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Is the annual engagement survey dead? With digital technology making instant mood checks an everyday possibility and employees fed up with the lack of response, are internal communicators ready to call time on the annual survey?


In the June edition of InsideOut - the FREE magazine for IoIC members - we talk to Drew McMillan of Virgin Trains about why the company moved on to other ways of measuring how employees feel.

He says it was an obvious thing to do. “We’re a customer-driven brand, as all Virgin brands are,” he explains. “We take a snapshot of customer sentiment every single day and use that data in real time to do things like adjust our pricing strategy, manage our resources and influence our marketing.

“So it seems ridiculous that we would only ask our own people how they feel once a year. It’s just such a disparity!
“We take a snapshot of customer sentiment every single day... so it seems ridiculous that we would only ask our own people how they feel once a year. It’s just such a disparity!"

"People are a massive asset to Virgin Trains – the service from our people is what makes us competitive. That’s why we found it very easy to justify the business case to move away from a static monolithic annual survey to something far more agile, but also smarter.”

Drew explains the new methods used to constantly measure employee feelings and the feature also includes the views of French communicator Judith Desportes, who discovered the results of annual survey aren't always what they seem, and Katie Macaulay and Amy Hegarty of AB Communications who produced a report on how surveys have become a tick-box exercise.

Also, psychologist Dr Simon Moore explains why employee surveys don't necessarily provoke honest answers...

Other subjects included in June's InsideOut include X Factor stylist Gemma Sheppard on how best to introduce a new employee uniform, Victoria Wright on why middle managers are vital to IC, Kate M.Santon on why Lewis Carroll was right about jargon, Rebecca Howard explains how to be more resilient at work and AB Agri goes under the Spotlight.

IoIC members can read or download June's InsideOut now.

To read or download any edition of InsideOut, Institute members should log in at the top right of this screen. You’ll then find InsideOut in ‘Knowledge’ – simply click on ‘Publications’ in the drop-down menu.
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