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26 / Apr / 18
By Ajay Mistry


It’s OK, you haven’t stumbled across an essay on the James Brown song from 1960! However, I am looking at where Mr Brown may have gone wrong with the people he worked with. Read on…

For any organisation that has never undertaken employee research before or if it’s been a while since they have, the initial reaction will be extremely positive – employees will feel valued because they are being asked their opinion while senior management will be congratulating themselves on the initiative.

However, if some time has passed after the research and nothing appears to have changed in the minds of the employees, then all that effort and hard work from both sides will have gone to waste.

So what should have happened? Well, the company has to undertake a process in advance of even one questionnaire being completed, and the following are some of the things to consider

  • Establishing the aims and objectives of the engagement
  • What it anticipates is achievable from what the research tells them
  • Ensuring that the comms are in place to maximise participation
  • How the findings will be communicated 

At this point, let’s refer to some of the lyrics in the James Brown song, “Think”:

Think - about the good things
Think - about the bad things
Think - about the right things
Think - about the wrong things

As a company partner, a good research company will ensure that the right questions are being asked, to find out the good / bad / right / wrong. 

At Survey Solutions, we have the Employee Engagement Index which defines the extent of engagement in the organisation (and of course within specific teams or departments too) and is a key metric that can be used to compare results over time and by benchmarking externally against other organisations.

We also use Key Driver Analysis and Engagement Mapping to show you which survey results are affecting engagement the most, highlighting where our clients should focus their post-survey efforts.

This is all presented in our industry-leading and easy-to-use online survey results portal and reported in a way which can be easily communicated to your employees:

  • Traffic-light colour-coding in our reporting
  • Internal benchmarking to show which groups have higher or lower scores than the organisation norm
  • External benchmarking to compare Engagement Index and survey question results with those of other organisation

This is of course, a very small part of the full service we're able to provide.

The employees of any organisation will have an abundance of ideas and opinions to improve the workplace - after all, the chances are they will be spending much of the day there.

So in order to show that they are serious, companies should be giving their employees the opportunity to freely have their say, so they can benefit from their knowledge and opinions, and put into place action points suggested by the research partner, to increase their employees' enjoyment and experience of working there.

We started with Mr Brown, and it's only right we should end with him too - is it likely he ever conducted an employee engagement study with his own band members?

The lyrics above suggest a possibility, but he was a band leader that fined his (poorly paid) musicians in the 1960s and 1970s for making mistakes in live concerts, by holding up a finger for every $5 or $10 he was fining them (all done to the beat of the music, to make it look it was part of the act!).

So it seems employee engagement perhaps wasn’t one of his strongest points, especially when you consider the numerous times his band members walked out on him en-masse during his career, because of his fines policy!

If you’d like to know more about the Employee Engagement Index or any of our other services, give us a call on 020 8943 1445 or drop us a line using the form here:

We’d love to hear from you to see how we can help you.  Don’t be like James!


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