Employee Survey Best Practices You Should Keep in Mind

The most significant investment your company makes is in your people. Businesses spend as much as 70% of their total expenses on labor. That’s a hefty line item, so it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re developing your workforce and keeping turnover low. Luckily, employee surveys are an excellent tool for gathering the data you need to make informed decisions.

Employee survey

A well-designed, easy-to-complete employee survey can give you plenty of insights into your workforce. One of the benefits of employee surveys is that they allow you to gather feedback on your products, services, culture, policies, and so much more. With this tool, you can also detect dips in employee satisfaction and engagement levels, helping you solve problems before they lead to disengagement, quiet quitting, or attrition.

Employee surveys are valuable for brainstorming, too. You can use them to collect suggestions for improving operations and meeting team members’ needs. Who knows? The idea for your company’s next big thing — whether that’s an external offering or an internal differentiator — could very well come from an employee survey.

Making Surveys Work for You

Now you know why employee surveys are important. However, it’s impossible to reap all the benefits of employee surveys if they aren’t used strategically. Not only do you need to have a reason for sending out a survey, but you also need to select a suitable format. Otherwise, you risk getting a statistically insignificant number of responses, which could throw off employee survey data analysis.

Today, there are a variety of effective employee survey methods. It’s a good idea to consider them all and then narrow down your choice based on the size and geographic dispersal of your workforce, as well as your specific survey goals.

For instance, an email, text, or online survey format is best if you want to send out a survey quickly and collect real-time responses. Really, any digital format will enable you to distribute surveys instantly. If you use an online survey platform, consider investing in one that allows you to collect critical data, such as open rates. That way, you can gauge which survey types are most likely to be completed.

Though digital surveys are certainly the norm in today’s market, in-person surveys have their place, too. Let’s say you have a small number of employees working in a single location. Interviewing or polling them in person might be the quickest way to gather data.

When choosing a survey format, keep in mind any special accommodations respondents might need. For example, those with vision issues can zoom in for online surveys or use a screen reader. The easier you make it for employees to take your survey, the higher your chances of eliciting a statistically significant number of responses.

3 Employee Survey Best Practices

Eager to start surveying employees? Here are three employee survey best practices to keep in mind as you create your next workforce survey.

1. Always define the purpose of a survey

It’s crucial to know why you’re conducting an employee survey. Once you understand what you hope to achieve, you can identify key performance indicators to track and measure your goals. This will also help you craft questions that are relevant and focused — not unnecessary, confusing, or repetitive.

2. Keep it short and say what you mean

Ideally, your surveys should be as short as possible. Long surveys can seem intimidating and may get pushed to the side. A good rule of thumb is to provide a straightforward survey that only takes a few minutes to complete. Poorly worded questions will only confuse employees. Also, avoid jargon and overly technical terms.

3. Mix up your question types and test your survey

Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative question types, such as multiple choice and rating questions, keeps your survey interesting. Before going live, test the survey with a small group. Doing so will give you the opportunity to identify any revisions you need to make.

Employee surveys provide an excellent snapshot of what’s happening within your organization. By following these employee survey best practices, you can engage your biggest and best asset successfully.


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