To appreciate why a survey tool is essential for collecting employee feedback, you first need to understand why employee engagement surveys — and employee engagement itself — matter. When you know how to interpret employee engagement survey results, you have the power to increase employee satisfaction, which can lead to more engaged workers. Since engaged teams have been shown to be 21 percent more profitable, it’s clear that more engaged workers can lead to a better bottom line for your business.
Rather than rely solely on the traditional annual review, employers can benefit from regularly collecting employee feedback. In one report, 89 percent of HR leaders surveyed agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins have a positive impact on their organizations. More frequent performance reviews allow HR leaders to obtain a more accurate appraisal of their employees’ work, allowing them to better see strengths and weaknesses within their team and business.
More frequent check-ins benefit employees too since they provide a set time and place for team members to voice their concerns. And according to another report, employees who feel included, heard, and supported on the job are more than five times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work, compared to their counterparts who don’t feel that same sense of belongingness.
Hearing what your employees have to say is one thing; knowing how to interpret and communicate employee engagement survey results in a way that actually helps them feel more engaged is another. Going the extra mile to take their feedback into consideration pays off: According to one engagement and retention report, 90 percent of workers are more likely to stick with an employer who acts on their feedback. As hard as you work to recruit new talent, it only makes sense to take this additional step to retain it, right?
How to Measure Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Let’s say those compelling engagement statistics have convinced you it’s time to roll out more frequent employee surveys at your business. Now, you just need to figure out what exactly employee engagement surveys measure, how often they should be conducted, how to interpret the results, and how to build off the results in a way that positively impacts your business.
Simply put, an employee engagement survey comprises a series of questions that gauge how employees feel about their jobs — and their workplaces at large. Traditionally, companies conducted these surveys infrequently (often on an annual basis). And while surveys were typically large-scale and formal in the past, companies now turn to shorter, less formal methods of obtaining feedback, such as small-scale pulse surveys, topic-specific surveys, and even real-time analytics.
Frequent, less-intimidating surveys that collect employee feedback offer a vast array of benefits, including the following.
They give employees a voice
As we saw above, giving employees a voice matters when it comes to retaining your best talent.
They increase employee engagement
Research shows engaged employees do better work, and it’s not hard to see how the positive attitudes exuded by a worker who’s engaged with their job and their company could then contribute to team morale.
They show employees their opinions are valued by the company
Lack of recognition is one of the top reasons employees leave or consider leaving their companies. Listening to employees’ suggestions and recognizing how their opinions can benefit the way your company does business then shows your team how important they are.
They create a baseline for improvement
Collecting data on how your employees feel about their job and workplace means you may get feedback you don’t really want to hear. After all, it’s unlikely that every member of your team feels 100 percent satisfied. However, that data gives you a place to start and feedback provides you with suggestions to improve. And then, on your next survey, you can see how implementing your employees’ ideas leads to increased satisfaction and engagement.
They collect data to compare quarterly
When it comes to how often employee engagement surveys should be conducted, quarterly is a good place to start. In general, regular communication, rather than an annual review, allows employees to express concerns before they become bigger issues. Err on the side of more frequent if in doubt, but make sure you leave yourself enough time to collect, interpret, and act upon the data you receive before the next survey on that topic in order to properly measure the impact of any changes made.
Tips for Using a Survey Tool to Collect Feedback
To ensure you get the most accurate and helpful data possible, keep these tips in mind when you use a survey tool.
- Avoid overly broad or leading questions such as, “Do you like working here?” or “How much has our new, open floor plan improved your work experience?” These questions might give you the answers you’d like to hear, but they won’t help you create meaningful change.
- Ask about specific topics and encourage employees to give deep, thoughtful answers. For example, asking how they feel about a new software program might help you gather useful feedback, but digging in and asking how specific aspects of that new program have either helped or hurt productivity could provide you with more telling information.
- Consider both frequency and length of your surveys. Short surveys offered frequently — especially when you base them on timely topics — are more likely to yield better results than yearly or semi-annual surveys that cover everything under the sun and take an hour to complete.
Surveys aren’t the only way to collect employee feedback, nor do they work in a vacuum. But if you’re ready to take employee engagement seriously, consider tracking and monitoring it. Intuition, for instance, can help you track progress while incorporating workplace wellness programs, community amenities, a communication platform, and more to remote employees across the nation. Through leaderboards, goal setting, and shout-outs, you can help your employees feel heard and offer them easy ways to engage with coworkers and the company as a whole.