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How to Build an Effective Employee Survey

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The number of new jobs continues to grow here in the U.S., and the unemployment rate is staying low.  Good news, right?

Not if your team members are unhappy working in your organization.  Your risk of them being snapped up by another employer is higher than ever.

This is a good time to consider surveying your staff to make sure they’re satisfied.

Get the Whole Picture

The purpose of a satisfaction survey is to reveal what your employees are thinking and feeling about your organization.  It’s helpful to prompt them with a series of questions in several topic areas.

In a comprehensive survey, it’s common to ask specific questions about the following:

  • Organizational leadership
  • Communication
  • Culture and environment
  • Relationship with manager
  • Relationships with coworkers
  • Performance evaluation system
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Training and development opportunities

A comprehensive employee survey may bring up a lot of issues.  It’s important not to become overwhelmed and throw in the towel, but rather to communicate to the staff your intention to make improvements over time, and then list the priorities.

Pick an Area of Focus

Another option to consider is surveying in phases.

For example, if you are preparing for a fall open enrollment, you may want to conduct a benefits survey in July to determine which benefits are important to your team.

It may be helpful to conduct a survey in January about overall culture and work/life issues to make sure your workplace is attractive to potential new employees whom you’ll want to recruit in the spring.

You might also consider choosing several different areas to survey (such as organizational leadership, communication, and relationships with managers) to get a holistic view of your employees’ perspectives on how the organization is being led.

Start Where You Are

If you are trying to change the culture of your organization, be sure to ask about the areas that you’re looking to improve.

For example, if you are trying to build a culture of trust, you’ll want to ask your employees what they think about the levels of trust within their department, with other departments, and with leadership.

Question Your Assumptions

Make sure you ask your staff about things you think you know for a fact.

Let’s say your organization is well-known for having great teamwork. You may figure, “Why ask about that? We know it’s our area of strength!”

However, because it’s a key differentiator for your organization’s culture, you’ll want to continue to nurture it, so it doesn’t slip.

By regularly surveying about the important things, you’ll be sure to keep them on your radar.

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Please Share

If you know someone who would like this article, please feel free to share it.  This will help us reach more people who can benefit from these ideas or our support.

If there are any topics that you’d like to read more about, please email me directly at jodi@people-mattershr.com.

We’d Love to Help

At People Matters, we are all about human resources! We love to help our clients create great workplaces that engage their people, leading to better business results.  Surveys are a very useful tool in this process.

We can make surveying your staff a breeze by creating customized surveys for you, assisting with employee communication, collecting data, and conducting the analysis.

Asking questions that elicit clean, useful data can be tricky.  It’s disappointing to have your staff take the time to fill out a survey, only to discover that many of the questions caused confusion. In the end, you don’t end up getting the information you were after!

That’s where enlisting someone with experience can save you from wasting time and energy.  Give us a call!

Please give me a call at 517-925-8257 or visit our website at www.people-mattershr.com for more information.

1 Comment

  1. Ron Wehling on June 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Great topic that offers lot of suggestions plus reason to do. I’m impressed with your blog and the continuing offer of how to make organizational improvements with the offer to help steer folks thru the process. Ron W.

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