they felt their voice was heard and 27% disagree that action was taken based on the survey. More importantly 43% felt like the survey was a waste of time. Such figures clearly have implications for future research in these organisations, as time stretched employees are more likely not to take part if they do not think it will result in tangible changes.

If you want to find out more about best practice in employee research and our extensive experience of making a difference for our clients please contact Amy Boland (Research Manager) or Lee Cartwright (Employee Research Director)

Click here to view infographic survey results.

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