Employee Research

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  • Track employee engagement in your organisation

  • Identify strengths and opportunities for improvement

  • Build trust and commitment in the organisation

  • Compare engagement from one department with another

  • Compare engagement in your organisation to industry norms*

  • Use the McNair standard questions or add your own special questions

  • Use the research results to build engagement and increase productivity in your organisation!

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The most common questions that arise when an organisation considers employee research are:

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  • What questions could we ask that will make a difference?
  • What if some questions stir up issues that didn’t exist before?
  • Will our employees answer honestly?
  • How do we act on the results?

McNair Ingenuity Research has conducted a range of surveys amongst employees in Australia and have the solutions to all these problems.  We work with organisations to assess what issues can reasonably be addressed, and design a draft questionnaire for your approval.  We will also advise you about issues that can be benchmarked against our overall database.

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Meaningful Measurements

At McNair Ingenuity Research we suggest a core set of measurements for tracking employee engagement.  These measurements are based on the body of literature in this field, as well as learning from myriad organisations we have worked with on employee engagement. Like most employee engagement surveys, nearly all the questions are in the form of statements that employees must rate according to whether they agree strongly, agree somewhat, neither agree nor disagree, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with each. Those core measurements are as follows:

Measurement Factors
Respect and ValueEmployees need to feel both respected and valued in the workplace.  Respect is around being recognised in terms of their personal needs, competencies and experience that they bring.   Being valued is one step beyond this, because it acknowledges their unique skills and talents, particularly in connection to how these contribute to the organisation’s general good.
Two way communicationOpen communication is at the core of every work place.  This  requirement manifests in two ways;

  • The need for managers to clearly communicate information that employees need to do their jobs well, to communicate the expectations they have of employees, and to communication recognition (eg: respect and value)
  • Employees need to be able to communicate needs, ideas and information to their managers without fear of retribution.
FairnessThe notion of fairness is a core part of the Australian psyche, and research shows that this is strongly reflected in the workplace.  Employees readily accept change or increased demands if they feel they are fair.  Australian employees respect a manager who is ‘tough but fair’.  This sentiment does not always play a big part in employee engagement measures overseas, and is a reminder of the need to use local approaches in Australia.
EmpowermentThis measurement of engagement determines whether employees feel they have the resources and input to do their job well.  If the results of this offer room for improvement, it needs to be determined whether the employees are actually under resourced, or whether they have the perception that tools or support they require is not at their disposal.
Fear and RetentionThere are sometimes moments when employees are in fear of losing their jobs.  Sometimes managers communicate in a way that is intended to instill this emotion in their employees, perhaps because they believe that the employee will improve their performance in some way as a results of this, or because they want to intimidate an employee into leaving.  Research shows that neither approach works for either purpose!
Going the Extra MileOne of the most important aspects of employee engagement is measuring commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty.  The question we use for this is generalised to encourage respondents to answer realistically.
Satisfaction and RecommendationAt the top of the engagement measure hierarchy is both how satisfied (or happy) employees are, and whether they would recommend to others to work there as well.  Not only do these contribute to the overall engagement measure, but these factors also contribute to the analysis of the other factors described above.  By looking at the correlation between ‘recommendation’ of a workplace and each of the other engagement measures, we can determine which aspects of the workplace will be most effective at increasing engagement. Sometimes a little more effort in the areas that already have high scores can be more effective that working on elements that have low scores.
Demographics It is valuable to compare the results of the employee engagement research amongst different segments of the workforce, and amongst relative newcomers, compared to those that have been with the organisation a long time.  These measures also allow you to compare the profile from one part of the organisation to another, as well as with other organisations.   The distance from work to home is a key (and often under-valued) indicator of employee retention.
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Managers and Organisations

There is an important distinction that needs to be made in organisational research between the relationship with the organisation, and an employee’s relationship with their manager or supervisor.  We recommend asking some questions in two ways, one about the organisation generally, and the other about the employees manager.  The results of this approach clearly identify corporate versus team issues.

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One of the first things that employers want to know when they see the results of an employee survey is how they compare with other organisations.  We utilise a few standard questions on most employee surveys so that we can report results against established benchmarks based on a number of organisations.   At McNair Ingenuity Research we have established benchmarks for many of the measurements above.

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A key aspect of getting reliable results from an employee survey is ensuring that the participants feel confident that they can respond honestly.  This means:

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  • Participants must be absolutely confident that their employer will not see what answers they gave.
  • Participants must also be confident that their responses cannot be divined by inference.

This means that results are reported only to a level that maintains anonymity for respondents.  After all, one of the key reasons for outsourcing an employee survey is so that you get unbiased feedback by ensuring staff of the confidentiality of their responses.

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How the McNair Employee Engagement Survey is Conducted

The McNair Employee Engagement survey is usually conducted as an online survey.  To use the McNair Employee Engagement survey, all you have to do is:

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  • Contact us, and arrange for your organisation to be part of the survey.
  • Request any additional questions that you might require for your organisation.
  • We will supply you with a set of web links, one for each employee, for you to send out as an invitation for your team to do the survey.
  • Alternatively, we can send the invitations to your employees by email, or, if they don’t have email, we can send out self-completion questionnaires that can be folded up and posted back to us.
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How we deliver the results of the McNair Employee Engagement Survey

The results of McNair Ingenuity Research employee surveys are provided in 3 ways:

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  • A management report and presentation
  • Electronic reporting, allowing clients to mine the survey results for interesting patterns
  • Team and conference workshops
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Flexible and Efficient

The McNair Ingenuity Research Employee Engagement research system provides organisations with employee research in a very flexible and efficient way, whilst still offering the optional extras of customized research, consulting and workshop development.

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Working the results with the team

It is important that the results of employee research are always pitched in a positive way, even when there are many opportunities for improvement.  Employees need to be confident that they can always answer honestly, and that answering honestly will result in improvements.   Generally if a team, department or division answer in a way that offers a lot of potential for improvement the issue needs to be addressed amongst the management team.

McNair Ingenuity Research work with organisations to present the results in the best possible way, and to help teams workshop improvements.