Budget Time

dollarsignBudget time is now – at least for those with calendar year ends.

Undoubtedly, revenue projections are a primary driving force, but good management knows that as we seek to ensure profit projections – often we can have somewhat greater control over the expense side.

Payroll is one of the largest cost centers; but really – how controllable is it?   Management best practices has shown that one way to make it more controllable is to conduct employee satisfaction surveying.

ORHMA’s new Employee Satisfaction Survey [OESS] provides our members a valuable proactive management tool. We know … tools are great but, who has time to conduct a survey?  Face it – there may never be a “great” time.

arrowgroupNevertheless, conducting our on-line employee survey is so easy that it can be done at any time with a minimum of cost and administrative effort. 

Administratively, a survey can involve little more than forwarding an email to your workers.  OESS can be implemented and completed within a few weeks.   Can you ask employees to take 10 to 15 minutes of their time to anonymously give their opinions on a computer, smartphone or tablet?   Heck, most employees spend more time than that checking emails on their smartphone.

The survey results are available immediately upon survey close, and available to you anytime you are ready to assess and analyse throughout the year. Results can reveal valuable insight regarding where you should consider making changes, and where issues may be brewing.  Further, annual surveys will help to monitor the impacts of any change initiatives and management policy decisions.

It may help to understand that often the most effective changes do not require an increase in wage and salary costs!  As an example, look at this statement: “Considering everything, I am satisfied working for this organization at the present time”.  Your result may not look too bad for one location on the surface, but what if it is lower than the comparative data of other locations in your operation, or significantly different than your industry?  Such a clue should cause good management to drill down into the issue further.

In fact, a low satisfaction score on this statement could foreshadow higher turnover, which is always a costly process with both hiring costs, and then the orientation and training of new team members.  You might also add the cost of lost productivity, and unforeseen expenses.

Let’s try another: “My Manager in this organization behaves in an honest manner”.

A low score (especially relative to your industry scores) demonstrates a likely breakdown of trust in the very relationship that is central to a successful organization – a strong supervisor/employee relationship.  Such a result suggests a requirement for improved performance of the supervisor; possibly training and development (another expense) or at worst, termination (severance expense).  Alternatively, perhaps a low score on trust issues can be addressed by improved communications (far less costly).   This may be the case when you assess the above statement along with findings on other statements such as:

  1. “Information and knowledge are shared openly within this company”. OR
  2. “The company leadership has made changes which are positive for me”.

Will your employees go the extra mile for your organization?  On a comparative aggregate data basis, if your survey results shine then you can feel more confident that your projected payroll costs will not experience significant bumps.  However if not, then capturing an employee satisfaction “snapshot” of your organization will provide clues, and help prioritize issues that management may want to investigate further.  Surveying can be invaluable at budget time as expenses and program needs are anticipated and assessed.

Have you taken your employee close-up recently?  Are you ready to learn what your employees truly think when they enjoy the protection of anonymously responding to an on-line confidential survey?  Give our new Employee Satisfaction Survey tool a try – look under “Resources” on our website.

By: John Platz, President HR/IR Satellite Inc.