If designed and administered properly, employee surveys can provide invaluable feedback to any organization and be an effective performance management tool. Organizations can use employee survey data to create strategies to improve staff retention and increase productivity, as well as provide a benchmark to measure continued improvement.
However, there can be drawbacks. Here are some tips worth considering:
- Conduct employee surveys using a mixed methodology of online surveys and standard paper-based surveys. Online surveys save money and responses are collected quickly. Paper surveys, however, are essential in meeting hard-to-reach groups who don’t have access to the Internet.
- Market the survey internally with an email notification, a notice on communal bulletin boards, or on the company Intranet. Promote the benefits of participating in the employee survey to help increase response rates.
- Make sure you have the full support from senior managers and that they take full ownership of the survey results. Assign an internal project manager who will coordinate and communicate closely with your management team.
- Communicate the importance of data anonymity. If employees have confidence that their responses will be kept confidential, they are more likely to provide honest and accurate feedback. One method of assuring employees of confidentiality is to use a third party provider to administer the survey and manage the data.
- There are several benefits to employing a third party provider to conduct your employee survey:
- Increase response rates by increasing employee confidence in anonymity
- Will be more objective when writing the report (unbiased perspective)
- Expertise in questionnaire design
- Access to dedicated resources when required
- Whether positive or negative, it is important to communicate the results to all employees. Inform all employees quickly to show the organization is being serious and to convey that their feedback is important to the organization.
- It’s not enough to just conduct employee surveys. The management team needs to make sure they act on the survey results and communicate their intended actions to their employees. A positive plan of action needs to be created and executed to address some of the key issues.
- Lastly, run an employee satisfaction survey at the same time each year to measure the difference in satisfaction levels and highlight any problem areas. You can benchmark results against previous years’ data.
Together with other employee engagement instruments such as performance reviews, workshop reviews, and exit interviews, this data can build a picture of employee satisfaction and ensure that you retain your most valuable resources – your employees.
Want to attend a free webinar on 360 employee feedback, Wednesday, November 23, 2011? Click here for details.