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By Dwight Galler


Investors always have other options for their money, so not being able to address the “whys” can translate directly into lower market value. Employees also have options, and when their interests are not addressed they may seek alternative employment. In fact, recent studies suggest that nearly 80 percent of employees are already exploring their options. Replacing employees and waiting for new hires to get up to speed is expensive, and when key people leave so do years of experience and understanding of the business.

As organizations expand into global markets and competitors suddenly exist around the world, mistakes that once just hurt performance can now cripple and even destroy an organization. Management teams looking to make smarter decisions need to supplement their masses of transactional data and move beyond just the “what” to grasp the “why.” The best way to do that – to understand people and their motivations – is to ask them directly.
Obtaining, Analyzing, and Using Enterprise Feedback
The idea of seeking feedback from various groups is not new. Since the 1930’s, companies have tried to use surveys as a basis for market research, and employee surveys are a staple of management consulting. Yet as other areas of business have been transformed through technology, these important tools have remained largely the same for the past 70 years.

Although undoubtedly useful, standalone surveys are problematic. Results gathered by one department often fail to benefit other parts of a company because no one else knows the information exists. Groups unnecessarily duplicate each other’s work, asking the same questions, and in many companies, even approaching the same people – too often resulting in survey “burn-out” and unnecessarily annoying the same people they want to satisfy. These individual surveys also do not work with other enterprise systems, depriving companies of the power they could get from combined insights.

However, there is no reason to leave feedback mired in the past. Enterprise Feedback Management offers a new way to obtain, manage, and utilize feedback. This new application category – recognized by Gartner, who predicts that by 2008, 40 percent of feedback tool deployments will be done through EFM – fills an important gap not handled by other types of software. EFM automates the process of obtaining feedback, lowering costs by improving efficiency. In addition, EFM, provides rapid feedback on perceptions and preferences and helps monitor the “enterprise ecosystem” through more frequent feedback. True EFM systems also integrate with other enterprise systems, dramatically improving overall effectiveness.

Combining EFM with web-based survey administration delivers a cost-effective and efficient way to improve strategic decisions.

The next article in this two-part series will explore the capabilities of EFM solutions and how they enable companies to gain a deeper understanding of customer’s needs and wants. The article will discuss the benefits of utilizing an EFM solution and highlight a customer case study to show real results of leveraging feedback to create actionable business items which can positively affect your business.




Dwight Galler is the Vice President of Marketing for Perseus.
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