Best ways to make employee surveys more effective

Best ways to make employee surveys more effective

  • 23rd Jul, 2015

Every once in a while, when everybody is happily working away there comes a pause of few minutes. The employers send in a quick survey for the staff to fill, which the latter quickly finish and get back to their work. The pause seems unnoticeable but it helps the HR department in tremendous ways. Employee surveys are a quick way of understanding the employees well and increase their engagement levels. Additionally, it gives an insight into what the employees want and if they have any concerns that they would like to convey through surveys if they are uncomfortable talking about it in person.

The whole exercise seems simple – company designs a survey, sends it to the employees through HR management software system, they take a few minutes out to fill it up, they send the finished survey which is later analyzed by the concerned team. One question that comes to everyone’s mind during the entire process is – do these employee surveys really work? Well, it depends on two factors: first, how well is the survey designed and secondly, how honestly do employees reply to the survey questions.

As a company, you cannot anticipate the latter but if you take care of designing the survey well, chances of employees giving honest feedback is high. It has been observed that employees give useful information through surveys when they see that concrete action has been taken to address their problems. If they feel that no action is being taken, they would obviously take this important exercise very lightly. The purpose of surveys is to understand the employees better and provide them a better working experience and environment. It is a two way street – they let you know different aspects of the organization through their perspective and you have to respond in the best manner possible. If you take action in response to the survey, then productivity, employee morale and work satisfaction automatically goes up.

A lot depends on the kind of questions presented in the survey; however there are a couple more factors that affect the final result too. Some of them include:

Time and Length: Brevity should be followed while creating a survey. Every employee will not be patient enough to answer every question of the survey if it is really lengthy. Don’t ask too many pointless questions, keep them to the point, give suitable options as answers and keep some open ended questions too. Keep a certain timeline for employees to respond to the survey. Web based HRMS software can send them regular reminders to fill up the survey but ensure that you don’t keep extended deadlines as it would result in a lazy or delayed response.

Genre of questions: You can make dedicated surveys centering on just one aspect such as relationships, personal development, motivation, HR practices, well-being etc. Or it can be a mix of all the different aspects. Based on what you are expecting from your employees, focus on the type and genre of questions. The clearer you are, the results would that useful.

Method of survey completion: Some companies gather their employees and give out survey sheets to be filled. However, the sending out the surveys through mails or on the portal is more effective. It offers privacy and flexibility to employees, encouraging them to give more honest replies.

Communication: Employees respond well if they know the objective of the conducted survey. Give them information why you are sending out this survey, communicate how necessary action would be taken if required. Through the web based HRMS software, the HR team can notify the employees on when to expect the survey, what is expected from them and by when it has to be submitted. Healthy communication will dissolve many frustrating queries.

This exercise does not end with just gathering the data. It has to be evaluated accurately and interpreted in the right manner. HR management software system can help you only so much, but putting a qualified team to make sense of the responses and insights is equally important. When all these factors come together, be assured of getting effective survey results every single time.

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