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Surveying for the New World of Work - Our Updated Engagement Survey

Authored by Louise Parkes and Lauren Gatt.

As a research based consultancy, it’s always been important that Voice Project offers solutions that are backed by scientific research and meet the needs of our clients.

Our inaugural staff engagement survey fulfilled both of these requirements, with peer-reviewed publication of its reliability and validity along with many satisfied clients using the tool year after year.

But the world of work is changing, and it’s been a priority of Voice Project over the last few years to ensure our tool keeps up with workplace, industry and sector changes, while still meeting our rigorous quality and research standards.

Following a thorough review of our data and client feedback, we’re incredibly pleased to introduce Voice Project’s revised and updated Staff Engagement Survey.


Key Differences

There are some key differences you may notice between our original engagement survey and our new one. These include:

Shorter length
Over the last few years we have seen many clients move towards either pulse surveys or shortened versions of our engagement survey to minimise demands on staff and capture more targeted insights. To meet this need, our new engagement survey includes only 67 questions (compared to 105 questions in our previous engagement survey). Through a process of consultation and data analysis, we have removed a number of questions, and have also added several new questions that our clients have found strategically important for them to capture.

The importance of wellbeing
One of the key changes in the structure of the survey is the elevation of Wellbeing as a critical outcome alongside Engagement and Progress. This reflects both our clients’ increased interest in better supporting staff wellbeing, as well as structural equation modelling research identifying Wellbeing as an independent outcome. Wellbeing’s promotion as an outcome in our model means it is highlighted more prominently in reporting and factored into priority setting.

Risk reporting and “voice” safety
One outcome of the many recent Royal Commissions has been a heightened awareness of the importance of timely risk reporting. Organisational research has demonstrated the impact of psychological safety for employees for both individual wellbeing and risk management within organisations. We have added “risk reporting” questions to our new engagement survey, to provide organisations with insight into risk management culture and how safe staff feel about raising concerns.

Structure and logical flow
We’ve also changed which systems some of our work practices sit within. Our survey should be easy for staff to complete, following a logical flow that matches the experience of their lifecycle as employees. User-experience as well as psychometric testing has guided us in determining which practices are more closely related, and therefore which system they currently sit within. All categories in the survey are robust and reliable (internally consistent with Cronbach Alphas above .68 and an average of .85).

Continuity and Consistency

While implementing these improvements it was important that we kept the core of our previous well-researched survey for continuity and benchmarking for our clients. Rest assured that the majority of questions in the new survey (79%) are the same or have minor language changes enabling the use of existing robust benchmarks and historical comparisons. All categories in the survey have at least one benchmarkable question, so that industry benchmarks can be reported for all categories in the survey. For more information about potential changes between your old and new surveys, please contact your Voice Project consultant for a detailed comparison and expert advice.

Research and Development Process

The current changes were driven by our experience over the last decade tailoring surveys for our clients and listening to feedback about questions that proved helpful or problematic. We conducted several rounds of data analysis to ensure we selected the best of our previous questions (most predictive of employee and organisational outcomes), that new questions added value, and that the revised categories of questions were robust and reliable. Data used in this process included:

  • Over 2000 employees from 140 work teams completing the experimental “change challenge” survey (2017)
  • Market research with 3000 employees across Australia (2018)
  • Pilot testing with 1200 employees across 4 client organisations (2019)
  • A second market research sample of 5000 employees across Australia (2019)

Voice Project’s Engagement Survey Options

Providing flexible solutions continues to be one of Voice Project’s key differentiators. While we have a new set of core engagement survey questions, our expert consultants will work with you to ensure you have a survey that best meets your needs. In addition to our core questions, Voice Project has an extensive bank of unique and benchmarkable questions for bespoke solutions. These include:

  • All of the questions and categories in our previous survey such as Facilities and Role Clarity
  • Pulse surveys based on our old or new models
  • Common industry-based questions in categories such as Gender Equity, Change Management, Safeguarding, Internal Service Quality, Cultural Competence, Sustainability, Value Alignment and many others.

Please get in touch with our team for a free consultation on which options will best suit your needs.

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