Are Employee Surveys Effective?

Lauren O'Donnell

For many years now, employee engagement has been a top priority for most organisations. When employees are highly engaged, they’re more empowered, accountable, and productive in their roles. To understand the degree to which employees are engaged, many organisations conduct employee engagement surveys. Insights from these surveys can help them to shape employee policies and practices in ways that result in boosted engagement.


The Benefits of Employee Engagement Surveys

The truth is everyone inside an organisation plays an integral role in engagement. But not everyone is engaged or motivated in the same way. Measuring employee engagement helps you gain insight into employee opinions about organisational successes and opportunities for improvement. Leveraging key drivers of engagement allows you to simplify your focus. Employee engagement surveys look at how connected employees are to their work, to their team and to their organisation.

  • Engagement surveys give every employee an opportunity to voice their views and concerns.
  • Surveys that ask clear and direct questions make it easier to measure employee opinions on those issues.
  • Human Resource and leadership teams can then use the survey feedback to develop a roadmap to increase employee engagement and measure progress by comparing survey results over time.
  • Employee engagement surveys are also an important step toward understanding your culture and whether it needs to be changed.

Getting Started

Developing an effective employee engagement survey can be a daunting task. Though some may assume it’s as easy as putting together a few questions and sending them out to your employees to answer, creating an employee engagement survey that will bring value to your organisation requires a detailed project plan—just like any other business initiative. And that takes time and effort.

As with any other project, you should begin with the end goal in mind. The goal of a good employee engagement survey should be to help your organisation identify and build upon its strengths so that you can ultimately find a competitive edge within your respective industry. Engaged employees are proven to perform better and deliver better results, so you want to measure their current engagement levels and gather employee input on what would help boost engagement at your organisation.

Arriving at this valuable data takes time. Below is a step-by-step process you can follow to create an employee engagement survey that adds value to your organisation.


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1. Measure Your Starting Point

Begin by creating a baseline to help track progress and the success of your future employee engagement strategies. This means asking employees for their honest feedback on how things are currently going. While it may seem uncomfortable to solicit potential criticism, doing so will create an open line of communication and ultimately help you change your company culture for the better.


2. Get Leadership Buy-In

In order for any real change to occur in your organisation, you’ll need the support of your senior leaders. Involve them in the process during the planning phase so you can identify survey objectives together. This way, they will have a vested interest in taking action based on the results your survey will gather.


3. Set Objectives

You can’t measure everything. And you can’t fix everything at once. So, this is the time to be discerning. Identify high-priority objectives, focusing especially on areas where productivity is currently dropping.


4. Communicate All Details Clearly

Being open and honest with your employees from the get-go will help you gather better data in the end. Make sure they understand the what, why, when and how of the survey process. A lack of details could lead to mistrust, and that’s not the environment you want to create before you ask your employees for their honest opinion of how your company is currently operating.

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5. Share the Results

As we said before, transparency is key when conducting an employee engagement survey. Once the results have been tabulated and interpreted, share them with your employees. The best way to do so is in smaller meetings where the leaders in your organisation discuss the results with their direct reports so they feel included in the process.

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6. Take Action

Now that you have your data, it’s time to start making changes. Compare your results to your objectives and set goals for how you want to improve in terms of engagement and business success. From there, you’ll strategise and begin putting programs in place to reach those goals.


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About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries. To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified today.

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