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Archive for the ‘Employee Surveys’ Category

The following blog post was written by Josh Elander, Research Associate at RMS.

Surveys are a premier research method for obtaining honest and effective feedback from consumers, but they’re also a valuable way to gain insights from your employees. We have a long history of conducting employee surveys for companies looking to gauge the satisfaction among employees on several workplace factors. Here’s what you can expect when you make the move to conduct an employee satisfaction survey, and why you should.

Your Employees Will Appreciate the Effort

One of most important aspects of the survey is to keep it anonymous. If you’re wondering why a survey of employees is necessary when you always tout an open-door policy with the management, it’s likely because giving feedback without anonymity may deter employees from speaking out. For this reason, collecting anonymous employee feedback through a third-party research firm gives them a chance to provide thoughts without any fear of repercussion. They’ll appreciate the chance to speak anonymously, and are more likely to give insightful feedback that is invaluable to your organization.

Identifying Areas of Strength

Employees have as much to benefit from offering feedback as the employer. By giving their take on what’s good, they can benefit from management building on it. Perhaps that Cinco de Mayo party was the highlight of the month – why not another fun event to boost morale? That new initiative to streamline meetings and conferences implemented a few months ago – turns out the employees find themselves more productive and appreciate the willingness to change the workplace environment for the better. These are the insights that will gauge what’s working, and what you can expand on.

The Good from the Not-So-Good

A reality of employee satisfaction surveys is that it may include constructive criticism. The fear of negative feedback often causes employers to question whether or not to pursue this type of research. While we realize it’s not easy to hear what employees would like to improve, it provides the organization with an opportunity to let employees know that their voice has been heard, and demonstrate the dedication of the company to improve their workplace environment. These are your employees, the lifeline of your organization. They’re willing to give insights into what frustrates them or makes their job more difficult, which should be interpreted as the prime opportunity for improvement. More often than not, these are minor issues that are simply overlooked. We have found that addressing these minor issues can lead to higher employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately boosting the company’s bottom line.

When your organization is ready to conduct employee satisfaction research, look for a team of experienced researchers who can provide actionable reporting from the results. The data should provide your organization with the recommendations needed to develop the next steps in enhancing your employee satisfaction and morale.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A community-based organization partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct an employee satisfaction study. The client wanted to better understand how happy employees were with the workplace, as well as identify areas of excellence and opportunity. The market research objective was to gather the insights needed to guide organizational improvements in order to increase employee satisfaction.

Approach: The study consisted of a survey that was sent to all employees. An online survey was crafted and sent to employees who had email access, and a paper survey was sent to those who did not. The survey was comprised of 33 questions and included five-point rating questions that measured various aspects of employee satisfaction with their jobs and the organization as a whole.  Additionally, RMS utilized benchmarking data which provided the ability to evaluate the client’s scores against national industry standards. To encourage a high response rate, RMS worked with the client’s human resources department to create digital signage to alert employees of the study. RMS completed fieldwork in approximately four weeks.

Result highlights:

  • Research revealed the highest and lowest rated factors among respondents which identified areas of excellence and opportunity. Respondents indicated the following factors as areas of excellence: willingness to work above and beyond, understanding of the organization’s goals, feeling that work was important, strongly identifying with the organization’s values, and that working at the organization was more than just a job. Areas of opportunities where the workplace could improve were: pay/benefits, availability of the tools/equipment needed, and overall communication.  These rankings are critical and allow the employer to develop initiatives that guide organizational improvement to create a more satisfied workforce.
  • The client was also interested in assessing how overall satisfaction, as well as other factors, varied by department. Results showed that overall satisfaction is higher among employees working in the development (77%) and administration (70%) departments, but lower among employees working in the programs (60%) and social enterprises (52%) departments. Overall, 84% of respondents would recommend the organization as a good place to work, a figure much higher than the industry standard (67%).
  • A correlation analysis revealed that several key factors correlated to overall employee satisfaction. This allowed the end-client to understand what factors have a strong relationship to employees’ overall satisfaction. The highest factors correlated to overall satisfaction were: overall communication, supervisor communication, and quality of work being a top priority among employees. Results demonstrated a need for improved overall communication and supervisor to employee communication. Additionally, the client should promote quality of work as a top priority among the organization as a whole.
  • Respondents were also asked to describe the organization using one word or phrase. RMS summarized this data using a weighted word cloud which enabled the client to compare and contrast employee attitudes. The top six words used to describe the organization were: good, work, rewarding, fulfilling, challenging, and community.
  • Employee satisfaction studies are a great tool to gauge how satisfied a workforce is at a moment in time. RMS recommended the client implement annual studies to track the progress of key metrics, engage employees, and provide a platform for anonymous employee feedback.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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Beautiful business woman stands on the front of business partners.

The following blog post was written by Mark Dengler, President & Owner of RMS.

This past spring RMS celebrated its “lucky” thirteenth anniversary. A lot has changed over the years. The market research industry is full of transition. Phone surveys that were once a staple in the industry are moving to online, internet-based tools. Detailed, multi-paged reports are being replaced with top level infographics. Two-month-long field studies are being shorted to one-week panel studies. All of this change is being driven by the dynamic, competitive environment that we are now living in. The one constant continues to be the need to have talented and committed people on staff that are flexible, smart and eager to deliver quality results for clients.

Passionate employees are sometimes hard to describe, but we know them when we see them. Though they certainly do not all look and act alike, there are common characteristics which include:

  1. Bringing their best self to work each day
  2. Possessing a desire to continuously improve
  3. Focusing on the opportunities, not obstacles
  4. Not being easily discouraged
  5. Sharing an optimistic view
  6. Being driven to do their best at whatever they do

We’ve noticed there is a direct link between strong employee engagement and organizational success. Fundamental to employee engagement is “passion.” One needs to find individuals who are passionate about what they do; individuals who get excited about their work and value to an organization. An organization cannot teach employees to have passion, they need to “discover” an employee’s passion and then cultivate a work environment that capitalizes on this passion to generate and celebrate employee value. In this way, you will build a team of “passionate employees” who will help perpetuate the company’s mission and vision.

Creating passion at work is everyone’s responsibility, but the leadership sets the tone for the entire team. We all do not know what tomorrow will bring to our companies. However, we can choose to set an example, to lead and inspire. Make being passionate a habit and it’s likely that you’ll soon reap the benefits of increasing employee engagement.

Use these five tips to improve employee engagement today:

  1. Appreciation: Give credit where credit is due. Recognition and praise is motivating, and your employees will be more engaged if they feel appreciated. Be specific and prompt about your gratitude and your employees will be motivated to keep verifying that they’re doing a great job.
  2. Motivation: Positivity radiates and stimulates others. If you lead with empathy and integrity, you’re prone to get better results from your employees. Employees who feel threatened or generally out-of-touch with their leaders are more apt to withdraw their efforts. Be a persuasive and inspirational leader to motivate your team to work toward a common goal.
  3. Encouragement: It is gratifying to feel the work you do is appreciated and important. People enjoy the feeling of helping with the success of the organization, and if that genuine feeling is missing, people tend to disconnect. Show your employees how their role fits the organization’s objectives. Encourage others to see the “big picture” and how their performance can affect the company and coworkers.
  4. Be Supportive: Feeling stuck at a job that promises no growth or advancement suppresses motivation and drive. Discuss with your employees the path they’d like to see their personal and professional lives take. By discussing and genuinely caring about their aspirations, you’re more likely to have a productive and loyal team member.
  5. Develop Trust: Employees need to be able to trust their leaders and open, concise communication is how that confidence is built. Avoid the negative impacts of being vague or indirect, which can ignite assumptions and rumors. Be as open as you possibly can, as often as you can, and you’ll find that managing expectations will be easier, whether it’s a stressful time within the organization or not.

Online employee surveys are a powerful means to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. If you’re interested in learning more about employee engagement and satisfaction research, please contact our Sr. Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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Difficult business problems require innovative ideas to solve them. Utilizing market research provides business decision makers with the insight needed to overcome these hurdles. Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) knows that when conducted appropriately, market research can have a generous return on investment (ROI).

110 m hurdles

Here are four examples for how market research can improve a business’ ROI:

  1. Understanding your market

Knowing your brand’s position and reputation is key to understanding your market. From here it is important to understand who your target audience is and what motivates them. It is also important to recognize how your target audience views your brand, and how that may differ from how leaders at your business view your brand. Knowing all of this will help your organization generate solutions geared towards your target market, as well as assist your organization in developing marketing that will effectively resonate with your target audience.

  1. Utilizing human resources effectively

As discussed in a previous blog, satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers.  One way to evaluate employee satisfaction is to conduct employee satisfaction surveys. Leave room in the survey to ask employees for ideas on how to improve business operations. Front-line employees are extremely underutilized when it comes to corporate insight and strategic planning.  Employees often see operational issues more clearly, and may have innovative ideas they have not yet communicated to business leaders.

  1. Improving your operations

In general, market research can help guide business operations through efficient and effective decision making.  Utilizing insights for decision making ensures that you aren’t wasting resources on plans that won’t be well received by your users.  Another way that market research can directly impact your operations is by segmenting your audience and identifying opportunities to better serve your market, while at the same time saving resources.  An example of this for retail is that some organizations have found certain customers prefer a self check-out.  Customers using these in addition to regular check-out lines decreases overall wait-times, and create an opportunity for staff to provide additional customer support, ultimately boosting sales.  Banking has found many opportunities in this area as well, through expanding features for online portals, smart phone applications, and self-serve kiosks.  Understanding customer preferences and segmenting audiences in this manner will help an organization generate a strategy that accommodates all users, while also taking advantage of more efficient platforms.

  1. Insight on your product/service offering

Research is a great tool when assessing consumer habits. Usage studies provide consumer insight to business decisions makers. The key is to ask the right questions that will help you understand how to be more valuable to consumers. Focus groups, feasibility studies, in-home usage testing (IHUTs), and longitudinal tracking studies are all examples of methods used in market research to evaluate products or services. Failed products like these (or these) could have benefited from additional market research to evaluate consumers’ perceptions, which may have saved their organizations from a costly product failure.

RMS is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in improving your business’ ROI, or learning more about how market research services can improve your organization, please contact the Senior Director of Business Development and Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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Employee surveys are critical to measuring organizational satisfaction. The process to conduct an employee survey is fairly straight-forward and simple whether you decide to manage it in-house or outsource the study. The surveys provide many benefits to top management beyond just the data returned.

Example of Employee Survey

Here are 8 benefits of using an employee survey:

  • Opens up a portal for feedback – using a company-wide survey done electronically or by paper gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion. This avenue to voice feedback may not have existed previously.
  • Gives everyone a chance to respond – an employee survey allows everyone to participate. Both the out-spoken ones and the quiet ones all count the same in employee surveying efforts – 1 complete each.
  • Identify areas of improvement – by analyzing the data, top management can determine specific areas that need to be improved at the organization (e.g., supervisors, pay, policies, etc.)
  • Departmental measurements – breaking down the data by department and by supervisors will help management get a better understanding of which areas are strengths and which areas need to be tweaked.
  • Enhanced communications – the survey in itself is a nice first step to fostering better communication. However, specific questions in the survey can address issues with communication from top management, supervisors, and/or peers.
  • Initiatives change – once you have the survey results, you cannot sit on them and employees know that. They expect the organization to change based on the feedback and the survey is the motivation for that.
  • Identify ways to motivate employees – an unrealized benefit of employee surveys is to better understand how to motivate and entice employees, ultimately leading to a more productive and efficient team.
  • Increased loyalty – employing the prior benefits and conducting yearly employee surveys, where issues are addressed and new policies are implemented, will result in a more satisfied and more loyal workforce.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is an employee survey vendor in Syracuse, NY. We assist organizations across the country with their employee survey efforts using both our proprietary EmPulse tool and customized employee survey scripts catered to your needs. If you are interested in conducting employee surveys with RMS contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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That is the number one factor in predicting overall satisfaction at the workplace according to a recent Best Places to Work study conducted by Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) in Baldwinsville, NY. RMS recently completed its 2nd annual CNY’s Best Places to Work Study in a partnership with BizEventz, the Business Journal News Network, and many local businesses in Central and Upstate NY. Each year the awards ceremony ranks top organizations in a 16 county area in New York State. A formal report is prepared for each winning organization by RMS which details how the organization ranks in relation to its peers, but the large pool of data collected also allows the RMS Analytics team to dig deeper to address more global findings across all organizations.

Employee Survey Vendor

With over 2,000 completes among participating organizations both small and large, it provides the opportunity for analysts to run additional analysis on the Central New York employment marketplace. The branded 52 question EmPulse employee satisfaction survey script allows RMS to address both importance and satisfaction in six key areas of employment:

  • Direction
  • Execution
  • Connection
  • Supervisors
  • Work
  • Pay & Benefits

Although “making your work more than just a job” can be considered self-fulfilling by some (because it is assumed people pursue jobs that match their skill-set and interests), the point should be well-taken by all organizations.

“Organizations should strive to create meaning behind employees’ work, whether it is helping a colleague, helping a business, or helping a stranger. Creating meaning and purpose behind day-to-day work will help form a stronger organizational passion and culture.”

Ranks of organizations for the Best Places to Work are determined by looking at a number of variables including overall satisfaction ratings, importance of each employment category, and scores for each of the specific questions.

“An enjoyable fact about our scoring process is we, as the analysts, don’t deem what is or should be most important to employees, nor does BizEventz or any other organization when deciding on a best place to work. We let the employees rank what is most important in the workplace and then let them deem how satisfied they are with each factor.” – George Kuhn, Director of Research Services and Moderator at RMS

Another factor that was highly correlated with overall satisfaction in the workplace was employees reporting their “supervisor listened and responded to employee ideas.” This had strong correlation ties in the data as those who were happy with this factor were more likely to report a higher overall satisfaction and vice-versa.

Best Places to Work

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a market research firm and employee survey vendor. All of the statistics collected in your EmPulse employee survey can be bench-marked to other similar company’s scores across the country. If you are interested in conducting an employee survey with RMS contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

 

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Employee engagement. Most business owners and Human Resource personnel know they need to have engaged employees, satisfied employees, and loyal employees to operate a team successfully. In order to truly gauge whether or not your organization promotes a healthy and positive culture for its employees, an organization must use quantitative metrics gained through employee surveying efforts. Anecdotal and “comment boxes” are simply not enough to see the whole perspective of your employee-base.

Employee Survey Vendor

Don’t let these barriers stop you from surveying your employees.

Yet why do so many organizations choose against conducting any type of formal employee surveying process? The reasons stem from a variety of factors in which this article will discuss in further detail. Here are 5 barriers to conducting employee surveys and why organizations choose to avoid them:

  • (1) Fear of receiving poor scores from employees – no one wants to be graded poorly in a satisfaction study whether it’s clients, employees, or the general public. Therefore, management at many organizations opt for the strategy of “what I don’t know won’t hurt me.”
  • (2) Fear of generating dissatisfaction – the employee survey should inquire about sensitive topics such supervisors, pay, and benefits. These are essential parts of the employee experience and need to be inquired about in the script to provide your leadership with a complete view of overall satisfaction. However, some leadership fears that employees will begin thinking about issues that didn’t exist until the survey brought those topics to their attention. For example, an employee might not think about “additional perks” provided at the office until they read the question on the survey and realized there may not be any.
  • (3) Fear of change and implementation – no employee surveying process is complete unless the organization is willing to make improvements and change based on the findings. Nothing will hinder employee morale more than if the data sits on a shelf and no action is taken. Addressing the data and its implications need to happen immediately following the survey efforts.
  • (4) A feeling that an employee survey is unneeded – you have an open-door policy at the office, a comment box, hold a yearly strategic planning meeting, and you conduct yearly evaluations so why do you need an employee survey right? Wrong! The vast majority of employees fear being truthful with supervisors especially in one-on-one and in group meetings. When a poor culture exists at a company, everyone knows it except top management and many employees feel there is no avenue to voice frustrations. So this fear comes from the employee, not the leadership team. By using an anonymous employee survey through a third-party expert like RMS, it will assure employees that the process is confidential. With any type of opt-in feedback like comment boxes, our research experience has proven you will receive data from the extremists in your organization – a) those who are really happy and b) those who are really unhappy. But what about everyone in-between? There views matter as well and these views can be uncovered through a mass survey.
  • (5) Fear of being overwhelmed by the employee surveying process or the data returned. The management of an employee survey does not have to be difficult. In addition to the benefit of confidentiality, using a third-party expert can also streamline the writing of a survey to answer key objectives, streamline the data collection process online through email, and streamline the analysis and reporting function for your management team. This should not be a barrier unless you are 100% sold on conducting the process in-house.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is an employee survey firm outside of Syracuse NY. RMS has conducts employee surveys across the country using its branded EmPulse tool and using customized survey scripts for clients. The RMS team has access to benchmarking data so your organization can compare employee scores to other organizations within your industry across the country. If you are interested in learning more about employee surveys with RMS contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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Employee surveys are one of the most eye-opening yet underutilized studies among organizations. There are many studies that reference the impact that employee satisfaction has on customer satisfaction. In fact, most human resource consultants would argue you should start with fixing the culture inside of your organization before pursuing an external research focus. Even though valuable feedback can be obtained from employees in a confidential and anonymous setting, businesses and owners fear getting graded from within.

Organizations have to be open and willing to receive criticism and feedback from all employees. The data will be invaluable to identifying your organization’s strengths and weaknesses and it will clearly identify what corrective actions need to take place to take your team to the next level.

how to conduct an employee survey in 12 steps

Thinking about receiving feedback from your staff through market research? Here is how to conduct an employee survey in 12 steps:

  • Identify key objectives and topics: What do you want to learn? What are your expectations? How will you use the results?
  • Identify your budget: Is this something you’ll do informally? Will you assign a team to manage? Will you look to outsource?
  • Look into hiring a third-party expert: Strongly recommended to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of the process.
  • Decide on a methodology: What is your staff profile? Can you conduct it online? On paper? Completed in-office or at home?
  • Decide on how the results will be used: Refer back to your objectives; the questions you ask are impacted by end-goals.
  • Write a script: Focus on scaled questions for comparison and statistical purposes, offer at least one open-end for comments.
  • Test the survey with stakeholders: Work with a close-knit stakeholder team to test wording, comprehension, and timing.
  • Launch fieldwork: Use a pre-awareness letter or email to detail your efforts before sending the survey online or by paper.
  • Tabulate and analyze results: Give employees ample time to respond and have a strategy for data entry for paper surveys.
  • Produce a report: Detail scores by each question, create themes of findings, and summarize greatest strengths and weaknesses.
  • Debrief with employees: You have many options here – full company retreat, departmental debriefs, supervisor debriefs, etc.
  • Determine next steps: Detail a plan of action and next steps for employees to address the results and implement change(s).

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is an employee surveying company located in New York State. If you are interested in receiving a proposal from RMS, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or call 1-866-567-5422.

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The 2014 CNY’s Best Places to Work awards marked the 2nd year in a row Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) partnered with BizEventz and the Business Journal News Network (BJNN) to manage the employee surveying process. RMS managed all of the data and analysis portions of the project leading up to the event held at the SRC Arena on Wednesday, May 28th at 7:30 AM. A total of 22 organizations were named top places to work in Central New York. A list of top 12 smaller employers (5 to 50 employees) and top 10 larger employers (51+ employees).

Employee survey vendor

Management of the employee survey involved numerous steps for the Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) staff including:

  • Contacting and emailing the head project lead from each registered company through the BizEventz website
  • Exchange of email addresses from the organization to RMS to allow for secure, confidential, and anonymous survey invites
  • Initial survey invitations to each and every employee in which an email address was provided
  • Multiple email reminders to employees to complete the survey (if warranted)
  • Regular updates to the head project lead at each organization to make them aware of participation rates for qualification
  • Data cleaning, verification, and auditing to ensure each organization’s responses were valid
  • Analysis on both importance and satisfaction questions to arrive at an overall rank for CNY’s Best Places to Work Awards
  • Syncing the data and analysis with our reporting tool to automate question-by-question breakdowns of statistics and a dashboard
  • Creation of word clouds to detail open-ended responses to the Best Places to Work survey
Best Places to Work Survey Example

Click to enlarge

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is an employee survey vendor located outside of Syracuse NY. Our team specializes in all types of employee surveys and we can customize a series of questions for your organization. All of our questions can be benchmarked to other organizations across the nation within your industry. RMS is a full-service market research firm that can also work as your consultant to conduct employee focus groups or one-on-one employee interviews. If you are interested contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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This article was featured in the Winter 2013/2014 edition of RMS News – a publication of Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Employee survey company

Need to conduct an employee survey? Contact RMS.

Here are five tips and tricks to having more effective employees in 2014:

  • (1) Right Roles for the Right People – Understanding your employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and likes and dislikes can go a long way in employee and employer satisfaction. Assessing staff using scenario based questions and having them show or explain how they would apply their knowledge in a specific situation can aid effective decisions.
  • (2) Clear Communication & Direction – Ensuring frequent and effective communication is crucial to the performance of an employee meeting and exceeding your expectations. Setting time aside every week to meet one-on-one and/or as a group is very productive with a focused meeting agenda. An employee who understands the direction of the company and its goals is more apt to help you with a valuable contribution above and beyond his/her regular job requirements.
  • (3) Remove Negativity – Purge negative talk because it drains energy from the organization. Negativity effects communication and morale within the company. Don’t let negativity be the kryptonite that cripples your organization.
  • (4) Hold Employees Accountable – Set clear objectives and timeframes for each project and hold employees accountable. Regularly scheduled evaluations are recommended. Grade on performance and reward success.
  • (5) Let People Be Super! – Once you’ve got your employees in the right positions, trust them. Enable them with tasks and projects that will allow them to show off their creativity and skills. Celebrate success.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse NY that specializes in employee surveys and employee research. If you are interested in an employee satisfaction survey, RMS has the ability to benchmark your data against other companies within your industry and across all companies nationwide. Read about our EmPulse survey here. If you have any questions regarding employee research contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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