When it comes to business success your employees are your most valuable asset. So, it pays to ensure they are as happy, fully engaged and as productive as they can be over the entire lifecycle of their employment with your organisation.

However, this can be very challenging to achieve if you don't know what your employees are thinking. It's why we've seen the growing use of employee surveys, including the employee opinion survey - also known as the "climate survey" - as organisations strive to better understand and act on their employees' perceptions and attitudes to their workplace and the wider business.

Capturing employee opinions

Opinion Surveys Serve Every Stage of the Employee Lifecycle

From their initial recruitment and onboarding, to their ongoing development, retention and company exit. From their feelings about colleagues, management and the wider company culture, to views about the training and opportunities available, staff will typically hold a wide range of opinions during their employment.

Subsequently, the employee opinion survey can serve as a valuable tool for HR teams and businesses in eliciting this feedback, so they can use the insight to make their workplace a more satisfying and engaging environment for both the staff and the employer alike.

Employee Opinion Survey Uses

Employee opinion surveys can be employed to monitor, manage and improve many different areas of a business. Some key uses include:

Employee/management relations

Good working relationships are critical to business success. So, being able to identify issues that could be putting a strain on any of these relationships are invaluable.

Capturing staff opinions enables you to get to the root of any problems, allowing you to create steps for resolving them and to get your teams working effectively again.

Employee development programs

Similarly, the ability to align the development needs of your employees with your organisation's business needs is paramount. By enabling you to get a better appreciation of their career aspirations, as well as their potential for advancement, the right employee opinion survey questions make it easier to identify and develop existing talent within your own company. This also helps negate the need and expense of having to recruit for similar talent externally.

Training needs assessment

To perform effectively in their jobs every individual will have a unique set of competencies and skills that they need to adhere to. Not only can an employee opinion survey help to identify how happy and how well staff are performing in their roles, it can also highlight if they need any further training or support.

Examining organisational health

Company culture and the way this can affect the health and wellbeing of your employees, can also impact your business. So, the ability to gauge staff sentiment in this area can be extremely valuable in giving an insight into any areas you need to improve, in order to build a stronger culture and a happier and more productive workforce.

It's evident from these examples just how valuable your employees' opinions can be for your business. However, if you're looking find out in more detail what could be affecting employee behaviours, you might also like to think about running more targeted questionnaire types such as motivation surveys or surveys measuring employee engagement.

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Best practices for employee opinion surveys

Employee Opinion Survey Best Practices

Having taken the decision to create and run an employee opinion survey program, you'll want to ensure you've done everything you can to maximise its success. Here are five best practices you need to consider:

  1. Think carefully about your choice of survey questions:

    To ensure you don't unwittingly bring bias into your survey, you need to ensure you don't ask leading questions that make your respondents feel there is an obvious ‘correct' response they are pressured to make. For example, avoid an approach such as: "The majority of people are happy with the work environment. Are you satisfied too?"

  2. Consider offering an anonymous survey:

    When you think about what you're trying to achieve - obtaining the most honest and valuable feedback - then you should strongly consider running anonymous surveys for employees. Ultimately, if you provide an open and safe environment for staff members to comment without fear of reprisal, you'll be more likely to get the truthful feedback that drives real insight.

  3. Be transparent about what you're doing:

    If you're to maximum the participation in your employee opinion survey, it's prudent to be upfront with your employees about why you want them to take it and how their feedback will be used. You should also communicate that there are no right or wrong answers to any of your questions, if you're to obtain the greatest value from the survey you issue.

  4. Share and act quickly on employee feedback:

    If you're to get employees on side and achieve the best long terms results, you need to be prepared to share your survey findings with all your teams and quickly act on any feedback you receive. If you don't do this, you'll risk alienating your workforce and creating damaging staff morale.

  5. Don't forget to run your survey again:

    Even if you have had some great feedback and have been able to take some effective action from the opinions that you've captured, don't forget to keep running your survey regularly. Sentiments can change over time, so it's important to keep up with what's happening, which you can only achieve if you invite responses frequently.

You many even consider running an occasional employee pulse survey to compliment regular staff opinion questionnaires. Pulse surveys are much shorter, and are designed to be distributed more frequently, so you can quickly check your employees' views across a range of key areas.

Employee Opinion Survey Benefits

Regularly running employee opinion surveys offers a wealth of advantages. Some of the key ones include:

Improvements in staff morale

When you take the time and effort to ask how your employees are feeling, and then suggest some steps about how to resolve any issues they are not happy with, you're likely to see an improvement in staff morale.

Increased staff retention rates

When you reach out more regularly to your employees, and make them feel more valued and listened to, this alone can have a positive effect on your ability to retain staff (on top of the benefits from taking action).

Stronger company culture

When you have a better overall idea of how your employees perceive your culture, values and mission, you're more able to take the steps needed to build more cohesive and happier teams and ultimately develop a stronger organisational culture.

More productive staff

By giving your employees a voice and showing your commitment to take onboard their opinions and suggestions, you're more likely to see much happier and harder working individuals, which will be great news for your productivity.

Example Employee Opinion Questions

From their opinions about their role and their teams, to their views on management and your wider organisational culture, employee opinion surveys can offer a great insight into staff satisfaction and levels of engagement within your workforce, but you need to be asking the right questions.

To help you, we've outlined some example survey questions below. Consider using these to research some of the areas for which you want feedback.

To get an insight into how happy your employees are with their work and what helps to motivate them, you might like to consider questions such as:

On a scale of 0-10, how happy are you at work?
What responsibilities in your role, would you say motivates or inspires you the most?

Similarly, to delve deeper into your employees' views about their team colleagues, you might like to ask:

How would you rate your relationship with your colleagues?
What do you think makes a good team colleague and why?

Healthy relationships at work and a strong culture can do wonders for an organisation, so it can be extremely valuable to explore these areas in your own workplace. Questions you might want to consider include:

Are you comfortable approaching your manager/supervisor about any doubts or concerns that you may have?
What do you think about the company culture here? Is there anything you think we could be doing better?
Ask the right employee opinion survey questions
Employee opinion survey software

Our Employee Opinion Survey Software

With the right employee survey software in place you can effectively gather and measure employee sentiment, putting yourself in the best possible position to make the improvements you need to keep your workforce happy, engaged and productive.

This is easily achievable with a few simple actions:

Swiftly create employee surveys, through access to a wide range of ready-made survey templates and questions types, which will help you to gain an insight into any area of your business.

Quickly and easily distribute your survey through a range of channels, from email and web to SMS, giving employees greater flexibility to access and complete it at a time most convenient for them, which will help to maximise your response rate.

Analyse and evaluate staff feedback, through access to advanced reporting and analysis tools including smart dashboards and a wide range of charts and graphical formats that make it easier to spot correlations and trends across departments and teams, so you can see where you need to improve.

By utilising our survey software’s automation and integration capabilities you can create employee feedback loops, that enable you to collect, analyse and act on feedback at any stage of the employee lifecycle.

Employee Opinion Survey Templates

With such a broad range of business areas you could be potentially seeking employee feedback for, it can be challenging to know how best to design your survey and where to start with your questions. So, to help you we've supplied a great selection of fully customisable employee survey templates for you to use.

Employee opinion survey template

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