Team leaders need to stay informed about the thoughts and feelings of their team members. Doing so allows them to make better decisions for the team and ensure that each team member is happy within their role. One way you can learn more about your team members’ attitudes is by sitting down with each of them for an interview. However, if you have a lot of team members, this is a time-consuming process that can take away valuable time from other responsibilities.
Another option is an employee survey. It allows you to quickly collect data from your employees, which you can then use to draw valuable insights. Creating and administering employee survey questions doesn’t have to take a lot of your time or the time of your team members, while still providing you with valuable feedback that you can use to improve employee experience. The key to a successful employee survey is asking the right questions. To do this, follow the tips below:
Decide on Your Goals
There are many options when it comes to employee survey questions. To begin formulating your questions, it’s often easier to first think about the type of responses you are hoping to get. Think about what you are trying to learn from your employees or what the goals for this survey are. From there, you can then work backward to determine the types of questions that will help you get those results.
For example, you may decide that one of your goals is to determine whether your employees feel engaged with their work on a daily basis. To do this, you might ask questions like:
- Do you find your work challenging enough?
- Do you feel that you have enough to do each day?
- What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
- Do you feel our company culture engages you daily?
By establishing what you want to achieve with the survey first, it becomes easier to develop questions that help you reach those goals. Try to pick ones that align with other business goals. For example, if you’re trying to improve employee retention, you might want to focus your survey on employee happiness and company culture, whereas if you’re trying to improve employee growth, you can focus your employee engagement survey on learning more about what your employees need to learn or their career goals.
Determine Time Commitment
The next thing you want to think about is the time commitment. Specifically, you want to think about how long it will take your employees to answer each question, along with how long it will take you to review the answers. Considering the time commitment can help you decide on the format of the questions, such as whether you want to offer a multiple choice answer or an open-ended one.
For example, if you only want your employees to spend a minute or two on this survey, you may opt for multiple-choice questions like “Please rate your level of satisfaction with your position on a scale of 1 to 5.” On the other hand, if you want your employees to spend more time on this survey and give more thoughtful answers, your question might instead read “Please describe how you feel about your current job satisfaction.” How long you want your employees to spend on your survey depends on a few factors, such as how often you’re sending the survey out and how much time you want to take away from other activities.
Consider Incoming Data Type
Next, consider the type of data you’ll get from your questions. For instance, will you get back a large number of in-depth responses due to open-ended questions or a collection of number ratings? It’s important to consider the type of data you’ll get back because to make the most of your employee survey questions, you need to take actionable steps based on this data.
The type of data you’ll want to receive can depend on a few things. Let’s say you intend to send this survey to hundreds of employees, asking each one for in-depth responses to several questions may not be feasible. You won’t have the time to give each response the attention it deserves. A better method when you have a lot of employees may be to give multiple-choice questions, as you can then analyze information about the responses such as an average rating.
Multiple choice questions can also help you track results over time. For example, you could include the questions “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend working here to a friend?” If you received an average rating of 7 one month, and then an average rating of 8 a few months later, you know your policies for making your employees happier are working and you can rely on satisfied employees.
Start with a Smaller Survey Sample
If you have a large number of employees, a good practice is to send your survey to a smaller subsection first. For example, if you have an office with 100 employees, you could start by sending out the survey to just the sales or HR departments. Sending out your employee satisfaction survey questions to a smaller select group first can provide a few benefits.
First, you can learn more about that specific department. Rather than learning about the engagement level of your entire organization, you can learn about whether your sales staff has engaged employees. This allows you to get a more accurate picture of your department so that you can implement strategies that impact them specifically.
Second, starting with a smaller sample allows you to test out your survey. You can get back a manageable number of responses and determine if your survey works. Once you start getting back answers you can decide better if you’ve included the right questions or if you need to acquire a different data type. After completing a small test survey with a select group you can then send out the improved survey to everyone.
Refine Your Questions Over Time
Finally, it’s important to refine your employee engagement survey questions over time. As you go along, the strategic goals of your business may change and so too may the intended goals for the survey. If you just stick with the same questions all the time, you may not be getting the type of employee feedback that you need to continue growing. Periodically assess your survey and ensure that you’re asking questions that help you reach your goals and provide you with valuable employee feedback.
However, it’s also important to note that you may not want to change your survey too much. There is value in asking the same questions over a period of time, as this allows you to compare responses. If you change the format of your questions too much, you won’t be able to make meaningful comparisons and see if your policies are having the desired effect.
So, while it’s important to refine your questions to ensure you’re getting the most from your survey, keep in mind that if you change things too much, tracking your progress becomes more difficult. Consider using annual surveys to track results over time, as this can help you discover development opportunities.
Get Started with Employee Engagement Surveys Today
Asking for constructive feedback from your employees helps your organization find opportunities for improvement. This is essential if you want to improve the level of engagement throughout your business and create an organizational culture that breeds success. Get started today by thinking about what you want to achieve and the questions you can ask that will provide you with the essential data needed to reach those goals.