A long, comprehensive survey taking 15+ minutes to complete that includes short answers completely irrelevant to your job responsibilities shows up in your inbox, what do you do? Do you complete the survey half-heartedly? Do you flag it for ‘later’ but never come back? Do you see ‘survey’ in the subject line and immediately hit delete?
Most people, especially employees, have a love-hate relationship with workplace surveys because of the burning question “If I give up all this time in my day to write down these answers, am I going to be wasting my time, or am I actually going to see change in this company as a result?”
As an employer it’s important to craft workplace surveys with intentionality. They need to be short and sweet; they need to be relevant to your workforce and they need to be the spark that ignites the positive changes into action.
Before getting into how to craft brilliant employee surveys, we want to touch on the distribution aspect of when to hand out these surveys for maximum honesty and completion. It’s best to hand out surveys on a regular basis.
There are benefits to all methods of distribution, so pick the one which best suits your company and your employees. This might be a lengthy survey once a year, or it might be a pulse survey, sent out every week to receive quick and efficient feedback so you can make quick and efficient changes.
It’s best practice to avoid times which could provide skewed feedback, such as overly positive results during bonus season or overly negative feedback during stressful times. Holiday season might result in a limited number of completed surveys, whereas traditionally slow times in the company might provide employees with more time to thoroughly complete the work.
When designing a survey, keep in mind the why behind it. Why are you sending out another survey? Why should people give up their time to complete it? What information are you hoping to gain, and what changes will come about as a result?
Once you identify the objective of the survey (“We ask you to complete this survey in order to help us better understand how an EAP program will benefit you directly”), then you can begin to craft questions which will garner the responses for which you are looking.
When building out the questions, make sure they keep in line with the topic of the survey. Survey questions regarding overall employee engagement might ask on what scale employees–
- Take pride in their company
- Feel like they are heard and respected when voicing their needs/concerns
- Find the company are recommendable place to work
- Consider seeking other places of employment
- Find a personal motivation in the mission of the company
- Feel supported in the culture of the company
You might feel like it’s important to conduct an entire survey on the company’s culture, especially if you find the culture lacking in some way. You could consider asking–
- Do you feel a sense of community among your coworkers?
- Do you feel seen/heard/respected by the management?
- Do you believe our organization is open to change?
- Are you comfortable in your workplace?
- Do you believe the organization’s work is positively impacting its employees?
Perhaps it’s an issue of management, and you need feedback about the leadership and management aspect of the organization. Surveys could help you get a feel for–
- If employees are comfortable approaching management
- If management’s expectations for employees are clear
- If employees receive constructive, consistent feedback about their job performance from management
- If employees receive recognition from management, especially following the completion of a project
- If management treats employees as individuals and cares for them as such
Again, there’s no shortage of questions you could ask, but before you include every single work-related survey question you can think of, ensure they align with the objective of the survey and will produce the results which will prompt the changes you wish to make.
Compiling data from surveys
So, the survey goes out, people complete it and results begin to flood back in, now what?
First and foremost, the results, even if they were what you expected to see, should tell you a little bit about what the employees are seeing and experiencing. Is your company lacking in a safe working environment? Is camaraderie amongst coworkers higher than you expected? Are there issues with the management that you need to examine more closely?
Regardless of who reads the collected date, be it HR or others, determine what is then to be done with it. Who will be privy to the data? What changes will be implemented as a result of the data? What results need to be trashed because of unclear questions or vague responses? No matter how the results look upon return, take the time to communicate that the feedback is being taken seriously.
Contact Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP
For more information regarding what to do with bolstering employee wellness, promoting a positive workplace culture and increasing effective management strategies, reach out to Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP today at 800-543-5080.