Undoubtedly, surveys are a great way for businesses to gather information about their employees and improve the quality of their work environment. They can also help companies identify areas where they can improve their operation.
An employee engagement survey provides organizations with valuable insights into the attitudes and perceptions of their employees. It aims to provide actionable questions and clear objectives.
This article will walk you through creating employee engagement surveys and making the best of them.
An employee engagement survey measures how engaged the workforce is by collecting various data points about the attitudes and behaviors of the employees. It is an excellent means for employees to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions confidentially and anonymously, helping organizations identify areas for improvement and make positive changes.
The data gathered from this survey aids in developing strategies to increase employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. Organizations can create a culture that supports employee well-being and success by understanding the drivers of engagement and the factors contributing to a positive work environment. This results in enhanced employee retention, employee performance and satisfaction.
Pros and cons of conducting employee engagement surveys
We have now discussed how an employee survey is vital to any company’s operations. Unfortunately, poorly executed surveys can damage morale and put a company in a negative direction. Let’s examine some pros and cons of running an employee engagement survey.
• It helps the company to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
• Provides valuable insight into its workforce and helps identify areas for improvement.
• Can help a company develop a positive relationship with its workers and provide the employees with an outlet to voice their concerns and frustrations.
• Supports create a more positive work environment and enhances overall organizational performance.
• The information gathered can help lead to more informed and effective strategies in the future.
• The goal of an employee survey is changing now. Instead of planning for the future, companies are now reacting to the past.
• Large organizations, especially those with elaborate surveys, end up with too much information. Hence, this can be confusing while interpreting the results.
• These surveys can result in employees’ mistrust if not carefully conducted. If the results are not acknowledged well, the employees feel less valued, thus leading to a negative work environment.
Here's how you can create an effective employee engagement survey
1. Decide where to focus
Identifying the key factors that should be focused on while conducting an employee engagement survey is a good start for any organization planning to run one. This will allow the managers to make informed decisions and improve the organization’s effectiveness. Vital aspects such as job satisfaction, organizational culture, employee performance, work-life balance, the productivity of the company, administrative policies, professional development, etc., can help gain a comprehensive understanding of employees’ experiences in the workplace and identify areas for improvement to enhance employee engagement and overall organizational performance.
2. Determine how you are measuring it
The next step is deciding how to measure the survey results. The objective of the survey is to gather information about the employees’ engagement and the changes that are happening in the organization. One of the most important factors managers should consider while planning the survey is identifying the high-priority goals. This will allow in identifying areas where the company can improve and where competitors are already focusing their efforts.
To avoid resistance, managers can focus on the important issues affecting the organization’s leadership team. Leaders can ensure that the survey doesn’t include topics unrelated to the vision and mission of the company.
3. Clearly communicate the purpose and process
The main intention of conducting an employee survey is to provide the surveyees with the necessary information to make informed decisions and improve their performance. Before starting the survey process, confirm that the details are communicated well to the employees. Sharing the plans and objectives helps ensure that everyone knows what to expect. Make sure you remain transparent and explain the purpose of the engagement survey, how the data will be used, and how it will benefit the organization and employees. Emphasize the confidentiality and anonymity of the survey and the importance of employees’ honest feedback. You may provide clear and concise instructions on completing the survey, including the format and length of the survey. The instructions should be lucid and accessible to all employees.
4. Keep it simple and to the point
Managers should make sure that the survey is simple and quick to complete. It can be very discouraging for employees to participate if they feel that the questions are irrelevant or hard to achieve. A short survey that takes less than ten minutes is often considered ideal by several industry experts. You may try collecting both qualitative and quantitative data.
Identifying the demographic information that will be collected shouldn’t be neglected. This will allow the managers to improve the survey quality in the future. Remember that employees will be more likely to participate if they believe that the results will be measured as a collective effort and that their responses will be anonymous.
5. Include different question formats
To keep your survey engaging, you must mix the question formats. Rather than having a single type of question, let’s say, close-ended, including multiple-choice questions, open-ended questions, and rating scales, can fetch a range of feedback. Rating scales allow employees to rate their level of agreement or satisfaction with a particular statement, using a numerical scale, say,1 to 5. A Likert scale is a type of rating scale that uses a range of options to measure the intensity of a feeling or opinion, such as “Strongly Disagree,” “Disagree,” “Neutral,” “Agree,” and “Strongly Agree.”
6. Dealing with the results
Even seasoned leaders can feel overwhelmed by the results of a survey, especially when it comes to sharing them with their direct reports. This is because, even though the survey may not be personal, it is still hard to see them in a different light. Leaders must be trained on how to interpret and discuss the results of the survey. One way to achieve this is by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to create an action plan. Besides being able to interpret the results, training also needs to cover how to facilitate a discussion. This can be done in group settings, where the team can talk openly.
Ensure to inform your teams that the survey results are not being used to find out who said what. Instead, it is used to gather information about the employees’ general perceptions of work and the alterations that could help them perform better.
7. Propose an action plan
Besides analyzing the survey results and communicating the findings, make sure an action plan is offered. This is a great way to portray that employees’ opinions and feedback are valued and that the company is taking steps to advance. You may focus on those areas where employees have expressed dissatisfaction or suggested improvement. Consider each issue’s impact on employee engagement and the resources and effort required to address it. It’s recommended to involve employees in the action plan development process. This can help increase buy-in and ensure that the proposed solutions are practical and effective. Ensure the plan is achievable, realistic, and aligned with the company’s goals and values. Do not forget to establish timelines for each aspect of the action plan, with clear milestones and deadlines. Without this, it may be challenging to ensure that progress is being made and that the plan stays on track.
8. Follow up on results
Once the action plan is implemented, you must conduct follow-up surveys to measure progress and gather additional employee feedback. This is vital in assessing the impact of the actions taken on employee engagement and satisfaction. Several experts suggest that metrics such as employee turnover, absenteeism, and productivity can be instrumental in measuring the effectiveness of the action plan. You can make any necessary adjustments to the action plan based on feedback and progress. However, it has to be verified that the plan remains relevant and responsive to the changing needs of the workplace.
Employee engagement surveys are intended to improve employee morale, increase employee retention, enhance productivity, improve decision-making, and result in a better organizational culture. Every company gets an opportunity to enhance the quality of its employees’ experience by conducting an employee engagement survey. Though various methods can be used to survey employees, the results should help make organizational changes and guide future initiatives.
The goal of the survey should be to improve the employees’ engagement, which can be achieved by continuously repeating the process. We hope the tips suggested in this article help you accomplish this feat a little easier.