Conducting employee surveys within your organization presents opportunities for you to show employees that you care about them and their needs. At the same time, it provides employees an avenue for providing feedback about the company, culture, management, tools, resources, training, and more. For survey results to be most effective, employees need to trust that they can provide candid feedback in an anonymous fashion without retribution.
Even more important than conducting these surveys is to act on the results – and then to hold managers accountable for creating action plans and executing on them. However, is it a good or standard practice to compensate managers based on their employee satisfaction scores? This is a practice that is difficult to support, given the following complications caused by providing incentives to managers based on the satisfaction of their employees.
- Any time you tie survey results to a bonus plan, managers will waste time and energy trying to find fault with the overall program design, survey questions, or data quality – instead of taking the candid feedback at face value, taking ownership, and putting the feedback to work.
- Tying compensation to employee feedback also leads to situations that I refer to as the “car dealer syndrome,” which includes gaming the system, bribes, and other seedy behavior.
- The potential to earn more money because of these results can also lead to retribution for low scores and poor feedback; employees need to know they can provide feedback without fear of recourse for negative feedback.
Having said all that, I do believe that company executives should certainly have a portion of their bonus plans tied to both customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction scores. Creating a customer-centric culture begins when you first focus on your employees and make their satisfaction a priority. That focus can only be driven by those at the top.