When designed and administered successfully, a survey can yield a wealth of knowledge about your employees’ perceptions of the organization. After all, perception is reality. With that said, don’t just have a survey to have a survey. Take your time. Ask yourself, ‘What do I want the survey to achieve?’, ‘How can this survey benefit the organization?’, and ‘Am I prepared to receive and communicate the results?’ Here are a few ’must do’ action items for a successful employee survey:
Choose a topic
You want to focus the survey on a specific area, do not try to blanket all topics at once. A few topics you may want to consider include working conditions, benefits and compensation, manager effectiveness, employee morale, job satisfaction, internal communication, or corporate image.
Set your expectations for the survey and how you plan to use the data.
Keep it simple, to the point, and easy to complete. Survey Monkey is a great, inexpensive resource for easy online survey design, administration, and analysis.
Highlight the importance and purpose of the survey to employees in an effort to increase participation. Once completed, communicate the results in a timely manner while the survey is still fresh on everyone’s mind.
Keep it confidential
ALWAYS keep responses confidential and consider having employees respond in an anonymous manner so they are more likely to give honest feedback.
Be transparent. Hide nothing. Your employees will know if you are only addressing the ‘quick fix’ items and ignoring the more challenging, controversial topics.
Collaborate for change
Host a focus group post-survey to discuss the results. This is a great way to bring your employees in on the decision making process when developing an action plan.
Develop an action plan
It’s okay not to have an immediate plan for every issue raised in the survey. However, you need to instill confidence in your employees that their feedback is being taken seriously. Do not promise to fix everything, but instead to make a good faith effort to change circumstances based on the survey feedback.
Employee surveys are a great tool for both the employee and organization. The employee feels valued that you took the time to ask for his feedback and the organization receives invaluable feedback to aid in continuous improvement. When done right, it’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone.