Chapter 2. Employee Surveys as Warning Indicators

The most "defensive" use of an employee survey is as an early-warning indicator, or red flag, for a problem or potential problem within the organization. Higgs and Ashworth (1996) discuss this use of employee surveys dating back to the 1930s and 1940s. During that period, especially in the United States, employee surveys were used to identify worker groups with low morale that might be susceptible to union organizing attempts. With the identification of alienated groups, organizations could convert their survey results into actions aimed at addressing concerns and grievances, thus reducing the possibility that employees would turn to third-party representation (unions) for redress of their issues ...

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