Hi there! Greetings from beautiful Boulder, Colorado. I’m Damema Mann with National Research Center, Inc. (NRC). Thanks for tuning in again. If you have caught any of my last vlogs, you know so far I’ve been talking to you about The National Citizen Survey TM (The NCS TM) and resident surveys that we do for local governments. Today I wanted to switch gears and talk to you about employee surveys.
Employee surveys are really important for local governments to conduct. Any highly functioning organization, whether it be local government or private sector, is really only as good as the employees who work there. You need competent employees. You need employees who are happy to be at work and are motivated to do their best every day. One way to help ensure that is happening, or to diagnose potential problems in an organization, is to conduct employee climate surveys.
We here at NRC, years ago, developed The National Employee SurveyTM (The NESTM). It’s another one of our benchmarking surveys as well as one of our standardized survey products. We are also partnered with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) on The NES as we are on The NCS. Today I wanted to go over five reasons I think The NES is such a great tool and why I’m passionate about it.
The NES is a really great tool is because the survey is conducted by a neutral third party: us the survey research experts. A lot of jurisdictions like to have HR departments doing employee surveys in-house. However, doing your own employee survey in-house can raise questions with employees. They can feel like it’s not confidential, that people know exactly who is saying what, etc. We respect the hard work HR departments do. However, employee surveys are not the best task for them as these types of assessments present a conflict of interest.
As with any survey confidentiality and anonymity is important, but especially so with employee surveys. If you want candid honest answers and to maximize response rates, you really need to be working with a neutral third party. The other benefit of working with a neutral third party like us is that we’re survey experts. The questions on The NES have been extensively researched and tested over the years. We really stand behind those questions.
The NES like The NCS or other benchmarking surveys is designed to be low cost, low burden and a turnkey experience. Because the survey tool is somewhat standardized we don’t have to spend a lot of time back and forth developing questions but we can make modifications as needed. We can also help with some custom questions if that is something that you’re interested in. However it’s designed to be a pretty easy process. We tell you exactly what we need from you then get the survey process going. We make it low burden on staff.
You can focus potentially limited resources on other pressing issues and not be worrying about this piece. As a standardized and benchmarking survey product, the NES is relatively low cost. Being administered primarily via the web helps keep costs low as well. There are very few hard costs with this one and it’s really affordable. I encourage you to visit our website and check out the pricing I think you’ll be happily surprised.
I’m passionate about The NES in part because of the benchmarking component. I’ve talked to you about the importance of benchmarking before for citizen surveys. It’s important for employee surveys too. For each item on your survey that your employees answer, you will see those ratings and the percent who said either; excellent, good, strongly agree or somewhat agree. In addition, you will get a benchmark rating for each item. This way your employees' opinions will be counted and measured with the benchmarks. It really puts your results into context.
One thing that is really unique about The NES, is the benchmarks we created are based only on results from other jurisdictions around the country other local governments, cities, counties, towns and villages. You’re not being compared to private sector results, which is the case with most employee surveys out there that we are aware of. Working in local government, you’re dealing with a different playing field. You are often being asked to do more with fewer resources. You’re largely funded by tax dollars, so of course you’re trying to keep those costs as low as possible while still attracting high quality employees. Being compared in those benchmarks to other jurisdictions we think is invaluable and really makes The NES stand out.
Detailed reporting and analysis is part of what sets The NES apart. It’s not just plugging results and spitting them out just to see some frequencies of responses. We’re doing in-depth analyses and you’ll get full technical appendices that really go into the details of the survey methodology. Data will be represented graphically bringing clarity to the results.
If you do The NES more than once, you’ll automatically get a trends over time report. We go into great detail about your trends. Building your trend line over time continually adds value to the experience. You’re able to measure if any changes in your organization have had positive impacts. Having that information is really helpful. We can also do additional analyses similar to The NCS and our other benchmarking products. There’s a menu of add-on options you can select from. If you want to dig deeper, we can break results out by department or work-group. Aspects to examine include demographics or other employment characteristics like full or part-time, exempt or non-exempt and number of years they have worked for the organization. There are all sorts of ways we can dig through those results.
If your organization conducts The NCS after The NES, we will give you a great head-to-head report at no additional charge. This compares certain questions on The NES and The NCS which deal with community quality and public trust. It helps give a richer picture of the community as a whole.
One of the most important things to remember about The NES is that you are working with NRC. We’re here to help you when the results come in. You will receive help to interpret the data so you can discuss it accurately and know how to address the next steps. If you have questions, don’t understand something or want to us to dig deeper into a part of the report, just let us know. That’s what we’re here for. Here at NRC we are the survey experts. Our goal is to help you interpret the data correctly for maximum benefit to your community.
An option is to have a PowerPoint presentation created that summarizes the data. We can come to your jurisdiction and facilitate a workshop with you and your organization. Or we can just give you the PowerPoint for you to present yourself. These options get action plans in place to improve your organization.
If you’d like some more information about The NES, please go ahead and visit our website, give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’d love to talk to you about it. Thanks again for watching and I’ll see you next time.