Measurement with meaning

Theresa Wellbourne thinks annual employee surveys are worthless. She says you ought to take employees’ pulse every week.

Theresa Wellbourne thinks it’s something to be ashamed of.

“It’s ridiculous,” says the human resources academic, writer and entrepreneur. Her description of the typical employee survey: By the time the data comes back, it’s months old, leaving managers in legitimate denial about its relevance. Furthermore, the questions on an annual survey have little to do with managers’ day-to-day work. Consequently, despite the great expenditure and the colossal inconvenience of the big survey, nobody ever acts on its results. The net effect: An increase in employees’ cynicism and a decrease in their energy.

What’s Wellbourne’s suggested alternative to the annual survey that tries to measure 200 aspects of employee attitudes? Weekly surveys that focus on one.

How and why to keep of the work force’s ‘energy’

Wellbourne’s point of view is self-serving—she’s CEO of eepulse, a company that helps companies do the kind of regular surveying that she recommends—but she says she came by it honestly.

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