The employee survey sounds like a dirty word in some circles. Unfortunately for the amazing providers, the survey has become a short hand for the lazy employer who fires out an automated survey once a year asking if employees like the workplace. When they say that, no, actually, they really don’t – the survey goes in the bin, never to return. No change, no investment, no point.

But surveys aren’t a bad thing when done right.

Of course, there is no silver bullet for any activity, especially in a complex workplace environment. But a survey can be a great thing, whether you’re at the start of your engagement and reward journey, or if you’re using a survey in tandem to other activities.

We spoke to Damon Bullimore, CEO of – a company who have been automating surveys for over 10 years.

“Smart employers know that productivity and staff happiness have never been so closely aligned. We are seeing a rise in employers who used to use surveys just to attract business and to upsell using the survey tool who are now using them internally.An example of a bad survey is one that we call the ‘firework’. You set it up, send it out, and then everyone carries on with their lives. No change, no investment and no interest. At we made surveys that can be sent out automatically because we knew they had to become part of the fabric of a business.

Too often surveys are sent out regularly to consumers, but internally, there’s no movement. A system that overcomes this can really help. Another ‘no no’ is just having HR monitor the survey. Employee engagement is not an HR initiative and although they might deliver a resolution plan, it has to be embedded at a senior level. Our system allows survey results to be delivered straight to senior teams, which increases investment internally. We’ve found many senior leaders want to get to the metrics of the survey – how many people think that our benefits package is sub-par – that type of thing. Drilling down is important, so we’ve made this possible. Employee surveys are absolutely not dead, just as for businesses they are a smart way to upsell, in the internal world. they’re driving value.”

Tips for an employee survey:

Ensure you are smart with incentives. Don’t incentivise it if you can’t manage it and keep a healthy level of distrust around any schemes to ‘rate a manager’ or a peer for a reward.

Communicate in between the survey. Don’t release a survey and ponder the resolutions in private meetings. Bring the issues to the forefront

Make a single measure. If you’re asking for ratings and measurements, no one should escape, from the CEO down to the apprentice. Every role and title should be visible and accountable.

Bad news can be good news. Even of the outcome seems dire – with huge percentages really hating your product, service or system, that can be used as a starting block to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Use your metrics as a starting block and motivate your team to work together – speak openly about change and your plans for investment.