Effective Employee Engagement Survey For Better Insights On Mentoring. Know How?

Performance Measurement
Published on
July 2, 2018

Employee engagement surveys are an integral part of employee engagement activities that are organized in large organizations. They invest a significant amount of their time, energy, and resources in curating their engagement surveys to drive their team's productivity and performance. But despite all their efforts, it has been observed that many engagement surveys do not yield the desired outcome. According to Gallup's report, it is estimated that 80% of employees believe that surveys do not lead to any substantial improvement or change within the organization.  

It is also interesting to note that only 30% of the employees actually respond to surveys. If executed correctly, employee engagement surveys can be one of the practical tools for companies to build upon their strengths and find a competitive edge in the market. Unlike other surveys, an employee engagement survey is not just about putting together a set of questions and giving it out to employees to answer. It's about creating a survey that in itself engages the employees in an organization and brings value.  

Hence, companies need to strategize and curate their engagement surveys in a way that aids quantitative and qualitative measurement of engagement and provides clear indicators to aspects of the business that need attention. It should also help the top management and leaders understand the workforce's morale to help them drive motivation and productivity in their teams. Before a company decides to conduct a survey, it's essential to keep a few things in perspective and build a strong survey strategy around these.

  1. Starting Point– a good starting point to conduct an engagement survey is to create awareness among employees regarding the importance of the study and requesting honest feedback and opinions. Every individual must feel valued and assured that their feedback would add to the organization's growth. They must also have clear communication regarding the timelines, tasks, and value of the conducted survey.
  1. End Goal– it is essential for an organization to know the objectives of conducting an engagement survey. While the organization may have many points, all of which cannot be done in a single survey, these objectives must be prioritized based on what affects the business most and requires immediate attention.

For example, suppose the company has recently gone through a merger or acquisition. In that case, the cultural and leadership differences will be a priority as they can have adverse effects on employees and could cause significant fluctuation in the functioning of the business and the profits.

  1. Timelines– every survey strategy must answer a few essential questions regarding timelines like:

a) How often will the survey be conducted?

b)  How much time would an employee require during each survey cycle to complete the survey?

c)  How long would it take to carry out the study and analysis of results?

d) What is the timeline decided by HR or top management to implement the action points?

  1. Structure - it is essential to design the surveys in a simple, straightforward way and employees don't feel burdened to allocate extra time to undertake these surveys.

29% of employees think that surveys in a workplace are pointless activities that take away their productive time, and 20% of surveys remain incomplete if they take more than 7-8 minutes, according to a study by Gallup. Also, surveys with either too many numbers or too many words are not well received by employees. Survey designers must make sure it's a healthy mix of both quantitative and qualitative questions. Employees are more likely to give honest feedback when questions are likely to maintain their anonymity. Hence, it becomes vital to understand demographics in terms of team sizes, culture, and trends while compiling the questions.

  1. Communication – Communicate the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, and why) to employees clearly concerning the survey. Surveys must always be a part of continuous processes in an organization and must not come as a surprise. When employees clearly understand the need and reason for a survey, they will answer it openly and thoroughly.
  1. Result Discussion – one of the most critical aspects of an employee engagement survey is how the result is shared and interpreted. The best way to share the data once it has been analyzed and tabulated is to share it with smaller teams, including managers with their direct reports.

You must train all the managers to facilitate discussion and create an effective action plan. Many organizations face a significant problem: managers and leaders often make this discussion a medium to find individual feedback and reasons for unimpressive scores. It would take away the whole purpose of an effective survey and only be counterproductive in the sense that employees will turn resistant to any further surveys as it would appear as a threat to their anonymity.

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