Employees are your best asset. They drive company culture and deliver the work that makes your organization successful — so it’s no secret that happy employees are more productive and more loyal to their employers.
When employees are unsatisfied, however, they can affect the company in many ways, including increasing turnover rates, lowering productivity levels, and creating an uninviting environment for new hires.
This is why it is crucial to create surveys that help you better understand what your employees think and how they feel about their job. Building a strong employee satisfaction survey is not an easy task, however — it can be hard to get honest feedback from employees, and even harder to interpret the data once you’ve got it.
In this blog post, we will give you tips on what makes a good employee satisfaction survey and how to create one that will yield the best results.
Establish a Clear, Measurable Goal for the Survey
As with any new task, goal setting is imperative to being successful. Before crafting your survey, ask yourself: What do I want to learn? How can this survey help the company’s growth and development?
Once you have defined your goals, the next step is to consider what kind of information would be most helpful in reaching that goal. For instance, if you are looking into your employee’s job satisfaction, you should focus your questions around that. Are they receiving enough support from superiors? Do they feel comfortable in their work environment?
Being intentional with the questions you ask will yield more helpful and immediate survey results.
Create a Survey That Is Short and Easy to Complete
Many employers create surveys that are long and cumbersome for their employees to complete. Overcomplicated surveys will scare people away from completing their questions to a helpful standard, if at all. Not only that, but your employees might not answer honestly because they view the length of questions as a barrier between themselves and their answers.
A study conducted in 2018 showed that shorter surveys had a higher response and completion rate than longer surveys. The shorter surveys (three to seven minutes) saw a higher completion rate of around 54% to 63%, while longer ones (twenty minutes) only had 37%.
This study shows that the best employee satisfaction surveys are short, simple, and to the point. Your employees should ideally be completing their survey within a few minutes, and it is crucial that they feel like their feedback will make a difference.
Make Sure the Questions Are Relevant and Clear
It’s important not to overwhelm your employees with too many questions or ask them questions out of context. You don’t want their minds drifting to other tasks or thoughts while answering the questions, so keep it simple.
The best surveys ask one or two simple questions at a time and then give employees the option to provide further feedback if they feel motivated. By following this structure, you can get the most accurate information from your team without overwhelming them.
For employees to be motivated enough to answer truthfully, your questions should also be straightforward and easily understood. Make sure your survey has a detailed explanation of what each question means on its own or in context with the others. This will help decrease ambiguity and encourage employees to answer honestly.
Include Open-Ended Questions in Your Survey
Open-ended questions are great for getting in-depth information, but you don’t want your entire survey to be composed of them. These questions tend to take a long time and may discourage your employees from completing the survey at all.
Close-ended questions are often used for more general inquiries, while open-ended questions can be better if you want to get specific information. For example, a close-ended question could ask, “Are you happy with your work environment?” This is a great way to find out how employees perceive the overall work environment.
On the other hand, an open-ended question such as “What do you like the most about your work environment?” might be a better way to find out what employees enjoy about their jobs. If you strike a balance of both open and closed questions, you will have a better chance at keeping your employees engaged while they answer your questions.
Include Demographics Questions
It is also essential to include demographics-focused questions to highlight key differences between certain employee groups. This will allow you to identify potential issues that might not be easily visible otherwise.
For example, you may discover that your graduate-age employees are highly satisfied at work, but your long-term employee satisfaction levels are going down.
This type of data can help you distinguish whether there are any patterns between the demographics of your employees in the future, and you can use this information for reference or to make necessary workplace changes.
Keep It Anonymous To Get Honest Answers
Employee satisfaction surveys completed in person or over the phone can be problematic, as your employees might not answer truthfully if they are worried about potential consequences. For example, an employee who is unhappy with a certain manager may choose to stay quiet for fear of creating tension or being fired.
In order to get genuinely accurate responses from your survey, it is best to keep answers openly anonymous. Don’t ask for personal information, such as the employee’s name or any other identifying data. Implementing an anonymous survey will encourage your employees to be totally honest with their answers.
Use Multiple Channels for Distributing Surveys
It’s challenging coming up with the right questions to ask — but once you have those, the next hurdle is getting everyone to complete the survey. Like you, your employees are on-the-go people leading busy lives. If you only send out an email survey, some of your employees may not complete it because of time constraints or forgetfulness.
For this reason, distributing surveys through multiple channels can be helpful. You should also print out hardcopy surveys for employees who can’t receive your survey digitally.
You can also embed the questionnaires on your website so that people will be notified about the survey when they visit your site. If possible, make sure to include a link directly to the survey form itself so that employees can access it as soon as possible.
You can also use applications like SurveyMonkey to create and send out your surveys. This will make the process much easier, as you can keep all information and responses under your account. Employees won’t need to go through emails or websites to complete their surveys.
There are many ways to distribute surveys, so choose a couple of options and see what works best for your company. You want all your employees to have the opportunity to fill out the survey if they feel motivated or interested in doing so, regardless of their location or situation.
Offer an Incentive to Participate in the Survey (I.E., Provide a Gift Card)
If you want to get complete results, provide an incentive for the employees who participate in your survey. This could be a gift card or some other type of compensation that will motivate them to take time out of their day and fill it out.
This is a crucial step, but it’s often overlooked by employers. Suppose your employees do not feel incentivized to participate. In that case, they may be less likely to complete the survey — and if you get incomplete data, your results will not give you an accurate picture of what is going on within your company.
Follow Up on Any Feedback You Receive, Both Positive and Negative
When you have completed your surveys, it is crucial to follow up on the given responses. You can either ask employees directly or look for trends in their responses. From there, you can bring issues up with the right people and make productive changes going forward.
For example, if many of your respondents say they enjoy working with one particular manager and appreciate their contributions, this could be an excellent time to thank that manager for their dedication. If many people are dissatisfied with the break room, you can bring this up during future meetings or when planning renovations in your office.
You could also send an email to employees letting them know that their feedback has been heard and you are working on addressing their concerns.
It is also helpful to offer some sort of reward for people who participate in the survey, so they feel like their input was worth something. This could be as simple as chocolate or coffee at morning meetings, a free lunch, or a small gift card.
Any little token will help show your employees that their feedback was heard and appreciated. That way, they can feel motivated to continue helping out in the future.
The point of employee satisfaction surveys is not just about gathering information. It is also about using that data to make changes and improvements within your company as a whole.
Employee satisfaction surveys are important, but you need to remember that it is more important for your employees to have a voice. As long as you are honest, transparent, and timely when addressing any feedback, chances are they will be happy with the changes you make.
Knowing if your employees are satisfied or not can help you address the issues keeping your company from reaching its full potential. Addressing concerns and changing the work environment to cater to their needs can help increase retention rates and make your employees happier.
If you’re ready to take your company to the next level through surveys, we hope the above points will help you in reaching those goals. All the best!