TSI Blog

Leaders At The Coal Face

June 16th, 2016 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

We at The Survey Initiative create tailored employee surveys designed to meet the specific needs and outcomes for our clients.

One aspect of our design, is to include free text questions to allow employees to further communicate on key areas important to them and to add any further questions or comments in their own words.

We are then able to read the responses and categorise them into key themes for ease of analysis.

Quite often, one particular theme comes through, that of not being listened to or recognised. Employees, through using their own words, try and explain that their leaders and managers do not always listen or take their opinions in account. They feel that their ideas and concerns are not heard, especially when important business decisions are made and that those higher up in the organisation lose sight of what is going on at the ‘coal face’.

A great employee engagement activity to help tackle this problem is to plan … read more »

Saying NO!

February 25th, 2016 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

It’s fair to say that many organisations are expecting their people to do more work, in less time and in some instances, for less pay. Whilst a certain amount of workplace stress can be a positive thing, too much stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on peoples well-being, productivity and the all-important employee engagement levels.

People say YES to taking on more work because they want to be seen as fundamental to the team, seem keen or just want to please other people. They feel that a NO response would be unwelcome and possibly provoke an aggressive reaction. Others on the other hand say YES because they are just unthinking and unrealistic about what they are able to deliver.

However, being able to say NO can be a real asset in your career.

If your first reaction is to say NO, then it is important for you to think about why you’re wanting to say NO. Determine how much time you … read more »

The shopping list of staff surveys…Part Two

October 15th, 2014 by Gary Cattermole | 1 Response

Gary Cattermole is a Director at leading staff survey provider and employee engagement specialists, The Survey Initiative. Here he offers advice on the most effective and value-for-money solutions to running a survey, and why sometimes it’s best to get face-to-face.…

In our last blog we discussed the surveys on offer in the HR, training and health and safety arenas; we discussed the options available to glean information on rates of employee engagement, accidents in the workplace, or training course feedback etc. Here we shall look in more depth at the costs of running a survey, and what methods prove most valuable…

Running a survey the costs…

Organising, implementing and evaluating a staff survey does not necessarily have to be expensive. A survey can be undertaken quickly and cheaply, but this will really depend on the complexity, style and demographic of your workforce. For many SMEs it’s a waste of time to bring in an … read more »

Measurement of the Mind

August 6th, 2014 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

Selecting the right person for the job has never been more important than it is today. Mistakes are costly and has long been a problem that many employers have struggled to address. Poor selection may have catastrophic consequences for both the employee and the organisation adversely affecting employee engagement levels.

From the organisation’s viewpoint, the cost of employing and training an unsuitable candidate can be very high in terms of lost productivity and revenue, reduced efficiency, increased absenteeism, reduced morale, the cost of the selection process itself and the cost of retraining new personnel.

From the employee’s perspective, being selected for the “wrong” job may have consequences ranging from loss of motivation, reduced job satisfaction, increased work stress, failure to progress in their career, not to mention the more clinical manifestations such as depression and anxiety.

Organisations have attempted to resolve the ‘right person for the right job’ problem by using a variety … read more »

Keep Up To Speed – Part Two

July 23rd, 2014 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

Yesterday we looked at the benefits to organisations of providing training and development opportunities to their employees.

Today we look at what needs to be done to achieve those benefits.

To achieve these results, organisations must establish a training program that includes the following elements:

Needs analysis

Training shouldn’t be done just for the sake of doing it or indeed a ‘tick box’ exercise. To ensure calculable results, it is essential to analyse what skills employees are lacking or need improving and what organisational results are needed.

Defined, measurable objectives

An organisation can measure its training program by whatever aspects it needs to improve, for example, customer satisfaction, productivity, employee satisfaction and retention or overall profitability.


Many larger organisations retain in-house training staff, but also many outsource to training professionals. If an organisation uses external training, they should look for experienced trainers who are able to assist with all stages of the training cycle: analysis, setting measurable objectives, designing and performing the training, and evaluating the results.

Results … read more »

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