Employee Surveys: How To Get Started

Employee surveys, employee engagement questionnaires, staff questionnaires or employee satisfaction surveys – call them what you will, but the end result is the same. The fact is, employee surveys are a great tool for harvesting feedback from staff and are a sure-fire way to increase employee engagement in your business. And everyone knows that engaged employees are more productive and deliver superior customer service.

However, when the corporate agenda is already jam-packed and funds are limited in relation to external consultants, even with the best will in the world employee surveys often end up in the deferred category. This article will help you get started. We provide an overview of what to do and what not to do. And we even supply some sample employee engagement questions. Let’s start though by reminding ourselves about the value of conducting employee surveys.

Why Employee Questionnaires Are Important

employee engagementEmployee surveys can simultaneously tick off a number of important organizational aims and objectives including:

  • measuring progress on the employee engagement front
  • providing a voice for employees
  • increasing employee engagement
  • helping to direct organizational growth
  • providing a benchmark of where you are at.

Measuring Employee Engagement

Surveys are an easy way to measure and monitor the key drivers of employee engagement. Discover what really matters most to staff. Furthermore, regular surveys will provide a rich source of longitudinal data and enable you to keep a check on progress.

Providing A Voice For Staff

Employee questionnaires send a clear message that management values the views and input of staff. Two-way communication between senior management and the staff body is fundamental to all successful companies and employee surveys have an important contribution to make on this front.

Increasing Employee Engagement

Once you have assessed where you are at on the employee engagement spectrum, you can then develop an action plan to increase engagement. Surveys can help you to identify priority areas, strengths and opportunities.

Direct Organizational Growth

company growthEngagement survey feedback provides actionable data on a whole range of organizational issues. Looking to revitalize the company’s branding with a new look and logo? Gain insights and feedback from staff through an employee questionnaire. Perhaps you are conducting a company-wide review of the customer experience. Find out key information from the employees’ perspective with a questionnaire. When it comes to any aspect of organizational growth, the input of staff will be critical and employee surveys are a valuable tool for involvement.

Benchmarking Where You Are At

Benchmarking enables you to assess how you measure up to the competition. Use your results to check how you are performing against other teams in the company or against other organizations operating within the industry. Say, for example that compared to the company-wide average of 15 percent, 35 percent of staff in the finance department are dissatisfied with opportunities for professional development. This indicates there may well be a localized issue in finance that needs further investigation. The same applies if your results differ significantly from industry-wide norms.

How To Conduct An Employee Survey

There’s a balance to be had between wanting to know everything and keeping the employee survey questions to a manageable number so that it doesn’t take staff too long to complete. An overly long survey can be counter-productive as not only are staff taken away from the day job for longer, it may also put employees off diving in and getting it completed.  We suggest that 30 questions is the optimum size for a survey that will deliver sufficient actionable feedback without making it an onerous task to complete or indeed analyze.

Employee Survey Template

online employee engagement-surveyWhether you are using the intranet’s in-built forms builder or an intranet-embedded Google Form to create your survey template, online options work better than paper ones. What’s more, you will be doing your bit for the environment and enhancing your green credentials. Online options also make it much easier to analyze the results reducing the amount of time spent on collating and evaluating the data.

And when it comes to frequency, some businesses prefer the regular staff engagement offered by weekly or monthly short employee surveys. Others prefer more detailed surveys on a less frequent basis such as quarterly or even annually. And while employee fatigue is certainly one important aspect to consider, there is also the time spent in analyzing the data to factor in as well before making a choice about the frequency that is right for you.

Employee Survey Best Practices

A high level of participation is the goal of every staff questionnaire. How a survey is designed and the types of questions you include will determine the success of your survey. There’s more detail on questions later, however, a well-designed, easy-to-complete survey is an essential starting point. In addition, be certain of your overall aims and objectives for the survey and communicate these clearly and succinctly to staff.

Some businesses identify particular areas that they want to collect staff views on. Indeed, coming up with a logical framework for your survey is good idea. And for those businesses that prefer regular surveys rather than one big annual questionnaire, this presents a good opportunity to engage staff more frequently. You could, therefore, organize your survey with questions under the following key headings:

  • company culture
  • workplace environment
  • staff recognition and satisfaction
  • personal growth and development opportunities
  • relationships with managers
  • relationships with co-workers.

While the survey itself should be completed anonymously, it’s important to collect data around job roles and teams so that you can identify any issues within a department or at a specific level of the organization. This may not, however, be possible if you are a very small company as it could mean that the respondent is easily identified.

Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

It’s the questions that will determine the success of your employee questionnaire. Here are some best practice tips to help you get the questions right.

  • employee survey questionsFollow questionnaire writing best practices and be aware of the potential for unintended bias in questions. Generally, it’s a bad idea for someone to write survey questions if they have a vested interest in a particular outcome. They may unconsciously write or arrange questions in such a way that ends up in the answers they want.
  • Whenever possible use scales rather than straightforward yes or no questions. This will allow you to measure the strength of opinion.
  • Balance the questions between quantitative and qualitative. However, keep questions that require respondents to type comments to a minimum. These kinds of free comments are much harder to analyze than multiple choice questions.
  • Don’t ask unnecessary questions. Be clear about what you are seeking to learn from the question so that you keep the survey as short as possible.

Sample Employee Survey Questions

To get you started, here are some sample questions that you are free to use or adapt to your own requirements.

We have arranged the questions under the categories we identified earlier.

Employee Survey Questions On Culture

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how happy are you at work?
  2. Using the same 1-10 scale, how likely are you to recommend the company to someone as a great place to work?
  3. Do you feel that you understand the company’s goals and your contribution towards their achievement?
  4. What three words do you think sum up the company culture?

Employee Survey Questions On Workplace Environment

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how satisfied are you with the level of comfort in the workplace? If not satisfied, how could it be improved?
  2. Do you have access to all the tools and resources you need to get the job done?
  3. Is there sufficient quiet working space within the office to enable you to complete tasks free of distractions when you need to?

Employee Survey Questions On Staff Recognition And Satisfaction

  1. employee recognitionOn a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how satisfied are you with your job?
  2. Does your job description adequately reflect the work that you do?
  3. Does your manager provide regular feedback on your performance at work? If yes, what is the frequency – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually?
  4. Is the business good at celebrating its successes and achievements?
  5. Do you feel as though you have a good work-life balance?
  6. Using the same 1-10 scale, how much do you feel your line manager values your feedback and contributions?
  7. Do you feel as though the organization encourages you to give your feedback?

Employee Survey Questions On Personal Growth And Development Opportunities

  1. On a 1-10 scale (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how clear are you about the responsibilities of your job role?
  2. Can you see a career or promotion path for you within the company?
  3. Do you feel as though you are provided with enough opportunities to grow your skills within the business?
  4. Does the company support you in identifying ongoing professional development opportunities both internally and externally?
  5. Are you given sufficient authority and autonomy to make decisions on how best to do your work?

Sample Employee Survey Questions On Relationships With Managers

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how well does your manager communicate with the team?
  2. How would you describe the leadership style of your manager?
  3. Do you feel as though the company’s management team are transparent in their decision-making and information sharing?
  4. Is your manager someone that you feel you can trust?
  5. Does your manager set clear goals and objectives for you?

Sample Employee Survey Questions On Relationships With Co-Workers

  1. employee relationsOn a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how would you rate the morale of your team?
  2. Do you feel as though you can count on your co-workers when you need help?
  3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? My teammates work well together to achieve the company’s goals.
  4. Using the same 1-10 scale, how good is the company at promoting and facilitating joint working and collaboration across the business?

Wrap-Up Questions To Complete The Employee Survey

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest), how good is the company at feeding back to employees on the outcomes from the survey?
  2. Using the same 1-10 scale, how confident are you that management will introduce improvements as a result of the survey?

Employee Survey Action Plan

All the hard work you have put into devising a comprehensive employee questionnaire and all the time staff spend on completing it will, however, be wasted if you fail to act on the results. It really is a waste of effort if you don’t use the data to effect change and bring about organizational improvements. It’s essential then that management swiftly comes up with an employee survey action plan. Here are the steps involved:

Publish The Results

Getting the results out there as soon as possible is essential. Waiting weeks or months sends a message to staff that, actually, the survey is a pretty low priority and isn’t all that important. What’s more, it could well affect the rate of participation next time around.

Management Team Develops An Action Plan

old kitchenThe company’s leadership team should assess the results and devise an action plan in response. The action plan should include a mix of quick fixes and changes that will take longer to implement. For example, if a number of survey respondents are complaining about the kitchen facilities in the workplace, then a quick fix could be to replace the crockery with new items or supply a larger fridge. A complete refurbishment of the kitchen would, however, be a longer-term objective.

Quick-fix solutions are important for keeping the staff body on board with the employee survey. Employees can see that their concerns are being listened to and are being acted on quickly. Be sure to communicate the action plan to staff once it’s completed. Employees need to appreciate that some changes will take longer to implement – communication is the main thing here though as well as being seen to listen to and act on the opinions of staff.

Monitor And Report Back On Progress

It’s no good having a great action plan if you then fail to monitor, and more importantly, feedback on progress. This sends a clear sign to staff of just how important the process is to management. Sometimes tasks will hit an unexpected road block and staff should be kept informed of what’s happening.

Employee Surveys Are Good For Business

The bottom line is quite simple really: employee surveys are good for business. Microsoft Founder Bill Gates summed it up nicely: “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” And the same is true of organizations as well. Employee surveys will help your business to continuously improve while also keeping staff members happy and engaged.

For more information on employee surveys and how an intranet can support employee engagement generally, get in touch with the knowledgeable team at MyHub. Our super easy to install and use intranet software will enhance employee engagement in your business. Sign up today for a free demo or 14-day no-obligation trial.

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