Employee Surveys That Work: Improving Design, Use, and Organizational Impact

May 26, 2014

Alec Levenson
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers and Society For Human Resource Management, 2014)

A practical guide to effective surveys.

Poorly designed employee surveys frustrate participants, analysts, and executives and can end up doing more harm than good. Alec Levenson offers sensible, practical ways to make them more useful and accurate and counters a number of unhelpful but common practices. He provides specific advice for ensuring that the purpose and desired outcomes of surveys are clear, the questions are designed to provide the most relevant and accurate data, and the results are actionable. He also looks at a wealth of specific issues, such as the best benchmarking practices, the benefits of multivariate modeling for analyzing results, the linking of survey data with performance data, the best ways to measure employee engagement, the pros and cons of respondent anonymity, and much more.


  • “Employee Surveys that Work should be required reading for any practitioner who is responsible for ensuring their business gets a good return on their survey investment. In his book, Levenson expertly cuts through the marketplace chatter on engagement surveys, sweeping aside the hype (chapter 2 alone is worth the price of admission!) and providing practical, actionable guidance on how to design, administer, interpret and act on results from organizational surveys. Before you sign your next survey contract with a consulting firm, you have to read this book.” Tim Hickey, Director HR Strategy and Organization Effectiveness, Exelon
  • “An ongoing and deep understanding of your workforce is indispensable to successful talent management strategies. Alec Levenson cuts through survey hype with practical insights and advice for making the most from employee surveys and managing rather than simply measuring employee engagement.” Per Scott, Vice President Human Resources, Royal Bank of Canada
  • “At a time when employee surveys tantalize the HR leader with improving engagement, Dr. Levenson convincingly reminds us of the axiom – correlation does not imply causation. A must read for those looking for actionable insight, not simply lots of data.” Dianne Reece, Region Mgr. Organizational Development & Training, FMC Technologies, Subsea Systems
  • “Before your organization embarks on another employee survey, read Dr. Levenson’s book. Your results will be more accurate and actionable.” Kara Schillaci, Director, Organizational Management & Development, PepsiCo
  • “From survey design to actionable analysis, Employee Surveys That Work is exactly the resource I would recommend to anyone launching an employee measurement strategy. Alec Levenson’s book can help whether you’re just getting started, taking your surveys to the next level, or looking to extract more value from your data analysis.” Caroline Leach, Vice President, Communications, DIRECTV

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