By: Kim Moshlak on September 5th, 2014

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Culture Study vs. Employee Engagement Survey…What’s the Difference?

Business Management & Strategy

According to a recent Gallup study, 71% of our workforce is probably not nearly as productive as they could be.  The number of actively disengaged employees in the workplace outnumbered the number of actively engaged employees by nearly two to one.  And in the North America, 29% are engaged, 54% not engaged, and 19% are actively not engaged, meaning they are “unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers.”

Can you imagine what would happen to your productivity, and therefore profits, if you could get all of your employees engaged?  The true goal is to focus on those who are not engaged, and either get them engaged, or perhaps consider other alternatives.

So how can you get employees to become engaged? 

Start by listening to them.  You won’t satisfy everyone, but you can certainly make a difference by finding out what employees want.  You can do that by conducting a culture study or an employee engagement survey for your organization. Not sure which way to go?

The Difference between a Culture Study VS. an Employee Engagement Survey

Employee Engagement Survey

In general, these are surveys that ask for information from employees (stakeholders) regarding their experience at the workplace.  Questions that may be asked may revolve around the areas of leadership, logistics, benefits, compensations, organizational culture, training and development, employee satisfaction, job satisfaction, retention, performance management, and any other area on which the company wants to gather data.  This data is usually gathered anonymously (sometimes with an option to self-identify).  The data is then analyzed and the findings are determined.  The benefit of an Employee Engagement Survey is that you get a tremendous amount of information about how employees feel about the work environment and the “extras” of working at your organization.

Culture Study

A culture study is much different.  A culture study is focus purely on the culture of the organization.  It asks questions specifically about the how the organization does business, how employees perceive what is important to the organization and how the groups interact with their internal and external customers.  These studies can focus on the mission, vision and values, and whether employees feel they are both accurate and valued by the organization.  The benefit of this type of survey is that you will obtain information about how employees “feel” about their work environment.  This focus can give you great insight into the minds of your employees, and help you to figure out what they would like the organization to consider.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, either of these studies will advance your efforts to help employees be more productive.  Regardless of the survey type you select, be sure to develop an action plan to work on the findings.  The number one rule of surveys is:  “If you aren’t going to consider working on it, don’t ask about it.  And if you ask about it, work on it.”