Blog - Novacrea Research
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Photo by Matthew Wisniewski, GLBRC

Novacrea recently helped the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) conduct an organizational survey for its members, who include researchers, graduate students, post-docs, and staff. I caught up with Dan Lauffer, Chief Operating Officer at GLBRC, and Catherine Carter, Operations Process Manager, after completing the survey. Here's our interview, edited for length.

Pi Wen: Could you tell us a little bit about the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, its mission and the activities that your members engage in?

Dan: The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is one of three biological research centers funded by the Department of Energy, with a mission of conducting basic research that generates technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol.

When planning for an employee survey, you need to be very clear what you want to achieve with your survey. Get focus and ignore non-essentials. Just like managing all the information that’s constantly available to us. If you are like me, you probably subscribe to several news lists, professional publication lists, and RSS feeds. We want to keep up with everything lest we miss some big news or fall behind the latest research or industry trends. But we cannot keep up. We are stressed. Indeed, we need to focus on only what's important and ignore others! This is just what Peter Bregman prescribed in his blog on HRB. Peter advised that we focus on two lists: your focus list - what you want to achieve and what's important to you; and your ignore list - what are you willing to let go and what's not important to you. Likewise, when planning for an employee survey, you need to have a focus list of topics that you want to survey and ignore other irrelevant topics at this time.

Sometimes small details are what makes or breaks a perfect performance, or, a perfectly executed employee survey. One of these small details in conducting an employee survey is your employee mailing list. Regardless of whether you are surveying all your employees or a random sample of your workforce, you'll need to create your list and check it twice (or thrice!)