Employee Engagement Surveys Best Practices

Employee engagement is suffering despite a fair amount of effort spent on employee engagement surveys. According to some studies, a mere 13% of employees are engaged worldwide. Add to that the fact that finding and replacing employees is an expensive proposition. So it’s no surprise that employee engagement is one of the top concerns for organizations. Improving employee engagement will affect moral, employee referrals, productivity, customer service, attendance and employee turnover.

So how do you measure and improve engagement? Survale suggests a three step process:

Step 1 – Quarterly feedback. Gathering feedback from a quarterly survey is the first step towards making more informed decisions that affect your people. Employees can more easily contribute when there is an outlet for their thoughts and opinions with a quarterly engagement survey.

Step 2 – Pulse feedback. Survale suggests monthly or bi-weekly employee surveys commonly referred to as pulse surveys. Pulse surveys are growing in popularity. They support engagement best practices by providing regular, focused feedback opportunities for employees, while identifying issues and opportunities on a consistent basis. When you’re probing employees bi-weekly or monthly, you’re able to truly stay on top of workplace sentiment and find plenty of areas to improve engagement and morale.

Step 3 – “Always On” feedback. The third step is gathering anonymous feedback using Survale’s “Always On” Feedback tool. Anonymous feedback is a great way to provide an outlet for employee expression that could critical to identifying immediate issues, business ideas, or information that needs to be heard by executive management.

Creating an Effective Quarterly Survey

One of the biggest mistakes we see with quarterly surveys is that they are too long and try to measure too much. The entire survey should take no more that 5-10 minutes to complete.

Before undertaking regular, quarterly surveys, work with your team to identify the most important factors that you want to measure. Then design the survey to focus in on no more than 3-4 key factors, keeping the questions to a minimum.

Creating an Effective Pulse Survey

Employee engagement surveysThere should be a clear purpose for each employee survey, including your pulse survey. A pulse survey is usually short (e.g., up to 5 or so questions) and focused on measuring only one or two things. It’s also common to include core engagement questions in your pulse surveys, allowing you to see changes in engagement throughout the year.

Building the Employee Engagement Survey

When building employee engagement surveys there are some simple rules.

First tell the survey taker how many questions are in the survey and about how much time it will take to complete it during the introductory messaging. The survey builder must take the actual survey a few times to get realistic time frames.

Good employee engagement surveys have between 5 and 8 questions. Make the questions quantifiable. In other words give each question a measurable result. Attach each question to an index. Sample indexes are:

  • General Employee Satisfaction
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Learning & Development
  • Impact & Honesty
  • Leadership

What to Ask Employees

Here are some sample employee engagement surveys categories and questions to ask your employees over pulse surveys.

Workplace Satisfaction On a scale of 1 to 10:

  1. If you were to quit in the next 12 months, what would be that reason?
  2. Would you refer someone to work here?

Feeling Appreciated and Valued On a scale of 1 to 10:

  1. Do you feel valued at work?
  2. How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?

Employee Retention On a scale of 1 to 10

  1. Do you believe you’ll be able to reach your full potential here?
  2. If you were given the chance, would you re-apply to your current job?
  3. Do you see yourself working here in the next 12 months?
  4. If you were to leave your job, why?

Organizational Culture on a scale of 1 to 10

  1. Do you feel like the management team here is transparent?
  2. With eyes closed, can you recite our organization’s values?
  3. Learning & Development On a scale of 1 to 10
  4. Are you happy in your present role?

Do you believe our organization is a great place for your development?

  1. Do you believe we offer great job opportunities?
  2. Leadership On a scale of 1 to 10
  3. Do you have confidence in our organization’s leadership?
  4. Has leadership communicated a vision that motivates you?
  5. Does leadership demonstrate that all employees are critical to the our success?

Impact & Honesty On a scale of 1 to 10

  1. Do you believe our our employees make a positive impact on the world?
  2. Do you see a demonstration day-to-day that quality and improvement are top priorities?
  3. Do you experience open and honest two way communication at our organization?

ANONYMOUS “Always On” Feedback

Integrate “Always On” technology into your intranet to ask employees about their experience and gather anonymous feedback. Here’s why anonymous employee feedback is a great tool:

  • Employees can express themselves freely and provide valuable insights
  • It offers managers the information they really need in order to improve their workplace and drive performance.
  • It builds trust
  • It protects privacy and offers a sense of security

Survey only as fast as you can act

You need to show employees that you care about their feedback and that you’re genuinely seeking it. You should let employees know that you’ll get back to them very soon. The rule of thumb to combat this fatigue? Only survey as often as you can take valuable action on the results. Remember surveys do not the workplace. Taking action on the results that employees identify empower the surveys and confirm to employees that their opinion counts. Let them know what has changed due to their input!

Got a Favorite Question?

The beauty of PULSE employee feedback surveys is that there are so many ways to ask each question. On each pulse survey, you want to ask one question from each category.

Don’t forget the power of employee suggestions. No one knows your business at the detail level as your individual employees. Suggestions can save the organization thousands or millions of dollars while reinforcing the importance of each employee. An employee recognition and reward program will reinforce how much the organization appreciates quality and improvement.