In this blog, Nuhman discusses how to conduct an effective employee survey.
By Nuhman Sharif
As a manager, director or business owner, one of the questions on your mind might be ‘how happy are my employees?’ Obviously, it wouldn’t be appropriate to simply walk up to Ellie in Accounts and ask if she likes working for the company, as the chances are she might tell you what you want to hear as opposed to what she truly believes! One of the best ways to gauge how your employees really feel is through the use of surveys and these are now commonplace within organisations.
How often should you do a survey?
Large organisations tend to opt for an annual approach, whereas other organisations may conduct two or three surveys over the same period. The pitfall to avoid here is survey fatigue; in other words, employees being surveyed to death!
The once a year model isn’t a bad one as you’re able to compare the results to those of previous years to track improvement. In turn, this allows you to determine if the actions you took following last year’s survey have been effective. However, don’t forget that the questions need to stay the same each year to allow you to make meaningful comparisons.
Think about the quality of the survey questions being used.
These should cover issues relevant to the employee experience, leading questions and ambiguity should be avoided, and it’s useful to have a mix of free-text and closed questions. Free-text questions can sometimes be really valuable as employees can make brilliant suggestions which may never have been considered at management level
How should the survey be delivered?
Nowadays, you have a range of online software to choose from. Ultimately though, whichever system you opt for needs to be user-friendly – don’t assume all employees are technical whizz kids!
Think about how you can generate data that is truly representative of what your employees think.
Anonymity can help, as if employees know they won’t be reprimanded for expressing their views, they may be more forthcoming with their feedback.
Also, would incentivising employees help? Not always is the answer here because although you may get more respondents, these employees may not be truly engaged, instead just answering the questions to get the free gift!
Overall, it’s important to understand that employee surveys are an excellent tool in determining the pulse of the organisation, as well as being crucial insight into the changes that should be made.
However, when it comes to employee engagement, this should only be one of your strategies. Don’t forget that employee engagement can be something as simple as celebrating your team members’ birthday or organising regular social events. Remember an engaged employee is a happy employee, and a happy employee is likely to stay with your organisation and participate in its continued success.
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