Whingeing Or Serious Concerns?

Sorting through employee feedback surveys and taking out the serious points.
When trying to gauge the mood of staff through methods like employee feedback surveys, can you be sure you will get a true response of how they are feeling?
Now let us all be honest for a minute, most of us are never completely happy at work. Most people tend to think they are being worked too hard or they are not appreciated enough for the role they do, and everyone would always like to be paid more money.

There are often employees who like to have a whinge but when they sit down and think about it, they realise its actually not that bad.
So for those companies that decide to conduct employee feedback surveys, it can be difficult to decipher between a bit of moaning, responses that are made just so management don’t think everything is perfect, and serious issues raised that are genuine problems to be addressed.
It is a widely perceived of the British that we like a good moan, but we then never do anything about it. Therefore, do companies even need to worry about what their staff think, after all they will just carry on regardless having a moan, and therefore will be actually quite happy!
In these tough economic times, staff may not be brave enough to voice their concerns, fearing companies will just respond by saying there are plenty of unemployed people desperate for work, who would be glad to have your job. Even in surveys where names are kept anonymous, it may be obvious to management who is likely to complain about certain things. Staff may fear this and just keep quiet, not wanting to rock the boat. I suppose with this type of thinking, the people most likely to voice their concerns are those who think they are most vital to the company and who think the company could not do without them!
Employees may also try and second guess the motive behind a survey and tailor their answers accordingly, when in fact all employers really want is a true reflection of how their staff are feeling and what concerns they have. Some staff may just not like their manager personally, and see this as an opportunity to get their own back. In fact they may just be unhappy because their manager got a promotion and they did not!
So when faced with a multitude of feedback answers, some may be contradictory, and some will be exaggerated to reflect their personal situation, it is therefore the somewhat difficult job of management to decide which need concerns are serious and need addressing.
Paul Unfs writes on behalf of Employee Feedback Ltd