Any good business owner will tell you that employees are more productive and produce a higher quality product when they are happy and fulfilled. But how does one determine whether a group of people are engaged with their work? Employee engagement surveys are one of the best methods for discovering how an employee feels about the work he or she is doing.
Engagement vs. Satisfaction
Many businesses use satisfaction as a metrics to determine whether employees are happy and fulfilled at work. But, in truth, engagement is a better measure because a company can correlate engagement to business performance. Satisfaction is less precise and provides less variability in data, often resulting in consistently high scores. In addition, there is no clear correlation between high levels of satisfaction, resulting behavior and business results. Whether you use satisfaction or engagement as a measure, the following provides tips on how to implement an employee survey.
Developing an Employee Engagement Survey
These surveys are a great way for employers to identify the key drivers of employee engagement. They can help foster a work environment based on honesty, trust, integrity, and progress. A good survey system will let employees know that their opinions do matter and will help employers find areas they can improve upon.
Developing a creative, unbiased survey takes skill and know-how. A survey's style should take into account the work environment, the industry and the ultimate purpose of the questioning. It should also follow a format that has been proven by professionals to be effective. It is highly recommended that a skilled research company be used to help create the survey. Additionally, putting together a focus group made up of a sampling of employees will help shape the content of the survey towards areas the employees feel need to be addressed.
Once you have a developed survey that you feel comfortable giving to your employees, you will need to decide how to motivate your employees to fill the surveys out.
This is not always an easy task.
Without the proper preparation or incentive, employee satisfaction surveys can be viewed as a big waste of time. If employees don't understand why they are being asked to fill out the survey, chances are they won't take them seriously.
Here are four tips for motivating your employees to truthfully fill out satisfaction surveys.
1. Provide an explanation.
One of the best ways to get employees to fill out satisfaction surveys is to explain to them why you want them to do so. Employers should reassure employees that the survey results:
o are meant to help them and create a better working environment
o will be carefully considered by the employer
o will be used to implement changes to programs that are not working very well
2. Promote confidentiality.
Make sure to communicate that all survey responses are anonymous and will not be reviewed at an individual level. Employees need to know that they will not be viewed any differently due to their responses and that the purpose of the survey is to improve the workplace, not monitor individual feedback.
3. Implement changes mentioned in the surveys.
The best way to motivate employees to fill out surveys is to actually show progress in areas they pointed out as needing improvement. Nothing is more disheartening than pouring your heart and soul into something you believe will enact change, and not seeing any difference in the way things are run. If you want employees to continue to fill out surveys, they will need to see that those surveys aren't a waste of time.
4. Give employees the opportunity to provide additional insight.
While it is important to create a well-structured survey, it is equally important to allow employees to bring up issues that are close to them. By incorporating some open-ended questions, you enable employees to provide insight on topics you may have not considered. Their comments and personal experiences may help bring to life some of the areas in need of improvement.