Employee Survey - Perception of the Quality Program here at our company



Employee Survey

I was thinking about sending out a survey to the employees on their preception of the quality program here at our company, to try and get an idea as to how they feel about quality and what they want to see as far as continuous improvements to the systems. Has anyone tried this approach? Was it benificial? Is there a form you used that worked? What are the draw backs? Thanks in advance for your help!!!!!

E Wall

Just Me!
Trusted Information Resource
This is the 'rule-of-thumb' advice I was given about surveys (and I think it should apply as aptly to workers):


Start by surveying the people closest to the work. They are intimately familiar with the process and know the most about the waste, problems, and complexities. Prepare a list of questions that concentrate on the problems caused by the process itself. Don’t get mired in the problems caused by individuals or personality differences. Test three operators and see if the questions are effective in getting at the waste. Also encourage a general discussion of the process.

Conduct informal surveys if a process has a few operators. For large groups, follow up the informal survey with a written survey. Besides designing the survey questions to find out what you want, you need to:

1) Explain the purpose of the survey.
2) Tell what you plan to do as a result of the survey.
3) Give the results to the people surveyed.
4) Do what you said you were going to do in item 2.

These steps are important to obtain honest, open responses and to keep the respect and support of those being surveyed.

· Design surveys of internal and external customers not just to discover problems, but also to determine how you can better meet customers’ needs and wants. Be prepared to respond promptly to any concerns customers express. To avoid being overloaded, and to learn by experience, start with one or two smaller customers.
· Survey internal and external suppliers in a similar manner. Learning how to work with suppliers as a team will benefit you both. Both parties can eliminate waste by learning each other’s needs and working together.

Points to Remember

· The purpose of a survey should be to find the waste of material, capital, time, energy and talent, and from lost sales or opportunities.
· Make sure participants understand the purpose is to find troubles in the process and not to blame individuals.
· Communicate survey results to participants promptly.
· The overall objective of the survey is to get suppliers, operators and customers of a process working as a team to eliminate waste, problems, and complexities.

Good luck!

[This message has been edited by E Wall (edited 17 July 2001).]

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
A few things come to mind.

When conducting employee surveys such as this, you must consider the consequences of this action BEFORE you do this. Too often, surveys like these backfire even under the best intentions.

Often, the follow-up with the employees is where disaster strikes. They are giving you precious feedback and in return, they expect the same. You must have solid plans to give them feedback and you MUST execute on them. Give this area a lot of thought before doing anything else. Feedback must be timely or else it is often pointless and detrimental.

Firstly, most of the employees responding are not in a position to make change for improvement happen. They will swamp you with opinion and suggestions. Management must be ready to act on this data. They are the only ones who can make change and improvement reality (keep in mind change and improvement are very different concepts). Is management in your corner on this? They need to be.

Second, what is it that you want to know? What does management want to know? Brainstorm to determine what this is. Prioritize and categorize the questions. Do you want to use a rating system or do you want to use open-ended questions? Keep in mind that if you use a rating system, your definitions as to what something means must be agreeable to those receiving the survey as much as those giving it. For example, does “good” mean the same to both? It has to in order to validate the data.

There are many canned surveys out there, some as you might suspect are better than others. In my limited experience, I would target a good book on preparing a survey and read it through. Perhaps read a few books and review some of the canned stuff. In particular, I would direct you to two books written on Customer Satisfaction, one written by Hayes and the other by Vavra. My personal favorite is the one by Vavra. Then pass this book around to others who will contribute to the design of the survey. They will need to know the ins and outs.

As you can see, this is a lengthy process. Still, you are thinking correctly. Those organizations that are willing to take your suggestion to its pinnacle are generally those who have something very special to offer everyone. They endorse TQM.

Good luck!!


Top Bottom