The irony is that most surveys do not actually influence anyone’s decision to stay at or leave a job. The one fact that they consistently reveal is that by the time any firm implements the items that will improve its ranking, the particular associate with the beef will not even be there to reap the benefits. Another point that seems to be missed is that the ball is always moving. Years ago, associates were up in arms about not getting free BlackBerries. Now that most firms provide them, associates want iPhones (and mentoring, but they will be realistic and take the gadget).

The survey is BigAssociate’s equivalent of the proverbial carrot and stick all rolled into a neat little document. There are union workers all over major metropolitan cities that stand outside of non-union buildings next to a two-story inflatable rat. It sends some kind of message about something. Personally, it always freaks me out, but it must work because they are everywhere. Associates should just walk around with inflatable surveys bearing different messages depending on the issue of the day. “Give me an iPhone or I’m giving you a 3 (out of 5).” Or, perhaps, “$160,000 doesn’t buy squat. Raise it up to $190,000 or I’m going to culinary school. And, by the way, pay my tuition or you’re looking at a 2. Thank you.”