April 1, 2015
Last week I wrote a post about the Postal Service’s new employee survey, Postal Pulse. The Pulse replaces the Voice of the Employee (VOE), which the Postal Service has been using for the past 17 years. The Pulse is now being administered to over 600,000 postal workers, and the Postmaster General is encouraging everyone to fill it out.
My criticisms focused on the fact that the Pulse seemed inferior to the VOE. The new survey omits many questions in the VOE about workplace diversity and discrimination, safety, and so on, which seemed worthwhile. The article also described the Pulse questions as being “touchy-feely” and intended to encourage “sensitive, New Age conversations” between management and workers.
Little did I know that I was criticizing the most famous “employee engagement” survey in the world, the Gallup Q12. Rather than creating its own survey for postal workers, the Postal Service has simply contracted with Gallup to administer the Q12 survey.
The Postal Pulse survey is here; the Q12 survey is here. As you’ll see in comparing them, the questions are the same, almost word for word. The only difference is that the Pulse adds an introductory question about how satisfied workers are at the Postal Service. It’s No. 0 so as not to throw off the numbering of the other 12 questions, which correspond, one by one, to the 12 questions on the Gallup Q12.
Since it was developed in the late 1990s, Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement Survey has been administered to more than 25 million employees in 189 different countries and 69 languages for use by several hundred organizations. It’s considered the “gold standard” for employee engagement surveys.
Now that PostalMag has pointed it out, though, we should have probably noticed that there’s a footnote in small print on the Postal Pulse survey that says, “Gallup and Q12 are trademarks of Gallup.” Who knew?