HR Tips: How to conduct an employee engagement survey

HR Tips: How to conduct an employee engagement survey

With the traditional office-based workplace a thing of the past, employee engagement surveys can help small businesses create stronger connections within their teams; maintaining momentum through a pandemic-present era while building loyalty through transparency.

As SMBs continue on the pandemic road to recovery, employee engagement surveys can prove a great way to re-connect. The remote and hybrid work setup may prove advantageous in many ways; yet it can also result in a divide between businesses and employees. Staff retention and productivity are key to growth through uncertain times. For this reason, a greater understanding of employee satisfaction can guide businesses down the path to success.

Are employee engagement surveys really that important for small businesses?

Highly engaged workforces outperform their unengaged peers by 147% according to Gallup. Employee engagement surveys may feel like a huge undertaking; yet ultimately, they can help businesses drive positive change in the right places. Acknowledging the employee experience and how a team feels about certain issues can ensure everyone remains on the same page. Engaged employees also tend to be happier employees. Employee engagement surveys can therefore prompt a wider conversation around employee wellbeing and how this can be further prioritized.

How to conduct an employee engagement survey in 5 simple steps

So, you’ve decided to conduct an employee engagement survey, but where should you start? While there are a number of elements to consider, the more time you can invest in its creation and distribution, the more effective it will be. Follow the five steps below, and you’ll soon be utilizing your survey as a way to determine employee engagement across the business.

Step 1 – Define what you want to measure

The vast sea of the “employee experience” can be a hard thing to quantify. Start by asking why you want to carry out the survey in the first place. What is it that you want to measure in more specific terms?  Whether you’re a startup or a long-standing SMB – you’ll know the things you currently do well. You’ll also be aware of the areas in need of improvement, from offering more development opportunities, to involving team members in higher-level decision making. Write these down as the foundation for your survey and build from there.

Step 2 – Decide how you’re going to measure it

Next comes the “how”. How will you build out your employee engagement survey, and how often will you conduct it? If there’s one particular area you’re keen to focus on, designing your own survey allows you to hone your intention further. Yet if opting for a more holistic approach, a third-party provider could better serve your requirements. While some businesses include employee engagement surveys as part of their annual review, pulse surveys throughout the year can work just as well. For growing businesses, more regular check-ins can also help employees feel part of that journey.

Step 3 – Design your survey

While creating your own survey may feel like a time-consuming prospect, there are some great tools out there designed to streamline the process. Platforms such as Google Forms and Typeform are not only free to use but deliver a sleek and professional survey that can be easily distributed among your team. When crafting your questions, decide how open-ended you want them to be. Succinct questions tend to invite more direct answers – so avoiding long sentences/paragraphs is key to its success. To avoid any bias, be as neutral as possible.

Step 4 – Determine the right provider

Equally, if you don’t have time for a DIY survey, there are plenty of specialists to choose from. Each and every business is different – paired with why you want to conduct your survey in the first place – so do your research to find the best match for you. The majority of the time, outsourcing its creation will also give you access to metrics that help build a bigger picture. Whether it’s a provider like Culture Amp that bridges the gap between employee engagement and performance management, or Workday Peakon  Employee Voice: a fully integrated intelligent listening platform.

Step 5 – Drive change from your results

So, you’ve carried out your employee engagement survey. What next? While it may be easy to park the results, the sooner you can act on your findings as a business, the better. Regardless of whether the feedback was what you expected, a targeted action plan is key to ensuring your findings are put to the best possible use. Whether seeking further support from leadership teams to implement the next steps or building a follow-up survey to clarify certain points; the full circle of an employee engagement journey will ultimately help your business stay better connected with employees – driving positive change with their interests at heart.

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