Learn why the employee survey is far from dead
Kevin Kruse, bestselling author of Employee Engagement 2.0, says employees should be surveyed at least annually. Employee surveys not only help gauge morale, but they also can help direct changes in strategy, direction or branding. If you’re thinking of changing your logo or refocusing on one business line over another, it’s a good idea to get the opinions of employees sooner than later. Even if you don’t go with the popular vote, you’ll be able to better message the “why” behind your business decisions.
Where morale is concerned, online survey company Survey Monkey, which has 25 million users and receives 90 million survey responses a month, categorizes employee surveys in the following ways:
- Worker mood and morale. Get a read on the overall workplace attitude and job satisfaction with a questionnaire that gets to the heart of your personnel’s overall mood. With a better understanding of your employees’ perceptions, you’ll be in a much better place to make changes.
- Employee engagement. How committed is your staff? Are they just showing up for the paycheck and the free coffee, or are they in for the long term? A passionate, engaged workforce makes your company more efficient, creative, and yes, profitable. Learn how to keep loyal workers motivated and give the disengaged employees a newfound commitment
- Organization and leadership. You probably have a system in place for management to evaluate their teams, but do you have a way for your employees to evaluate their management? Help your staff feel valued by encouraging them to share their opinions on leadership performance.
- Exit interview. It’s a fact: employees will leave. Find out why your hires leave and how you can keep quality employees.
Encourage full and truthful participation
Unlike when you survey outsiders, you can—and should—request 100 percent participation from employees in order to get the fullest picture of your organization from those who know it best. But in order to make employees feel comfortable in sharing their true thoughts, employee surveys must be both anonymous and confidential. Survey tools ask whether you’d like the survey to be anonymous from the get-go. One way to show your employees that it’s also confidential is to promote the fact that you’ve hired a trusted, third-party resource to execute the survey, and review and present results.
Share and act on results quickly
Some people claim that the employee survey is dead—but we propose that the employee survey is still very much useful and alive, IF acted upon. Thank employees for their time and honesty by spending a little time and being transparent yourself.
- Share the results. Give a high-level summary to employees within a few weeks after the close of the survey.
- Create an action plan. While sharing results, address areas of concern by sharing thoughts for how you will begin to address issues.
- Involve employees in change. Invite employees to join a task force specific to any issues raised in the survey.
- Hold managers accountable. Share areas of concern with managers and set goals, with timelines, for addressing them. Update employees on progress.
Sites like Survey Monkey, SurveyPlanet, SurveyGizmo, Zoomerang and Polldaddy can help you craft employee survey questions that are structured in the right way. Generally it’s a good idea to ask about:
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities
- Degree of satisfaction with current position and company
- Level of recognition
- Perception of growth opportunities
- Compensation and benefits
- Leadership effectiveness
- Effectiveness of strategic direction
- Current and/or proposed marketing and branding strategies
- Workplace safety
- Effectiveness of internal communication
- Everyday workday items that could be a concern, like lunch or beverage options, team-building events or seating arrangements
Armed with a well-crafted, confidential and anonymous survey that is also actionable, you can get in better touch with your workforce today to nurture and grow cheerleaders for your company tomorrow.
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