10 Tips for Successful Employee Surveys
With the increasing focus on employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee retention, companies are conducting more employee surveys in hopes of gaining helpful insights. There are numerous survey tools that allow companies to undertake employee surveys internally without investing in expert consulting support.
While my bias is towards engaging an expert to support your company in designing the questionnaire, collecting answers from your employees, analyzing the responses and providing priority actions to help your company succeed in attracting, engaging and retaining a high performing workforce, I offer the following tips regardless of which path you choose.
1. Identify a senior leader as the sponsor of the survey—ideally, the president/CEO or business owner. The sponsor must have credibility with the employee community and engender trust that the results will be taken seriously and acted upon.
2. Make sure the survey objectives are clearly communicated. When employees have a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished, they will be more likely to participate. Use every channel available to convey to employees the purpose of the survey and the anticipated outcomes.
3. Include everyone—all employees who will be affected by the outcome.
4. Guarantee anonymity—ideally, work with an external firm to ensure that answers are completely confidential and there is no opportunity for employee responses to lead to reprisal or hard feelings. If you choose to undertake the survey in-house, be sure that the answers do not get linked to the responding employee. If there is a breach of confidentiality, you will not get honest contributions.
5. Provide paid time to complete the questionnaire/survey. This is a work-related assignment and should be covered during the regular workday.
6. Make the survey concise. Focus on your objectives rather than asking every imaginable question; it shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to complete.
7. Ask objective questions. Avoid biasing the responses, and ensure that employees always have the option to answer: “don’t know/uncertain,” “not applicable” or “prefer not to answer.”
8. Prioritize the objective analysis of results, and ensure that analyses are aligned with the stated objectives.
9. Be prepared to share the survey results with everyone in the company who was asked to participate. Be clear about the actions to be taken, including when, where and by whom. Use every channel available to convey to employees the results of the survey and the actions to be taken.
10. Fulfill your promises to take action based on the survey results. Repeat the survey to measure the impact of the actions/changes that arose from the survey.
The Dunvegan Group works with B2B companies to improve employee retention using The Platinum Rule®, “Treat other people the way they want to be treated.” Learn more about our solution.
Anne Miner founded The Dunvegan Group in 1987 as a full-service marketing research consulting firm. Under her leadership, the company has adapted to changes in the markets, advances in technology, and economic ups and downs. The firm developed its own processes, metrics, and software to support the services it delivers to Business-to-Business corporations, as well as smaller companies, including start-ups. The company serves clients across North America and around the world as they thrive and grow through serving their own customers according to the insights customers provide.