Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to helping the health and wellbeing of the 5.4m people in the UK with asthma. With the aid of The Survey Initiative, it ran one very wide-ranging staff opinion survey in 2008, and followed it up with another in 2010.
The survey was comprehensive, covering nine substantial areas including working life, pay and benefits, learning and development, communications, leadership and management effectiveness, interaction with customers, and more. The charity’s Katy Walker picks up the story. “The 2008 survey was very useful, but it came at the time when we were very focused on the IIP framework, so that influenced the language to some extent. When we came to repeat the exercise in 2010, Gary Cattermole worked with us to shape the survey to reflect the changes that had taken place at Asthma UK and suggested that we focus on a narrower set of topics with greater emphasis on engagement, which led to quite a lot of changes in the questions.
“The Survey Initiative people were great. Their advice was fantastic, and they were so flexible, so accommodating to our wishes and concerns. Our people responded to the new shape of the survey, and a number of them came to me and said that the questions were excellent. This was borne out in the response rate, which was 85 per cent.”
As is usual in such an exercise, the results were mixed. Walker: “The scores in some areas confirmed our feeling that we were underperforming there, but we had lacked the data to back that up until we received the survey results. These provided our senior management team with a clear indication of the areas we needed to target. The areas included our internal communications and some cultural issues.
“However, it was also very encouraging in some areas, particularly where we’d made progress since 2008. These included the perceptions that we offered excellent pay and benefits packages, and that most people had very good line management. With our IIP assessment coming up again, the survey threw up really useful findings which we will build into our IIP action plan. The senior management team have really taken the feedback on board. Not all of the findings have been fully addressed yet, but actions have been set in motion to do so. All in all, a highly useful and very clear snapshot of employee opinions.”
...our approach to staff engagement this year was far more streamlined and relevant than in the past.
Jenny Hilliard, Asst. Dir. Human Resources, Asthma UK