What employee engagement surveys do for your business
Employee engagement impacts almost all areas of a business – customer experience, work productivity, employee turnover and so much more.
This might leave employers thinking, ‘how do you actually boost engagement, motivation, or even commitment at work?’ Well, employee engagement surveys are a great place to start.
But these surveys aren’t like regular work appraisals or suggestion forms. They’re specifically designed to measure sentiment – to allow employees to feedback on how work and the working environment affect motivation, loyalty, wellbeing, and productivity.
But they’re not just designed to benefit employees. Engagement surveys give businesses insights into the existing workplace culture and ways they can increase productivity, revenue and create an all-round happier and loyal workforce.
Let’s take a look at what an employee engagement survey is, why they’re beneficial and how to create a suitable survey that meets your business needs.
What is an employee engagement survey?
An employee engagement survey is quite simply a questionnaire. It’s made up of comment boxes and scales used to measure the strength of an employee’s connection to their job, their relationship with the business and whether they feel valued.
But what exactly is ‘employee engagement’? It’s all about whether a person feels their contribution to the business is important – and recognised as such by their employer, whether they feel that the culture of the business is a positive one that encourages their professional growth and how the business treats them as an individual.
Using engagement surveys allows employers to explore workplace cultural and environmental factors that affect performance, motivation, and commitment. Feedback is then used to improve engagement with individual people and across whole departments.
Overall, employee engagement surveys can lead to positive change and tangible benefits for both your staff and your business.
What are the benefits of an employee engagement survey?
These surveys are as useful for you as they are for your employees. Helping to drive engagement they can also have a positive effect on productivity and business performance.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of an employee engagement survey:
The biggest benefit of the surveys is that they allow employees to speak openly. They’re able to share thoughts, feelings, or even concerns related to their work. That’s because surveys are usually kept anonymous, so there’s little reason to worry about repercussions to any negative comments.
It might seem like a long-winded way to ask employees for feedback. But it’s important to have these open channels of communication to get authentic insight into how a business is operating, especially during times where communication may be more easily lost through hybrid or remote working conditions.
What are the downsides of an employee engagement survey?
While they may seem straightforward, you need to consider about both the advantages and disadvantages of employee engagement surveys. Ignore them and all your efforts to build a harmonious, productive workplace could be ruined.
Let’s take a look at the downsides of an employee engagement survey:
Examples of employee engagement survey questions
Your questions are key to an effective employee engagement survey. Without the right questions, your survey won’t be the return on investment (ROI) that you need it to be, so stay focused on asking about specific subjects that will produce the sorts – and level – of insights you need to develop your business strategy and decision-making.
Consider asking questions about workforce culture and attitudes, perceptions of professional opportunities and things that work well and areas that need developing.
Here are some general examples of employee engagement survey questions you can refine for your own business:
How to create a survey for employee engagement
There are many factors you need to think about when it comes to employee engagement. And this stands whether you’re downloading a free employee engagement survey example or designing your own.
But don’t worry; we’ve outlined some essential steps for creating your own survey. Remember, the main aim is to develop a system that provides valuable, actionable feedback to help you implement effective changes in your business.
Let’s look at ways to create your own survey for employee engagement:
Design a survey that suits your needs
Every business has its own culture – and it makes sense for your survey of employee engagement to reflect this.
Different factors will impact an employee’s motivation, commitment, and loyalty towards your workplace. That’s why it’s important to design a survey that suits your specific business needs. It’s no good copying an employee engagement template from a rival business!
Think about how many employees you have, what industry you work in and, most importantly, what you expect from your staff as your starting point. Consider also what your ideal workplace culture looks like and pose questions that explore whether you have created that environment or what you could do to deliver that vision.
Think about the length of your survey
The next step is to think about the length of your survey. A long, in-depth survey can provide a lot of feedback and information. But there is a risk people won’t complete it and, if they do, evaluating the data will be difficult.
A general rule of thumb for most businesses is that they should take 30 minutes to complete. Snapshot surveys (which gather shorter but specific feedback) usually take about 15 to 20 minutes to finish.
There’s also no set rules on how often surveys should be held. They are normally conducted once a year. But it’s completely up to you based on your business needs – you can hold them as often as you want – just watch out for survey fatigue.
Choose a right survey question style
Usually, employers have a general idea of what type of feedback they’d like from their staff.
That’s where choosing the right style for your survey questions is key. Let’s look at a few examples:
Keep surveys anonymous and guarantee confidentiality
It’s important to keep all employee engagement surveys anonymous and confidential.
Employee engagement surveys don’t usually ask for personal information such as age, gender, or job role information. By keeping surveys anonymous and confidential, employees feel comfortable with sharing honest feedback about their workplace.
Keeping identities private reassures employees that their feedback won’t be used against them. For example, if an employee shares their feelings at not having opportunities to progress, they won’t have to worry about any consequences because of that viewpoint.
Action your survey results
Once you’ve analysed the data, it’s time to create an action plan.
Of course, it’s not possible to follow through with every single comment. Instead, compile common suggestions that are reasonable enough to act on.
Remember, by creating an action plan based on employee feedback and implementing changes, your employees sense of individual value will increase. This can have a significant, positive impact on their performance, motivation, and commitment to your business. If your employees believe their feedback will lead to real change, they’re more likely to respond to your surveys with open honesty.
If they don’t believe real change was made, they might decide to ignore future surveys. Employees are more likely to disengage, becoming demotivated and even losing trust with your business.
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