The management and HR department are always looking for ways to engage their employees. As an employer, one simply cannot overlook the fact that engaged employees are more productive in the company as well as remain loyal to you for a longer period of time. Hence, the HR and managers need to have the required tools to gauge employee engagement, realize inadequacies if any, and make necessary changes. This process needs to be repeated frequently to ensure that all of the employees in your organization are taken care of all the time.
Employee surveys are the best tool available for measuring employee satisfaction as the data and findings come directly from the replies provided by the personnel working in your company. However, in this digital age of machine learning and predictive analysis, are employee surveys a necessity? Why should you waste your employees’ time when there are algorithms available which can provide insights into employee engagement and satisfaction?
Well, to answer these queries, let us understand the impact of employee surveys…
What are Employee Surveys?
‘Employee Surveys’ or ‘Employee Satisfaction Surveys’ are the surveys posted by the HRs and managers for the employees to gain insights as to what aspects of the employment is benefiting the employees and what aspects they think, needs to be changed. The survey results will help them understand how engaged are their employees as well as take necessary steps to improve their engagement.
With the help of employee surveys in organizations, the employer will be able to understand the requirements of their employees and enhance the processes to help them feel valued. By implementing the changes suggested by the employees, the company also showcases the fact that they are willing to change for the betterment of their employees, which results in increased job satisfaction and engagement.
Best Practices of employee survey in organization
Since we have understood what exactly employee surveys are, let us check out some of the best practices of employee surveys for any company:
· Define Objectives
Primarily, one needs to have a well-defined set of objectives for the employee survey. The queries asked in the survey will be around these objectives. Having clear objectives and conveying them to the staff filling out the survey will also ensure that there is no ambiguity in their responses.
· Timing is Everything
The value of employee surveys is dependent on when it is undertaken. For example, surveys should be conducted in such a manner that it creates minimal to no obstruction to the daily workflow. Since these surveys can also be developed, distributed and completed online, it helps in getting higher response rates. Hence, these need to be timed exactly so that the results can be put to use in developing new plans or changing existing ones.
· Make it Confidential
The data collected from the employee surveys should be kept confidential under all circumstances. The confidential nature of the same should also be conveyed to the employees to let them provide honest answers. Similarly, one should not be asked to reveal any information unrelated to the survey as this raises multiple doubts in the employees and they are bound to answer with false information which beats the purpose of the survey itself.
· Utilize Multiple-choice Questions
When it comes to answering surveys, nobody has the time to provide lengthy answers to open-ended questions. Hence, for the sake of their convenience, it is advisable to use only multiple-choice questions in the questionnaire. While being convenient for the individuals answering the survey, it also reduces the time taken in answering the same and hence, it increases the survey completion rate.
· Demonstrate Changes
A crucial aspect of employee surveys is the fact that the changes based on their findings should be observable to the employees. They will appreciate that their company is actively seeking out their opinion and acting on the same to make necessary changes. It helps in increasing their loyalty towards the company as well as improving their engagement.
Benefits of Survey in Organization
Following the aforementioned practices will increase the response rate of the surveys you are conducting while also providing the following benefits:
· Feedback Portal for Employees
Any kind of survey is an opportunity for your employees to voice their opinions. Hence, the employee surveys will provide an option to voice their concerns anonymously. Such kind of anonymity would also encourage them to be honest and truthful about their issues. Moreover, studies have shown that having the option to influence the company decisions itself improves their trust irrespective of the fact whether their suggestions are implemented.
· Measure Overall Employee Satisfaction
Employee surveys are the best way to determine the overall employee satisfaction index of the company. The answers to the queries will help you understand how satisfied your employees are and the way they are being treated, and make necessary changes if required. You might even ask them upfront what changes do they wish to have to improve their employment experience in the company with the help of these surveys.
· Discover Improvement Areas
Since we are on the topic of improvement, you can see where your policies are faltering via employee surveys. Once these improvement areas are identified, you will be able to make the required changes based on their feedback. This will not only assure them that their voice matters, but also help you encourage them to suggest further improvements for the company. All of these factors lead to happier employees which directly translate to improved productivity.
· Understand Key Factors for Contentment
Apart from improvements, you will also be able to understand which policies and reforms are proving beneficial for your employees with the help of employee surveys. Human beings generally tend to complain easily and be stingy when it comes to praising things. Hence, it is necessary to ask them to rate their experience in different aspects of their employment with the company. Doing so will surely help you uncover the improvement areas as well as help you understand which areas are working well.
· Open New Communication Avenue
As mentioned earlier, employee surveys are an excellent medium to gather feedback from your employees. However, since this communication is one-way as well as under anonymity, they would be bolder and provide honest statements. There is always an element of doubt when the employees directly speak with HR as they understand that HR is a neutral party between them and their company. However, they will be able to speak their mind in an employee survey, which is rarely the case in one-on-one feedback sessions.
· Gather Honest Feedback
Collecting truthful feedback is not easy when it comes to a workplace. There are several prejudices as well as misconceptions which are not easy to remove. However, with the help of employee surveys, you will be able to understand the collective judgement of your employees regarding your company and implement policies to improve their perception. You will also be able to uncover what is bothering them as well as understand what is helping them stay in the company with these surveys which is hard to gauge in the absence of such kind of anonymous feedback option.
· Showcase your Commitment
While conducting the surveys is important, the real magic happens when you act upon the data collected. Your employees’ job satisfaction index and engagement rates will go through the roof once they realize that their recommendations are being implemented in the company. You might even offer prizes and collect invaluable ideas right from the individuals who will benefit from their implementation. This proves to be a win-win situation for the company and the employees as it collectively improves employee morale which results in lower turnover, enhanced trust and increased productivity.
· Increase Employee Engagement
Increasing employee engagement wouldn’t have been easy if employee surveys did not exist. Every company wishes to have engaged employees as various studies have proved beyond doubt that increased employee engagement is directly proportional to their productivity. It is also evident by the fact that employees of highly successful companies praise their employer and are highly motivated towards their company’s success. So, what is their secret? Well, simply put, they ‘listen’ to their employees with the use of effective employee surveys.
· Create Benchmarks
Employee surveys also help in creating thresholds that can be measured against, down the line. With the absence of any kind of benchmark, how can one measure whether any parameter has improved or decreased? With the help of employee surveys, one can create benchmarks and after a few months, measure the same against a new set of parameters collected from a new survey. Comparing the results will help in understanding whether things are looking up or down and necessary changes can be implemented wherever required.
· Predicts Employee Turnover
With modern predictive learning algorithms, you can make a calculated guess about employee turnover. However, at the end of the day, they are still ‘guesses’ with a high probability rate. On the other hand, employee surveys will help you uncover which employees are thinking of leaving the company. In fact, even by not taking the survey, a particular employee is showcasing the fact that they are not interested in anything related to the company. You can track such employees and work with them to help them stay longer at your company.
Thus, the above points prove that employee surveys and feedbacks are not only beneficial for the employee, but for the company too.
To read more about how you can keep employees engaged, read our HR-related blogs here.