Royal Society of Chemistry

Case study

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. To date, it has conducted two annual employee engagement surveys through The Survey Initiative, in 2008 and 2009. The second one was rolled out to the organisation’s overseas departments also.

Jackie Mitchell is the HR and Organisational Development Director of the RSC. She commented: “We hadn’t done any staff engagement surveys before, but we were aware that we needed to do so; and wanted advice and a professional organisation to help. The Survey Initiative was one of several companies that tendered, and it was head and shoulders above the rest.”

Both surveys used the same set of questions and approach, covering a number of generic categories: and both achieved a remarkable 85 per cent response rate. Jackie Mitchell: “It was very useful. The Survey Initiative had a library of results; its people understood not just what we were saying but how it compared to other organisations. As a result, we added a number of specific relevant questions precisely targeted to our operation.

“The Survey Initiative was great in not only structuring the process but also producing bespoke reports for us. They pulled out some key themes for us to work on. Gary Cattermole pointed out that it was important to celebrate the areas where we were outstripping the norm, and not just focus on the weaker categories – although that was also vital. In the first survey, communications and leadership categories were below what we would have liked. We initiated some key actions to address these, and fed these back to staff at company-wide meetings and via newsletters and email updates, with advice where necessary from Gary.  The actions taken obviously had an impact as our scores in these areas rose the most in the second year!”

“For the second survey, again rather than try to address key categories, Gary and his people helped us analyse the results more carefully to identify the really major specific areas that would have the biggest impact for us if they were more positive. Two areas highlighted were career development and recognition for jobs well done. As a result, we implemented a new high level and very visible staff awards programme, and we instigated a new page in the staff newsletter to showcase staff career progression case studies, especially internal moves within the RSC, so that our staff could be inspired by others experience and feel confident in leading their own career development. This has all been very helpful and has paid big dividends in terms of employee engagement.  We are now about to embark on our third annual survey and again we will be seeking support from Gary and his team so that it will be just as successful as the last two years and we’ll get the maximum out of the exercise.”

 
The Survey Initiative was great in not only structuring the process but also producing bespoke reports for us.

Jackie Mitchell, HR & OD Director,  Royal Society of Chemistry
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