Does Your Office Provide a Positive and Innovative Work Environment? -The 4 Keys to Running an Effective Employee Engagement Survey
Today we will be taking a look at employee engagement surveys. Quickly becoming a staple of any workspace or office, this survey type has allowed countless organizations to better their working environments and improve their employee’s feelings of job fulfillment and career happiness.
But wait! Before you jump into the process of conducting your own employee engagement survey, we have come up with four important tips to help ensure your survey is both effective and has a positive impact on your organization or business.
1) Ask Well-Scaled Closed-Ended Questions
Employee engagement surveys are made to gauge your employees’ feelings towards their workplace. For that reason, your rating scales should be centered on respondents’ level of happiness and satisfaction, as well as feelings of self and company worth.
It is also important to stay away from ‘Yes-No’ questions. Employees who are asked to give yes or no answers to questions like, ‘Do you feel fulfilled with your job?’ or ‘Are you valued in your workplace?’, will feel like answering no is betraying their place of work. A five or seven point rating system cuts through this social desirability bias by allowing respondents to place themselves on a scale rather than choosing between black and white options. In the end, these scales will provide you with more accurate responses and final results that are easy to compare and make decisions on.
2) Allow for Lots of Open-Ended Feedback
Without being open to your employee’s issues, ideas, and concerns, your survey will act as nothing more than a few pie charts and graphs pointing to arbitrary averages of respondent happiness and satisfaction. Though this could be great for business promotions (FluidSurveys employees are the peppiest people in the bizz!!), it will give you no direction on how to improve upon your findings.
This is where exploratory and qualitative research plays its important role. Ask employees to provide their favourite and least favourite things about their work environment. Let them give ideas for what they would like to see from the company. These open-ended questions will give you the ability to see common sentiments in your workforce and gain some direction on how to take action in order to improve.
3) Emphasize the Importance and Confidentiality of the Survey
In our former FluidSurveys University article, “How to get the Best Data by Optimizing Your Target Sample Group!” we briefly discussed the importance of emphasizing the confidentiality of workplace surveys. Unfortunately, surveys conducted in the workplace can become inaccurate due to the social pressure on employees to be liked by their employers and the perceived risk to themselves if they give negative responses. For this reason, ensure that each respondent knows that their answers will be studied anonymously. Usually this message is best delivered in the email in which the survey invitation is sent and as part of the survey introduction.
Furthermore, remind your employees that this survey is being conducted for the betterment of the entire organization and that their input is crucial. Reinforcing the importance of their contribution will not only increase response rates but will also give employees the feeling of a voice in the company.
4) Take Action
Finally, and most importantly, take action! Don’t let your results gather dust as a few pretty bar graphs on a slideshow. This information is too crucial to slip through the cracks. It is time to use all that great open-ended feedback to create an action plan. Build a 6 month strategy to improve your employee engagement and work environment, addressing any weaknesses and prevalent issues uncovered in your survey.
After your 6 month improvement period, it is time to assess whether your new strategy has been effective. Do this by resending your survey with the exact same questions and rating scales as the original. By keeping the same scales, you will effectively remove any researcher bias that could arise by comparing two different surveys. This is where your five to seven point scales will really pay off, as it will be easier to compare differences between the average results from questions in the first and second survey.
Did your employee engagement improve? If so, great! It’s time to create new goals and continue pushing forward with your successful action plans. If not, you may need to assess why your strategies failed and think about what may have happened in the past 6 months to cause such a negative result. Regardless of the success of your action plan, the new survey should provide a wealth of feedback on how your organization can move forward.
Check Out Our Employee Engagement Survey Template
So you have the 4 keys to conducting a successful employee engagement survey. Now it’s time to start your survey design process! Not sure on what to ask? Check out our employee engagement survey template embedded below!
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