It will come as no surprise that the way organisations are using data is changing the future of the working world. “Big Data”, “Artificial Intelligence”, “Machine Learning”, “Data Analytics” are beginning to take over the working world. While this may seem a long way off for some, the value that can be gained from understanding the data you have can have huge success implications for your business. However, there is no secret that with great data, comes great responsibility.

Here at Edgecumbe, we work with all sorts of people data from Employee Engagement Survey data to personality psychometric data to leadership multi-source 360 feedback data. All of which provides key information on your most valuable resource, your people. Knowing them well and understanding their views and personal preferences is key to making them feel valued and supported, retaining them, enabling them to contribute honest opinions about your business and facilitate your business in going from strength to strength.

Using this data in the right way can provide incredible value, the key is keeping it done properly (we’re looking at you, Zuckerberg). It is vital that you proceed in a non-intrusive, open and honest way, but in an ever-increasing digital age where so much data is stored about each individual in so many different places, how do you as an employer create a space where employees feel confident to share personal information with you?

This is where employee engagement surveys have a great deal to offer: they will help you to collect the data you need from your workforce, confidentially, anonymously and securely, to enable your business to flourish and grow.

Avoiding damaging data breaches

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first adopted in April 2016 and became enforceable from April 2018. It has made organisations, be they schools, small businesses, churches or large corporations, more accountable for data protection. Organisations now need to examine all their data and how they handle and store it far more effectively than ever before. Whilst its initial introduction was viewed with scepticism and as burdensome by some, at the point at which another huge new data breach hits the headlines, no one can argue against its validity. Whichever way we look at it, the responsibility of organisations to promote the safe and open adherence to these guidelines for both customer and employee data must be a top priority.

This is why it is vital that you as a business have stringent policies and protocols in place and that you ensure your procedures are shared with new employees from the outset. In doing so, your employees will see that you take seriously the privacy and confidentiality of the information you hold on them and that your company will always do its utmost to protect that information from any security or data breach.

Benefits of taking data security seriously in your employee surveys

In gathering any data on your employees, openness is key. Tell them what data you might collect about them and why. Have a user-friendly Data Protection Privacy Notice or Fair Processing Statement in place so that your staff know and understand how you collect, use, disclose and retain personal information. If your employees feel that their bosses take the whole issue of data protection extremely seriously, they are more likely to trust you with personal information. It is that personal information that will give you more insight and understanding of your employees and will help in making decisions about how to engage, motivate and otherwise get the best out of your people.

When staff feel confident that their data is safe, they will also feel more able to share personal information pertinent to your company, to be as honest as they can when it comes to engagement surveys, their opinions on the company, its clients and how the company is run. This in turn will provide yet more insight into your staff and will aid you in supporting and retaining them for your company. With all the training invested in any new member of staff, no one wants to lose them. Employee surveys will help gain that information swiftly and painlessly and this can lead to the development of a more cohesive and symbiotic workforce where people’s strengths and weaknesses are taken into account and where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are and what they bring to the company.

Being seen to take data protection seriously will not only gain the approval of your employees but will also improve your reputation with your customers. With customers becoming increasingly concerned about the security of their data, they are quick to take their business elsewhere if they suspect there is any chance of a breach. Companies are becoming more and more aware of the need for a high level of data protection if they want to keep the clients they already have and even more so when it comes to acquiring new clients.

Whatever means you employ and whatever data you strive to collect in the best interests of your business, the implications of not paying due regard to its security are monumental. A cyber-attack on any organisation whether large or small comes at huge cost, not just in terms of business disruption and lost sales but most significantly in terms of compensation pay-outs. Any data breach is going to hit your company big-time and in a worst-case scenario could even lead to the collapse of your business. So, show your employees – and your customers – that you take data protection seriously.

Get started with Primary Colours Surveys

Having stringent data security systems in place that are in accordance with GDPR law is vital for the success of your business and will go at least some of the way in ensuring valuable and personal data does not get into the wrong hands. When your staff feel able to trust to your processes, they will find it easier to be open with you. This in turn will make them more ready to participate more truthfully when it comes to employee engagement surveys.

At Primary Colours Surveys, We are pleased to announce that as part of our Information Security initiatives, Edgecumbe has become Cyber Essentials certified. Edgecumbe CEO Jon Cowell provided the following comment: “We have built our reputation over the past 20 years on uncompromising standards of integrity, underpinned by our status as an independent consultancy. I am therefore delighted that we have achieved Cyber Essentials certification.  Our clients, which include the UK Government, NHS and major defence contractors, trust us with some of their most sensitive data and this accreditation recognises our commitment to protecting their interests with the utmost care.   We believe we are one of the first consultancies in the UK to achieve certification under this Government-led initiative and I am enormously proud of the whole team, whose dedication and professionalism this award confirms. “

We are experts in the field of employee engagement and gathering, using and storing the information you may need in the right way. Our formats make it simple to analyse and evaluate all the data you gather and with all your policies and procedures fully in place, you will have no need to worry about potential data breaches.

For an informal chat about how we can help you collect and use your data in the right way, please contact us today.