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Employee Survey Design
Employee Survey Design
Introduction to employee survey design
The careful and effective design of an employee survey is crucial to ensuring participant understanding and buy-in, and to gaining staff feedback that is reliable and actionable.
Here we outline some best practice advice on planning your survey, design advice, some considerations for question choice, and the best scoring mechanism to employ.
Companies with engaged employees pull in 2.5x more revenues compared to competitors with low engagement levels. – Hay Group
Planning your employee survey
Before designing any employee survey it’s important to be clear about why you are running it, who needs to be involved, your preparation time and how often you intend to run it, if you are to maximise its value following implementation. Here are a few considerations to help with the planning process:
What are your survey objectives?
It’s critical to be clear about what you are looking to achieve. For example, if you want to get an accurate measure of employee satisfaction and engagement levels, it is imperative that your questions address what’s important to staff and that they are aligned with your business processes.
Who should be involved?
Depending on the size of your business you could have many different stakeholder groups you need to involve. From department heads to line managers, asking their opinions about what they want to get out of the survey and what it should measure before its launched, ensures the feedback you invite from your staff is most likely to align with what matters most to your business.
How long should you prepare?
This really depends on the complexity and scale of your project. To send out a simple pulse survey you could use a template and be up and running in minutes. More complex surveys such as 360 feedback can take a little more time to implement. If you are short on time and have a complex project you may want to consider looking at a managed service. Utilising a managed service can help you get even the most complex surveys implemented in a short time frame enabling you to make change happen quickly.
Is the survey secure?
Web based employee survey software from accredited providers like SmartSurvey significantly reduce the effort it takes to get a solution in place. ISO27001, Cyber essentials + and UK based hosting are all going to get big ticks from your IT department, will adhere to their online security requirements and – unlike many other solutions – will mean they don’t have to worry about installing or supporting the system. Choosing the right provider, with the right accreditations drastically reduces the time to implementation as you will get far less resistance from your IT team.
When’s the best time to run an employee survey?
This depends on how and where your survey results are used. Companies that work to a fiscal year may prefer to run it in the first quarter, while those that plan on a calendar year might want to run it in the Autumn, so they have enough time to analyse the results for budgeting and planning ready for the following January.
Maximising survey responses
To obtain the most honest response to your surveys, they need to be convenient, communicated clearly and ensure employees feel safe to be open and honest. Follow these tips to improve your response rates and ensure the feedback is meaningful:
1. Keep responses anonymous
To obtain the most honest response to your surveys, it is important to provide anonymity, so your employees feel safe to give you open and truthful feedback without the worry of reprisal.
2. Go digital
Both from a staff and employer point of view, online forms and surveys have many advantages over their paper-based counterpart.
From making it easier for staff to complete across a range of different devices at a time and place convenient to them, to making it quicker and simpler for employers to collect and analyse their information through a range of links, digital surveys are extremely valuable for garnering employee feedback.
3. Improve internal communications
Employee surveys can also be designed to assess aspects of company culture and operations, such as internal meetings, new employees’ experience of onboarding, work-related or informal staff events, or feedback on staff training. Carrying out a quick online survey can enable you to evaluate if you are meeting your objectives and so help improve the way things are done.
4. Use questions that maximise engagement
To maximise staff engagement and the value you can obtain from their feedback, it’s essential to include questions that measure what they think and feel about your company and how this affects their behaviour. Questions can span areas including their role, career aspirations, or benefits, or relate to your brand, internal communications, or feedback on the management team.
Questions that can typically reveal interesting employee thoughts include:
- Their impressions of your organisation
- Views about your company’s hierarchy and management team
- Understanding of their role and how it contributes to your business
Questions that can measure staff feelings include:
- Their level of passion for your company
- Sense of pride and belonging
- Level of job satisfaction
Questions to measure how thoughts and feelings affect employee actions include:
- Their willingness to go the extra mile for your business
- Intention to stay with you and progress
- The likelihood they’ll recommend you as a great employer (see eNPS surveys)
Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their less engaged counterparts. – Corporate Leadership Council
Choose a rating scale for your employee survey
One of the most effective formats for a question is to include a rating scale, where respondents can grade how satisfied they are with something, from very unhappy to extremely satisfied.
Likert scales that operate on a four- or five-point system are common and extremely popular. But each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you would need to consider what best fits your needs.
Can be simpler to interpret, but is more restricted, which forces respondents to make a positive and negative response. This can make data results appear much better or worse than they are.
With a wider scale it’s much easier to distinguish between positive and negative scales, but it can also result in more respondents choosing the middle neutral option, which can make it more difficult to draw any conclusions from your research.
Use our employee survey templates
From selecting what areas you should measure to choosing the questions to ask, it can be daunting to know where to begin with your first survey. We’ve developed a great selection of fully customisable templates for you to start with.
How are we different?
Your data will be stored and processed here in the UK for your peace of mind.
We pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our customers, providing expert advice and support whenever you need it.
You're in safe hands
Our secure platform and robust data protection measures ensure your data is safe and secure with us. We are ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus certified.
We understand the importance of personal interaction, which is why we offer a human touch alongside our cutting-edge technology.
We're committed to making our surveys accessible to everyone, with a range of features to support those with disabilities.
With no limits on the number of responses you can collect, you can be sure your survey will reach as many people as possible without it being cost prohibitive.
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We couldn't be happier with SmartSurvey, we love its functionality and flexibility. This means we have been able to use one survey tool across many parts of the business.
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