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Just how long does it take to run an engagement survey?

December 8, 2010

We're launching an engagement survey tomorrow (Thursday) and will be reporting back to the client on Friday. Yes, the whole thing will be completed in two days. Is that a record?

I don't know the answer - but it certainly feels like a first to us. But what’s the point?

This and a number of other questions no doubt come to mind - why would anyone want to do that? Is it logistically possible? And what kind of faith can one have in the findings?

Why? A large business is up for sale and the prospectus is being submitted to the markets next week. The business is largely service orientated and its employees are the primary asset. A positive set of numbers, describing the levels of employee engagement, will add substantially to the value of the equity.

Is it logistically possible? The relevant employees are all on line so there’s no problem sending a link to all of them, inviting them to participate. AS long as the pre-survey communication has been effective – i.e. people know what the it’s all about, understand the rationale, that it’s confidential and that there will be feedback, there should be no problem in securing their active involvement.  Especially given the benefit of a good response.

Will the findings be valid? This is a key question. It could be argued that if the future of the business and the jobs of its employees depend on a positive set of findings, the data may be skewed. A lot of effort has gone into minimising this effect by designing a question set that asks about life and work in the business at different times, as well as the present.

Both we and the client are optimistic that there will be a positive outcome, despite the exceptionally short deadline.

Normally, we advise that an engagement survey takes around three months to complete. So can it be done in 48 hours?

We think so, but we’ll report on the result in a future blog.

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