Many organisations conduct employee engagement surveys. To get the most out of staff questionnaires, companies need to use them correctly for the greatest impact or they can have the opposite effect.
How to Use Employee Engagement Surveys
A key part of most organisations’ staff retention strategy is surveys. Many, however, struggle with several issues. In recent years they’ve had difficulty with engagement survey response rates, for example.
In order to tackle such issues there needs to be several interventions during the employee engagement survey process. These will increase current and future buy-in, staff engagement and get the most from the companies’ investment.
Planning Planning Planning
If these variables are not adequately dealt with then an engagement survey can have the opposing effect. Staff survey results can be skewed by a poor timing and be seen as an unwanted interruption during a busy time of year.
Furthermore, a lack in resources may not allow for any action to be taken from the results. Therefore, employees will feel let down and like their opinions don’t matter. This will cause an environment of distrust and staff will be less likely to participate in employee engagement initiatives in the future.
Personalised Staff Surveys
Every company has an ethos and language they use that is specific to their company and its culture. Where possible, it would be fortuitous to introduce this into the language of the surveys.
This will show staff that this employee engagement strategy is being taken seriously and is specific to them. It will also make the workforce more comfortable and familiar with the language.
Moreover, it can be a good idea to come up with a brand survey initiative like a logo and/or tagline for the surveys. Again this can show that the surveys are being taken seriously and are specific to the company.
Another key staff engagement idea is to consider the methods of participation. Who has access to e-mail and who would need a pen-and-paper survey? Does the survey need to be in multiple languages?
Surveys need to fit the needs of the staff. If employees are unlikely to be reached via e-mail then the slower course will yield better results in the long run.
It’s important that employees are also fully aware of the employee engagement survey. They need to know its aims, importance, how to complete, how long it will take and when it will close.
Encouragement from a variety of levels from the organisation will show that the employee surveys are important. It builds trust that the workforce’s opinions are valued and that change will follow.
See three examples of Engagement Survey Communication.
Employees need to see a speedy follow-up actions. The longer the time left between the closing date of the surveys and change, the less interest the workforce will have. This in turn will reduce the effectiveness of this employee engagement initiative.
A quick reaction to the results also involve feedback. By telling employees the results and planned actions then they can be aware that this is an ongoing process and stay involved. Employees will feel reassured that something is being done.
The first follow-up actions which need to take place are feedback and ‘quick wins’. These are small and relatively inexpensive changes that give the company time to put other initiatives in place.
There’s a big difference from hearing there will be actions and seeing it. By giving these extra reassurances, staff will be more patient and more trusting. This will lead to higher engagement and possibly higher participation in the future.
(Main image from Montgomery County Public Schools)