Ever wondered how your employees really feel every morning when they wake up and contemplate the prospect of heading to work? Do you think they’re excited to tackle the day ahead, or is anxiety the prevailing emotion that accompanies the morning alarm? There’s only one way to find out: ask them.
In today’s competitive business landscape, you can no longer afford to make assumptions about your employees’ morale and motivations. A litany of factors can affect wellbeing in the workplace, and even enterprises that offer myriad perks and benefits are susceptible to high levels of dissatisfaction. So if you want to become an employer of choice and reduce levels of staff turnover, it’s time to get in touch with what’s happening within your walls.
So how do you get to the bottom of what’s going on in your business? Employee surveys are a good place to start. After all, how do you expect to have your questions answered if you don’t ask them? It might seem like a simple and obvious solution, but employee surveys can in fact do more harm than good if not properly crafted and implemented.
Many employers make the fatal error of creating surveys that read more like psychological evaluations, focusing on how employees feel about a wide range of subjects. Now that’s not to say that these feelings aren’t valid or worth being privy to, but what business benefit do they have at the end of the day? If you want your survey to mean something, it’s important that your questions are created with clear objectives in mind, and that you’re prepared to tackle and resolve any issues that might arise as a result.
So how do you craft questions that resonate within your workforce and deliver results for your business? Here are four tips to help you perfect the art of asking:
PICK YOUR SUBJECT MATTER CAREFULLY
Vagueness is the enemy of employee surveys, so it’s vital that you narrow down your subject field so as to generate targeted, concise results. Ultimately, your survey should look to address your key business objectives, and to deal with topics that align to these. So for instance, if your company prides itself on innovation, you might want to centre your survey on your employees’ ability to be creative, and look to address whatever barriers are hindering their success.
For many of your employees, this won’t be their first survey, and you’d be wise to expect a fair amount of cynicism across the board. In all likelihood, the majority of your staff contingent has probably offered their thoughts, opinions and suggestions via this type of forum many times before, only to have them fall on deaf ears. So it’s important that you manage expectations from the get-go, and explain to your employees that whilst all their answers will be considered, you unfortunately won’t be able to address every single issue that arises.
ASK FOR SPECIFICS
There’s no use in knowing that your employees don’t trust senior management if you have no understanding of the reasons behind this sentiment. So steer clear of the check box system when next initiating an employee feedback survey if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty. Make sure to offer your employees ample space to elaborate and add comments and suggestions – the more information you have at your disposal, the better equipped you’ll be to take consequent action.
MAKE THE ANSWERS COUNT
There’s absolutely no point in conducting any sort of survey if you aren’t prepared to make changes based on your findings. If you really want to improve your employee engagement and empower your employees in the process, you’ll need to show that you take their views seriously, and make real attempts to rectify some of the issues raised. It’s also important that you’re transparent with your findings, and that you communicate to all your employees the issues you’ve identified, as well as the ways in which you intend to address them.