How Employee Engagement Survey Benchmarks Killed Kenny
You do know who Kenny is, do you not? In the off chance you have been out of the loop for a while, Kenny is one of the adorable characters in the cult classic animation, South Park. Kenny is unique because of his extraordinary experiences as a fourth grade elementary school student who is most famous for his odd and unusual death. Thus, the infamous phrase: “OMG, they killed Kenny!”
Sadly, it turns out that with a little bit of sleuth work, you can see some reasons why Kenny came to an unfortunate end. Call it a case of employee survey benchmarks gone bad. Take a look at what could have gone wrong at South Park Elementary.
Suppose the school board in South Park had very wisely decided to conduct an employee engagement survey. However, in an attempt to save taxpayer dollars, the school board dictated that the employee survey benchmarks only be based on standard metrics. Oops, not so good. The problem is that the standard employee survey benchmarks turned out to be irrelevant and eventually useless. Too bad for Kenny.
There’s more. Once the results of the survey were delivered to the school board, the employee survey benchmarks were carefully analyzed and debated. Then decisions were made that were, shall we say, misguided. You see, just because employee survey benchmarks are lower in one area compared to standard data does not necessarily imply that changes should be made. Sadly, the board issued directives that well had marginal, if not adverse effects. Sorry, Kenny.
The drama gets more dismal. Disheartened and dismayed by the actions of the South Park school board, many of the teachers simply opted out. That is, you could say that the principal and other management staff came to a grinding halt in terms of implementing change. Knowing full well that the employee survey benchmarks selected by the school board really had no relation to real world conditions at South Park elementary, they simply ignored the survey and kept on doing the same old things. Sadly, Kenny was affected, yet again.
Perhaps the worst ramification yet is the noticeable drop in both participation and employee engagement. You see, as much as the school board would like to view their teachers and other employees as similar to those reported in standard employee survey benchmarks, the reality is, that is simply not true.
Consequently, you can plainly see the need to make sure the employee survey benchmarks are customized to fit the organization. It’s not clear what happened next with Kenny, there was something about the science teacher on a smoking break. Oh well, Kenny will probably be back for the next episode.
Yet, the serious question to ask yourself, especially nowadays with the ever-increasing importance of employee engagement, do you dare risk using faulty employee survey benchmarks?
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