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    Employee Engagement and Retention

    How to Survey Your Employees

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    Ethan Israel
    December 26, 2022
    4 min read
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    Before you even type your first question, understand why you are creating a survey in the first place.

    The biggest mistake companies make with surveys is failing to have an objective. As a result, they get a lot of data they aren’t sure what to do with.

    Set a goal so you know how to pick the right questions, and what response metrics will help you achieve your objective.

    For example, if your goal is to assess workplace satisfaction, you might decide to ask your employees survey questions about their work environment and use a number rating systems for their responses.

    Make sure every question leads to an action. You need to be able to derive meaningful results from people’s responses. “Yes” or “no” aren’t great metrics, but “extremely dissatisfied” or “extremely likely” are.

    Here are a few types of employee surveys you may conduct to get the answers your company really needs:

    • Company culture surveys — Do people’s behaviors in the workplace line up with your company’s values and vision?
    • Employee engagement surveys — Are people motivated in their jobs? Do they feel like what they do is meaningful? Are they connected to what they do, and who they work with?
    • Employee satisfaction surveys — What do people think about the current leadership? Are they happy with management? What benefits do they currently value the most, and which ones do they want to see incorporated?
    • Onboarding survey — Are new hires finding it easy to fit into the company? Are there cultural shocks within the company you could help ease? What resources would benefit people as they settle into their roles?
    • Employee performance surveys — Managers are surveyed to determine how specific employees are performing, or how well departments are reaching their objectives. What skills are being underutilized? What challenges are people facing in their daily job?

    Employee Survey Questions Template

    Here are some employee survey questions you can use to build your survey.

    Questions About Company Culture

    • What is your favorite thing about working at [Company Name]?
    • Does [Company Name] make you feel [value 1], [value 2], and [value 3]?
    • Do your colleagues behave in a way that supports our ideas of [value]?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, how included do you feel at work?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, how respected do you feel by management?

    Questions About Leadership

    • True or false: Leadership at [Company Name] cares about employees.
    • True or false: Management is cooperative and empathetic.
    • How often do you receive feedback from your manager? Response options: Never, Sometimes, Often, and Always

    On a scale of 0 to 5, employees can rate their how much they agree to the following questions:

    • Leadership cares about my contributions.
    • The company creates opportunity for its employees
    • Management is leading us in the right direction.
    • Management cares about us as people.

    Tips for Conducting a Successful Employee Survey

    Make sure that you time your survey properly. People won’t want to answer lengthy surveys toward the end of the day, or right before the weekend. It’s best to offer a survey in the morning on a weekday when people have time to answer without feeling pressured or answering at the last minute.

    You should also respect people’s time with short surveys that last between 2 and 10 minutes max. If you ever need more information, conduct a follow-up survey with more specific questions.

    Another important point to remember is that anonymity breeds honesty. When you’re asking personal questions, like how respected people feel by management, privacy matters. Assure employees that all of their responses are confidential or keep surveys completely anonymous from the start.

    You should also always turn responses into action. Gather your leaders together when a survey is done and create an action plan. You know X, so you’re going to do Y. The right survey questions will make it easy for you to turn what you’ve learned into meaningful changes for your employees.

    Make Your Surveys Count

    The ultimate goal of an employee survey is to learn how to make people happier. Your organization has its own needs, but those goals should always line up with your employee’s feelings. When people love where they work, they work better. So, use surveys to gather meaningful feedback that you can use to make your company the best place to be.

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