An employee engagement survey, also known as an employee satisfaction survey, is a set of questions employers ask to get feedback from their employees. The questions are usually about rating the organization’s principles, policies, performance, reward, development, leaders and the culture. Hence, it is a robust platform for employees to voice their opinions.
This article explores the critical elements and advantages of an employee engagement survey. It also enlists best practices and helpful questions to support your survey initiative. Moreover, you will discover the right ways of choosing a survey tool that amplifies your people management strategies, leading to more tremendous organizational success.
To improve productivity and quality of deliverables, it is crucial to have a happy and engaged workforce. But it is difficult to find out how active the employees are without consistent feedback. An effective employee engagement survey enables you to measure your workforce’s satisfaction levels and learn what they feel about your people processes.
With the economy witnessing a revival post the COVID-19 disruption, every industry has intensified the war for finding talent. Simultaneously, there has been a continuous tide of skilled workers quitting toxic and low paying jobs in the last two years- ‘The Great Resignation’.
As a result, it is imperative for organizations to constantly monitor the efficiency of their HR (Human Resource) practices and policies. An employee survey to measure the workforce’s satisfaction levels is a powerful tool to achieve the same. Measuring employee satisfaction also helps improve employee retention, productivity and culture.
When an organization asks for an employee’s opinion through a survey and implements constructive feedback promptly, the employees feel like they matter and the company values their opinion. Therefore, it is vital for companies to actively start conversations with their employees if they want them to stay.
An employee satisfaction survey creates ‘engaged employees’, who are fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work. Such employees take positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests, while maintaining a positive attitude toward its values.
As per a recent study by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while dissatisfied workers were 10% less productive.
Dissatisfied employees can affect an organization’s culture negatively. Over time, the lack of satisfaction with the company can lead them to turn toxic and fuel an unhealthy work environment. Spreading negativity or bad-mouthing the organization tends to become a norm if the workforce is unhappy. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in the employees’ mental health, understand their grievances and resolve their problems. An efficient employee survey system can help with all that.
A typical employee survey comprises the following indicators.
The ESI measures employee satisfaction by three questions and is calculated by the formula ESI= [((question mean value ÷ 3) – 1) ÷9] *100 All the three questions are answered by the employees on a scale of 1 to 10. It results in a number between 1 and 100. Higher scores indicate greater employee satisfaction.
The eNPS is a metric that shows how employees feel about your company. It’s calculated based on a survey that asks employees a single question: how likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work on a scale of zero to ten? The employees are divided into promoters, passive and detractors based on the answer. eNPS = %promoters - %detractors A score of -100 to 100 is given to the results. A positive sign is good, and scores below 0 indicate that the organization needs to work on employee satisfaction.
Mercer | Mettl has identified the ten crucial factors that drive employee engagement. Awareness about these factors helps in designing meaningful employee engagement surveys.
Factors that keep employees engaged:
Every organization is unique. Hence, the employee survey needs to be customized to the organization’s size, needs, domain and maturity. However, there are a few fundamental steps to follow that maximize effectiveness of the process.
The following sections will help support and elevate this seven-step process for your organization.
The following guidelines can help build an effective employee engagement survey.
Before finalizing the employee engagement survey questions, the company should ask itself the following questions.
Affirmative answers to similar questions often indicate a readiness to roll out an employee engagement survey.
Before deploying the employee opinion survey, employers need to consider the following points:
Employees must be assured of complete anonymity. They would want to be honest if they are assured that their responses are strictly confidential.
More employees would answer the questions if the purpose of the employee opinion survey is communicated well. They should also be told what the company would do with the results.
The employee experience survey should be simple enough to enable even a trainee to interpret the questions correctly. Sentences should be concise and you should avoid complex words and ambiguity. Poorly or wrongly worded questions can change the way employees interpret them. That could lead to inaccurate results.
Enthusiasm in answering the survey would be more when the company leaders encourage participation and assure a positive response to employee feedback.
There is no standard length for the employee opinion survey mandatory for all companies. However, it is ideal to keep it to-the-point and quick to complete.
The objective of the survey is to ensure that you can analyze the data to get meaningful insights. Hence, the survey should contain a comprehensive set of questions while not being too complicated to be understood in the first reading. Therefore, an average of 40 to 60 questions is suitable for the employee survey.
The survey will yield the best results if done at least once a year. Therefore, to find testable patterns, it is good to run the employee experience survey at the same time every year.
It is necessary to remember the following:
Here is a list of twenty questions that can form the basis for your employee engagement survey.
The perceivable importance of any employee survey in an organization is tied to what HR (Human Resources) and leadership do with the survey results. Since every employee survey ends with increased expectations, the employees look forward to an acknowledgement of their effort from the employers. Therefore, it can be harmful to an organization and its employees to run employee engagement surveys and do nothing with the result.
The following steps will ensure that an organization can identify, quantify, and act upon employee feedback to drive positive change.
An email from the organization’s CEO or Head of HR thanking the employees for taking the time to participate and complete the survey is a nice gesture. The email should also include timelines for result analysis and action planning.
This is the most crucial step, as information does little good unless categorized into insightful changes. An effective analytics platform can quickly infer the organization’s strengths and weaknesses from the results.
a) Driver’s analysis: A driver’s analysis finds which survey items have the most significant impact in the organization’s engagement. The firm can prepare an improvement plan based on those parameters.
b) Interpreting the result by employee segments: Workplace experience changes each employee. It depends on various factors, such as their manager and colleagues and their work. Hence, it is vital to devise questions that consider diversity at the workplace and include all sections of employees. It ensures greater engagement, performance and productivity.
The next step is to share the results with all the stakeholders and employees in the company. Sharing the results with complete transparency builds trust.
After the results are shared, team leaders must discuss and define results related to their departments. It allows the managers to focus on the specific areas of improvement and understand how the data affects their teams’ day-to-day routine in their departments/geographies. Again, HR should provide a framework to run such meetings.
While a survey is communicated from the top-down, solutions should be bottom-up. Action planning is divided into phases, and the focus is usually on two or three action items. The team should be encouraged to come up with ideas. To ensure transparency, these meetings should be facilitated by HR representatives. Action plans should incorporate inputs from managers. Similarly, you should document the new goals and updated timelines for the record.
Input from the managers should be incorporated and the final actions/goals should be documented with timelines of completion.
To prove to the employees that leadership takes the survey results seriously, you should communicate action plans by mail or during townhall meetings. During this time, the pre-survey metrics are compared with the post-action plan results.
Finally, ensure you track the goals to completion. The tracking period depends on the type of action plan.
The next step is to choose the right employee survey tool to deploy the survey. Ensure that your selected software includes the following features.
Employee satisfaction surveys provide a platform for the free flow of structured feedback. Based on the results, the employers create goals for improving areas where the scores indicate low satisfaction. Surveys make the employees feel valued and develop a sense of belonging to the company. Happy employees improve productivity and lead to a positive work environment that attracts the top global talent.
Originally published May 20 2022, Updated June 17 2022
Employee engagement is a process by which companies undertake specific activities to interact with employees and engage them. The activities include employee development, team building, skills development, trainings etc.