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Where do we focus our internal survey efforts?

You can't run too many internal surveys or ask too many questions so there's a limited number of themes you can collect data on via an internal survey. Performance, culture, engagement, wellbeing... they're all deeply intertwined. But, if we try to focus on all four at once, we likely spread our efforts too thin across multiple objectives and end up with no tangible change across any of them. The following looks at why you might like to consider focusing on wellbeing over others to make the biggest impact on your organisation:

  1. It’s a true gauge of culture: The genuine sentiments of people offer the truest and most unfiltered insight into culture.

  2. It drives performance, engagement and culture: If we don’t feel cared for it’s hard to embrace culture and perform well. In conditions where we feel genuinely cared for, optimal culture, engagement and performance naturally emerge.

  3. It’s harder to communicate and observe: Most performance metrics are readily observable. It’s the feelings that sit beneath this that are harder to detect for leaders and less likely to be communicated by people unless they have a safe space to do so.

  4. It allows for immediate and targeted feedback: Understanding how people really feel yields more specific and immediate feedback than other metrics. It also encourages serious concerns to be shared and given the specialised attention they warrant.

  5. It builds trust and culture: Demonstrating a genuine interest in how people feel and supporting that builds trust. It’s not passively collecting feedback, it’s building a safe space for people to share feelings, to be heard and know that their feelings won’t be dismissed or used against them.

  6. Risk management and compliance: Mental health is now integrated into health and safety standards so it’s beneficial for leaders to focus their data collecting, reporting and improvement efforts in this area to mitigate risk. The aim here is to ensure your organisation isn't causing or exacerbating mental health issues.

  7. A focus on other areas can erode trust: People can perceive performance, engagement, and culture surveys as tools for the organisation. This erodes trust. But wellbeing surveys can be seen as an initiative that genuinely cares for the individual.

It's essential to note that prioritising one area doesn't mean neglecting the others. A holistic approach ensures that while the main focus might be on wellbeing, other areas like performance and culture aren't neglected. This article was designed to highlight why focusing on people's wellbeing in internal surveys might take priority over any other area. We are big believers that optimal engagement, performance and culture emerges when people feel genuinely valued in an organisation.