How to Create an Optimal Employee Engagement Survey That Gets Results

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by Mary Walton

There’s no doubt that employee satisfaction leads to better performance, maybe even leading to a 12 percent increase in productivity. But that doesn’t mean that measuring employee engagement and happiness at work is simple. After all, satisfaction is far from a science.

Employee surveys are essential if you want to run a successful business. With the results, you can revolutionise and upgrade your business into an unstoppable force where your employees are happy, hard-working, and productive, therefore giving your customers the best experience possible and enabling you to make the best decisions for your business.

However, harvesting the results from these surveys is easier said than done. Today, we’re going to go through everything you need know to make sure you make the most of your upcoming employee survey opportunity.

Start planning your employee survey months in advance

Let’s say you’re going to host your employee survey the first week of January. This should be more than enough time to make sure that everybody has the chance to add to the employee feedback during working hours.

However, you’ll want to start planning and promoting your survey way before these dates, and we’re talking several months. Even if you start back in August the year before, get people excited about the upcoming survey and give your employees the opportunities to ask questions about it so when the dates finally arrive, everybody can simply get on and complete it.

Creating an anonymous employee survey

This is a bit of a controversial point because it can limit the follow-up on your employee feedback, but many HR professionals say anonymity maintain the quality of a survey.

“It’s absolutely essential that all employee survey results come back to you in an anonymous form, which means not including a name section or identification factor in the survey itself. This is because some employees may have different experiences in their departments or different members of staff or management,” said Wilson Nates, HR manager at Academized.

Having a set of results that can be traced back to employees will drop the integrity of the survey as they’ll hold back on what they’re saying, meaning you’ll be left with false results and you’ll be unable to improve your business.

Want the right answers? Ask the right questions!

As the person in charge of your employee survey, it’s important to pay attention to the questions that you’re asking your staff. In short, if there’s a part of your business or a process that your business is undertaking that you know will come up with objections, but you don’t want to hear about it, or it’s not relevant in this survey, simply avoid the question altogether.

You’ll also want to consider the timing of the survey as this will affect directly the survey results. For example, if you’re asking questions related to a work-life balance, but you’re issuing the survey in the middle of the Christmas season when everybody is working overtime, you’re not going to get an accurate set of results that reflect on the rest of the year.

Here are some great resources to give you ideas for employee engagement survey questions to get you started:

An employee survey must be a part of a whole change management process

One of the biggest offenders that guarantee to drop any employee participation rates in future surveys is not acting on the results that you get. Yes, just asking does affect employee motivation, but seeing marked improvements based on common suggestions motivates even more. If a manager in your business is constantly being complained about throughout the survey, or a process is, or anything about your business, you need to address these problems.

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Failure to address these issues will cause people to think that you’re wasting your time so be prepared to act. Likewise, be prepared to advert and promote the changes that you’re making inline with the survey results so you can be sure to boost morale and your future participation rates.

It’s important that you transparently not only communicate about the survey ahead of time but that you make an effort to at least report the results internally, if not externally.

Employee engagement can’t come just once a year

You may only have it in your budget for one employee engagement survey a year. But that doesn’t mean your effort to increase employee motivation should be annual. And nor should your effort to get employee feedback. Make sure an employee satisfaction survey is a part of a greater strategy to increase happiness at work. Everyone, not just human resources, should be involved in measuring the company pulse, which comes from regular one-on-one meetings, coaching, and employee engagement exercises, even simple ones like the Happiness Door.

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Employee engagement is an ongoing process that has to be improved overtime.

Have you run any employee engagement surveys? Learned any lessons? Found just the right questions to get to the crux of the issue? Tell us in the comments below!

Photos: compliments of Women of Color in Tech

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