How to conduct a global survey that works

HSBC researchers took great care in creating their global employee survey and were rewarded with super-useful results.

“Joining up” is a strategic imperative at HSBC Holdings Plc today. Previously, “The World’s Local Bank,” was managed in a more decentralized fashion. But since Michael Geoghegan, the group chief executive of HSBC, took the reins in 2006, there has been a concerted effort to centralize and better align management and support functions to support the company’s goal to be the leading financial services organization in the world.

One of the many efforts underway to join up the organization was the implementation of the company’s first ever Global People Survey.

In August and September 2006, Geoghegan embarked on a road show to 23 cities around the world. In those town hall sessions with managers, he presented the state of the business and introduced seven global pillars—or areas of focus— for joining up a company of more than 300,000 employees in 10,000 offices across 83 countries and territories.

During his tour Geoghegan came to believe employees were not as engaged as they could be, but there was no consistent measure in place to quantify that hunch. And so the Global People Survey was born.

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