How to Manage Employee Surveys Well
Lots of organizations send out employee engagement surveys with the desire of improving employee engagement and retention; unfortunately, they often damage both in the process.
There are a few employee engagement survey pitfalls that luckily are easy to avoid.
Here are three practices to follow when sending out employee engagement surveys:
- Shorter is better. I hate to say this, but no one wants to fill out your employee engagement survey. It’s time consuming, employees doubt the survey will yield results, and employees worry that their feedback isn’t really confidential.
Make your employee engagement survey easy to fill out by making it short. And by short, I mean 10 questions or fewer. You’ll get a better response rate to a 10-question survey than a 65-question one.
- Provide employees with survey results quickly. Most organizations ask for too much information. Leaders are overwhelmed by the survey information, so they spend months and months reviewing it, while employees comment on yet another employee survey with no communication.
Send out a succinct communication sharing the top few learnings – the good and the not-so-good — within a few weeks of sending out the survey. You don’t need to take action at the same time. Simply keep employees in the loop by communicating a quick summary of what you learned. If you wait too long to share the feedback, it often never gets communicated. And the next time you send out a survey, employees will remember the absence of information and be hesitant to fill it out.
- Within 90-days, tell employees what you will and won’t be changing, based on the survey feedback, and tell them why. Employees don’t need or expect all of their input to be utilized. Closing the loop with clear communication about what you are and aren’t changing, and why, is often sufficient.
Tags: Be a best place to work, candor questions, employee engagement, employee engagement surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, employee surveys, Leadership questions
My #1 rule with surveys (of any length/complexity) is: don’t ask questions about anything you’re NOT interested in addressing. For example, don’t ask employees their opinion on the health plan benefit if there’s no way their input will have any impact on that benefit. And I heartily agree — a shorter, focused survey with actionable, visible follow-up is waaaaay better than the 100-question behemoth that overwhelms management to the point of paralysis.
Always solid and easy to follow advice! I used your blog to helps countless small business owners be become better leaders in their businesses.