Why employee engagement surveys make sense and how to get them right.
So you’re looking to conduct an employee engagement survey? Great idea! After all, it can’t hurt to know what your staff contingent thinks about you and your business. But wait just a second. Before you click the ‘send to all’ button, there are a few things you should know about the art of generating meaningful employee feedback.
You see, it’s all very well to identify what you’re looking to measure, be it employee attitudes, their satisfaction levels or their thoughts on executive management. That’s the easy part. But it’s in the execution that things can sometimes come unstuck.
Not all employee engagement surveys are created equal. And while they can be enormously helpful tools for management, and facilitate long-term improvements in the office environment, they can actually serve to alienate employees if conducted incorrectly.
So here are some key dos and don’ts to bear in mind before conducting your next employee survey:
DO: Take Action
If you’re going to expect employees to take time out of their busy working days to answer your survey questions, you’d better be prepared to deliver solutions. If your employees keep providing feedback only to see no appropriate action taken, you can be sure that their interest in your surveys will quickly wane, meaning that your results will become progressively less accurate as time goes on.
So be prepared to tackle whatever issues arise as a result of your surveys, and make an effort to address all employee concerns head-on. After all, if you’re not looking to use a survey as a vehicle for change then why bother doing it in the first place?
DON’T: Wait until the last minute
Research reveals that many organisations wait until an employee’s exit interview before choosing to conduct a survey. It’s easy to see why this might be a bad idea. Firstly, how invested can the departing employee really be in supplying you with meaningful feedback? After all, whatever issues they’ve had are unlikely to crop up anytime in the near future.
Not only does this approach convey to the soon-to-be ex-employee that you never really cared about their opinion while they were part of your company, but it also lets remaining staff members know that their opinions remain invalid until such point that they’ve in fact been terminated.
DO: Consider the source
In every organisation there are top performers as well as employees that are simply impossible to please. And while it might seem like playing favourites, there’s no harm in weighting the opinions of those less prone to petty complaints. After all, they’ve proved their value and credibility to you, so shouldn’t their opinions and recommendations be given priority?
Ultimately, you’re never going to be able to fix every employee’s problem. John in finance who wants a Nespresso machine? Tough luck. Diane in the accounts department who simply must use Mont Blanc pens? Yeah maybe next time Diane. You’re never going to be able to please everyone (and you’re probably going to get a lot of bizarre requests), so it’s important that the voices of your most valued employees aren’t drowned out.
DON’T: Make assumptions
So your results have come back and you’re pretty happy with the feedback. In fact, your employee engagement scores are higher than ever. But before you excitedly call a board meeting, remember that it’s likely that not all employees have taken your survey.
In fact, studies regularly show that it’s in fact the least engaged employees that are most likely to shirk survey duties. So it’s important that you supplement your surveys appropriately by following up with staff, asking where you could improve, what questions you might have missed. This way, you’ll show them that you take their views seriously, and ensure that your next email survey doesn’t score a one-way ticket to the trash bin.
If you’re looking to conduct a creative and effective employee engagement survey, get in touch with us today!