SURVEY QUESTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES
What questions should you ask in staff surveys?
When you think about employee surveys, what generally springs to mind are the employee satisfaction and engagement surveys which many organisations administer on a regular basis, the aim of which is to measure and understand how employees are feeling about the company and the work environment.
While the engagement survey is valuable because of its potential to make a significant impact on employee satisfaction and employee engagement if done correctly, there are many other types of employee surveys that employers can also use to gather vital feedback on important employment related topics.
Surveys can be tailored to address nearly any issue the organisation wants input on and, if handled well, the information can have a significant impact on the retention and productivity of your most important resource – your employees.
Outlined here are brief details of several different types of employee surveys covering most aspects of the employee lifecycle.
Engagement or Satisfaction Surveys
The engagement survey is the most common type of employee survey. They are often kept anonymous so employees can be frank and honest with their answers. Handled well, employee engagement/satisfaction surveys can be great tools for improving morale within an organisation. In fact, it’s generally seen that companies that encourage or engage their employees to provide ideas and suggestions have higher employee retention rates and job satisfaction.
Regular, short surveys are called pulse checks. They are a fast and more frequent survey system, that does away with complex questions and is intentionally designed to be undertaken more often than the commonly used employee engagement survey. Pulse check surveys can be held monthly or quarterly (even weekly) and provide employers with a quick insight into the health of a company, hence the name ‘pulse’.
Health and Wellbeing Surveys
In these challenging times many people are working from home, or due to their work type they are not able to work at all. Therefore, checking on the health and wellbeing of your employees is essential. We recommend using the short pulse survey for this, so that you can gather feedback on their current state of mental and physical wellbeing. Example questions could be: how would you rate your wellbeing after X weeks of remote working so far; to what extent are you planning and engaging in activities to support your mental and physical wellbeing; what is helping you to successfully work from home; what additional support can we provide to help you successfully work from home; and how else can we help you at this time.
Employee Onboarding Survey
Creating a good onboarding experience for new hires is not a ‘nice-to-have’ process, it is crucial. A good onboarding survey asks new employees for their feedback on what went well, and what could have been improved. Don’t underestimate the importance of new employees feeling happy that their decision to join your company was the right one. We recommend that you take a 2-step approach to the onboarding survey with the new employee being asked to participate in short pulse type surveys in weeks one and five. Questions in the first survey are focused on the recruitment experience, their decision to choose your organisation and their initial onboarding experience. By week five when they get their second survey, they have had time to settle in and the ‘honeymoon period’ is pretty much over. They are asked to provide their thoughts about their overall induction programme, training, systems and support.
Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Survey
Building a workplace culture that prioritises belonging and inclusion is the best way to attract diverse and talented people, create a sustainable workforce, and—most importantly—make employees feel supported. Surveying employees on how they view the topics of inclusion, fairness, equity, respect, and diversity within your organisation can provide the crucial information you need to ensure you are engaging all employees. You can do this through specific pulse surveys or by incorporating pointed relevant questions in your general engagement survey. Example questions could be: All people have an opportunity to succeed in this organisation; I feel like I belong here; Senior leadership is prepared to effectively manage a culturally diverse workforce; and the people I work with treat each other with respect
360 Review and Employee Peer Evaluation Survey
A 360-degree survey is a process that solicits feedback on employee performance from several different sources: from managers, from peers, from reports, and from a self-assessment.
In today’s knowledge economy, skilled employees are the asset that drives organisational success. Therefore, companies must learn from them—why they stay, why they leave, and how the organisation needs to adapt and change. A well thought out exit interview survey process can provide valuable information from departing employees, who usually feel comfortable providing frank and honest insights, which will help to improve the overall employee experience in future.
A Word of Warning on Employee Surveys
- Employee surveys with high frequency can become less effective, as people begin to get ‘survey fatigue’.
- Surveys should not be more frequent than fortnightly at most.
- Poor communication and no follow-up – by running frequent surveys e.g., Pulse surveys, employers are setting up expectations that ‘things will be done’. Therefore, because employees are putting in the effort to give their honest feedback, proper action must be taken after evaluating the feedback. If you do not do anything in response to what they say, they will be discouraged to providing their feedback in the future. Hence you need to ensure you have appropriate resources available to communicate with employees and act on their feedback (which is the expectation you are setting).
Tips for Creating Effective Staff Surveys
- Select topics and questions you want to get feedback on e.g., areas that will add value and insight to your business. These questions can cover a variety of topics, such as motivations, happiness, feelings about management, recognition, workload, job role, etc.
Develop a solid employee communication plan to run before, during and after the survey and ensure you stick to the plan.
- Analyse the responses upon completion – look at areas that feedback has shown need to be improved, as well as reflecting on the positive areas.
- Analyse trend data, showing how results in each key area is changing over time.
In accordance with your communication plan, share the results with employees in a timely manner.
- Act – this is the most important step! Develop an action plan that includes key dates and who the person is who is responsible for delivering each item.
- Review and repeat – pulse surveys need to be repeated regularly whereas the more comprehensive engagement surveys should be run annually.
ConsultingHQ has the expertise and experience needed to assist you with your employee surveys. If you would like to explore the possibilities of how employee surveys could benefit your business, please get in touch with Tanya Gray, Director.