Developing and Conducting Employee Surveys

Developing and Conducting Employee Survey

By now, you likely know that employee surveys are crucial to understanding what your people think and perceive about a variety of topics that are important to your organization’s success. However, you will lose credibility with your people if such surveys are put together as an after-thought or in a willy-nilly fashion. With that said, here’s what you should know about developing and conducting employee surveys.

The Issue

To keep employees engaged, between half and 75 percent of organizations use employee surveys, and implement changes based on them.

What are Employee Surveys?

These are tools organizations use to measure and garner feedback on employee performance, morale, and employee engagement. They’re often used to gauge the employee experience.

What is Employee Experience?

Basically, employee experience is the distillation of all an employee has experienced, seen, and perceived during their tenure with an organization.

Why is Employee Experience Key?

For one thing, we’re still in a tight labor market. Unemployment is low, which means employees can be more selective. Add to that the pandemic effect – people are generally rethinking how and where they want to work – and organizations’ ability to attract and retain top talent is paramount. That ability will be hamstrung if the employee experience is not top notch. Nowadays, it can take more than a nice paycheck to lure and keep the people you need. That’s why you need an employee survey. 

Developing and Conducting Employee Surveys

What are the Main Types of Employee Surveys?

Here are the five main types of employee surveys:

  • Employee satisfaction. This can be used to gather opinions to create a positive work environment.
  • Employee engagement. Organizations use this when they want to monitor factors that contribute to workforce performance.
  • Organizational culture. These are typically used when there have been structural changes in an organization or following a merger or acquisition.
  • Business process feedback. These are conducted to glean ideas or suggestions that can help a company grow.
  • 360-degree feedback. This is used to gain feedback from sources such as senior management, supervisors, clients, etc.

Mistakes Organizations Make with Surveys

Here are the primary mistakes employers make with employee surveys:

  • No specific goal. Ask yourself “why” you’re conducting a survey, then derive questions based on your answer.
  • TLDR. Social media users often use this for “too long; didn’t read.” While employees just might complete a relatively long survey, you run the risk of them rushing through it without giving it much thought. Make sure the survey is short and simple.
  • Lacks neutrality and relevance. You don’t want survey questions that can color data or confirm what is already believed. In fact, questions should be developed in a way that uncovers no biases.
  • Not explaining the reward. “What’s in it for me?” Your employees will engage more willingly and enthusiastically if they understand why the survey can ultimately benefit them.
  • Not assuring safety and anonymity. You may consider this a given, but employees often fear that honest answers will somehow come back to bite them. Assure your people that this is not the case – then make certain that’s so.
  • Failing to respond. If employees sense that you’re merely going through the motions, that the feedback given will not be followed up on, they’ll lose faith in you. The result may be attrition or the perception that such surveys are a waste of time.

Knowing how to develop and conduct employee surveys is as vital as the knowledge that such surveys are important. If you need assistance – and most thriving organizations realize they do – we suggest the leading global HR consultant Mercer.



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