"Normal" Employee Attitudes Shown by Employee Survey Benchmarks

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Employee survey answers from more than a hundred organizations provide benchmarks, or norms, to help human resource professionals interpret survey results. Most organizations face get low marks for internal communications, clarity of work standards, management consistency, and career advancement.

Information in this organization is communicated well.

Trying to define a "normal" workplace is as difficult and unpredictable as describing a "normal" family, according to Paul M. Connolly, Ph.D., president of Performance Programs, Inc., an Old Saybrook, CT, human resources research firm that has conducted hundreds of employee surveys worldwide since 1987. Employee survey benchmarks, also called norms, provide a critical frame of reference when human resources professionals try to interpret employee satisfaction survey results.

"While there is no way of defining 'normal' workplaces, there are average or predictable answers to some employee survey questions," says Connolly. "Most companies, for instance, have a hard time getting high ratings for internal communications." In his most recent review of Performance Programs' extensive database of employee survey answers, Connolly found that almost 60% of respondents had neutral or negative attitudes to the statement "Information in this organization is communicated well."

"You can see that lots of organizations have difficulty with internal communications," says Connolly. He defines high agreement as 67% or more of responses residing in the favorable or highly favorable categories. Another management challenge, he says, is revealed by responses to the statement: "Work standards are clearly understood." His most recent review of the data showed that 58% were negative or neutral on this statement. Career advancement, management consistency, and recognition are other challenging areas.

Performance Programs now provides an updated and expanded database of industry norms—available to companies whether or not they choose Performance Programs to conduct the survey. The database was started in 1997 and has as many as 100,000 responses for 85 questionnaire items. Employers can obtain norms for general business or for one of 16 industries and categories, including nonprofits. Multinational organizations are well represented in the database.

"Norms help you judge whether results are high or low compared to other organizations," says Connolly, who encourages organizations to repeat their surveys several times and develop internal norms. "Even if you find certain items disappointingly low, you may find your organization outranks many other organizations. Outside norms are especially important for a first-time employee survey."

Norms reports from Performance Programs include the mean, standard deviation, frequency distribution, and number of respondents on which the norm is based. Norms are available to organizations and consultants, whether Performance Programs performs the survey or not. There is no minimum purchase. A 50% discount is offered to employers who share their survey data with Performance Programs for inclusion in their Employee Feedback Database. Identities of organizations in the database are kept confidential to PPI.

Interested employers and human resource consultants can also purchase a preview of PPI's norm data in the book and CD combination, Employee Opinion Questionnaires: 20 Ready-to-Use Surveys that Work. In addition to 20 employee questionnaires, the book provides 30 of the most frequently asked questions, along with their norms. A complete list of 700 questionnaire items is available in The Employee Survey Question Guidebook.

For more information, call Performance Programs at 1-800-565-4223

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*Media Contact: Kathy Connolly, 1-800-565-4223

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company
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Kathleen G. Connolly
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