A comprehensive guide to mastering employee surveys

Anna Sauter-Getschmann & Julia Reis

Having engaged and motivated employees is crucial for your company to thrive. This should be indisputable. However, the question remains: 

How can you make sure that the morale of your team stays high

Employee surveys are a part of the answer. If done right, they can be powerful tools that help companies assess their work environment, identify areas for improvement, and create a more positive and productive workplace. 

In this blog post, we will  look at the different types of employee surveys, explore their numerous benefits, and share best practices for conducting them effectively.

👉 What are the most common types of employee surveys? 

There are several types of employee surveys designed to gather feedback on various aspects of the work environment and employee experience. Each type serves a unique purpose and can provide valuable insights to help your company improve engagement, satisfaction, and overall performance. 

Some common types of employee surveys include: 

  • Employee Engagement Surveys, which focus on measuring employee engagement levels, their connection to the organization's goals, and their willingness to invest their skills and energy to achieve those goals.
  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys, which assess overall employee satisfaction, including job satisfaction, work-life balance, and satisfaction with company culture, policies, and benefits.
  • Pulse Surveys: Short, frequent surveys designed to capture real-time feedback from employees, allowing companies to monitor engagement levels regularly and respond quickly to any emerging issues.
  • Culture Surveys, which evaluate the company´s culture, values, and practices, helping identify areas where the company culture may need to be reinforced or improved.
  • Team Effectiveness Surveys, which assess team dynamics, collaboration, and communication within teams, providing insights to help improve team performance and cohesion.

Being aware of the different types of surveys can be helpful to determine the topic you want to focus on, but you can also combine different aspects - e.g. engagement & satisfaction - in one survey. 

All types of surveys mentioned above are addressed to the whole workforce. However, you can also survey individual employees throughout the whole employee lifecycle with the help of employee experience surveys (e.g. Onboarding survey, Exit survey). This will allow you to understand the full employee experience at your company. 

Considering the resources that implementing these surveys require, you might ask…

👉 Why should our company invest time and effort into conducting an employee survey? 

Employee surveys can significantly contribute to the overall success of your company. Engaged and satisfied employees are more productive, innovative, and loyal, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes. Surveys can enable your company to gain insights into your employees' perspectives, identify key areas that need improvement, and take targeted action to enhance the work environment. 

The list of benefits is long and, from our perspective, convincing: 

Identify strengths and weaknesses: Surveys provide valuable insights into areas where the company is performing well and areas that need improvement, allowing management or responsible functional areas like HR to take targeted action.

Boost employee morale: By giving employees a voice, companies demonstrate that they care about their opinions and are committed to fostering a positive work culture. But for this to work it is crucial that you actually follow up on your survey results.

Increase employee retention: Understanding and addressing employee concerns can help reduce turnover, as employees are more likely to stay in a supportive and engaging environment.

Increase productivity: Engaged and satisfied employees are generally more productive and deliver better results. In addition, surveys can reveal inefficiencies in internal processes.

Improve communication: Surveys can help bridge communication gaps between management and employees, fostering open dialogue and increased understanding.

Develop leadership: Surveys can reveal areas where management can improve, helping leaders to grow and better support their teams.

Measure progress: Regularly conducting surveys allows companies to track the effectiveness of implemented changes and gauge the impact of new initiatives.

Attract top talent: A high level of employee engagement and satisfaction can enhance a company's reputation, making it more attractive to potential job candidates.

Inform decision-making: The data collected from surveys can be used to inform strategic decisions, ensuring that organizational objectives and priorities align with employee needs and expectations.

Benchmark performance: Surveys can help companies benchmark their performance against industry standards or competitors, identifying areas of competitive advantage or necessary improvement.

If after reading about the benefits, you are already considering conducting a survey at your company, you might wonder…

👉 What are the right steps to conduct an employee survey? 

Without a doubt, effectively measuring employee engagement and satisfaction requires a well-thought-out approach. Only this can ensure accurate and actionable insights. By following best practices for conducting surveys, you can maximize the value of the feedback received and make informed decisions that drive positive change

Here are the eight essential steps that will help you design and execute a successful employee survey, covering everything from setting clear objectives to measuring the impact of implemented changes: 

  1. Define clear objectives: Determine the purpose of the survey and what you hope to achieve.
  2. Ensure anonymity: Encourage honest feedback by assuring employees their responses will remain confidential.
  3. Craft relevant questions: Use a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions that address key areas of interest.
  4. Communicate the purpose: Explain the survey's goals and its importance to employees, encouraging participation.
  5. Conduct the survey: Implement and open the survey using a suitable tool (see section below) and make sure to clarify the closing deadline as well as sending appropriate reminders to increase the participation rate.
  6. Analyze results: Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement and discuss any resulting measures within your management and/or People & Culture team.
  7. Share findings: Communicate survey results and key take-aways with employees to maintain transparency.
  8. Take action: Develop and implement data-driven action plans to address identified issues.
  9. Measure impact: Conduct follow-up surveys to track the effectiveness of implemented changes and gauge progress. The right cadence for repeating employee surveys depends on your company size, growth, stage and goals. For smaller, stable organizations, conducting a survey once per year can be perfect, for others, conducting a short pulse survey as often as every week can be appropriate.

👉 Which software can you use to easily and effectively conduct an employee survey?

If it comes to the technical aspect of running a survey, there are several tools and platforms available to help companies create, distribute, and analyze employee surveys. These tools often offer customizable templates, real-time analytics, and user-friendly interfaces, making the survey process seamless and efficient. 

Some popular tools for running employee surveys include: 

General survey tools: 

  • SurveyMonkey
  • Google Forms
  • Typeform
  • SurveySparrow,..

Specialized engagement / people management platforms:

  • Effectory (focussing on employee surveys)
  • Lattice
  • Culture Amp
  • Leapsome
  • Officevibe
  • Humu
  • Glint,...

When choosing a tool, consider factors such as ease of use, available features, integration with other systems, pricing, data protection, and scalability to ensure it meets your company's unique needs and requirements.

Employee Engagement Tool Overview (originally published on our LinkedIn Company profile)

Conclusion & Getting Started

Employee surveys are valuable tools for fostering a thriving work environment. By regularly conducting these surveys and promoting a culture of continuous feedback, your company can unlock the full potential of your team and create a more engaged, satisfied, and productive workplace. By understanding employees' needs and expectations, you can make informed decisions, drive positive change, and ultimately, boost their overall success. 

Remember, the key to unlocking the power of employee engagement and satisfaction surveys lies in consistent and thoughtful implementation, followed by a commitment to act on the insights gathered. 

So, don't just survey – listen, learn, and grow together as a team.

📢 If you are not sure about conducting an employee survey on your own or just don’t have enough time to set one up and conduct it, our Employee Survey Package can be exactly what you are looking for. 

✉️ Schedule a free initial call to find out more about our offer and options for support.

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October 5, 2023