Employee engagement is cool. Employee surveys are not

March 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Using Google Analytics to track the relative value of your Offer
Some lessons for the communications Evaluation profession

It is some time since I looked at my Google Analytics account. A pity, because it can reveal some dramatic insights into global trends. And the quality and mine-ability of the data is improving month by month.

I wanted to see what was happening in Benchpoint’s main market place, which is specialist on line surveys of employee opinion in large companies. So I looked up “employee surveys”. I was surprised (and shocked) to see that Google searches for this had declined since their peak in 2004 to virtual insignificance.

Searches for employee surveys

Google searches for "Employee Surveys"

This was worrying, because our experience is that the sector is alive and well, with growing competition.

On the whole, we advise against general employee surveys, preferring surveys which gain insight into specific areas.

So I contrasted this with a search for  “Employee Engagement”, on its own. The opposite trend!  This search term has enjoyed steady growth, with the main interest coming from India, Singapore, South Africa, Malaysia, Canada and the USA, in that order.

Google searches for "Employee Engagement"

“Employee engagement surveys”, which  first appeared in Q1 2007,  also shows a contrarian trend, with most interest coming from India, Canada, the UK and the USA.

Google searches for "Employee engagement surveys"

Looking at the wider market, here is the chart for the search term “Surveys” – a steady decline since 2007

Google searches for "Surveys"

But contrast this with searches for “Survey Monkey”

Google searches for "Survey Monkey"

Where is all this leading us? Google is remarkably good are recording what’s cool, and what’s not in great detail and in real time. There are plenty of geeks out there who earn good money doing it for the big international consumer companies. And what it tells us is that, more than ever, positioning is key.

Our own field, “ Communications Evaluation” is  fairly uncool. Maybe we need to invent a new sexy descriptor for what we do?

But note, on the chart below, the peaks in the autumn of 2009 and 2010, when the AMEC Measurement Summits were held. Sudden spikes in interest.

Google searches for "Communications evaluation"

This blog and Benchpoint have the copyright of “Intelligent measurement”, which is holding its own in the visibility and coolness stake – with this blog giving a boost way back in 2007…

Google searches for "Intelligent measurement"


  1. Get a Google Analytics account and start monitoring the keywords people are using to seach for your business activity and adapt your website accordingly
  2. As an interest group/profession, we probably need to adopt a different description of what we do if we wish to maintain visibility and influence. Suggestions anyone? Discuss!

Sorry for such a long post!


Entry filed under: Communication evaluation, Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), Web metrics.

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