It’s 2018, and businesses are finally waking up to the realization that happy employees make for happy customers – which make for happy businesses and shareholders.
There’s huge benefits from acting to make sure your employees are happy and engaged. In fact, Gallup’s survey of Fortune 500 Companies to determine the happiest workplaces found that in the top quartile, businesses saw:
- 22% higher profitability
- 21% higher productivity
- 10% higher customer metrics
- 37% less absenteeism, and
- Up to 65% less employee turnover
Even if you were only interested in finding out how happy your customers are, running external
customer satisfaction surveys isn’t enough to ensure this. For a truly holistic approach that will highlight all aspects of your business that can be improved, you also need to survey your employees. After all, they are your own personal internal customers.
Perhaps you have been losing employees recently, or you are noticing that the morale they once had is slowly diminishing for no apparent reason. If this is the case, a properly laid out plan to survey your employees can go a long way in helping you understand the group of people that make your business run smoothly.
The fact that you are considering getting feedback from them is enough to tell them how much you care about your employees and your desire to ensure that they are well appreciated for their efforts.
However, employee surveys should be done correctly if you want to gain enough relevant information without coercion or bias. The following is what you can do to get the most out of the initiative.
Who Will You Be Surveying?
If you’re wanting to get opinions from a wide range of staff, it’s likely they will need different surveys. The questions you would ask of a board member will be vastly different from the questions you would ask front-line staff, so consider your survey format accordingly.
Consider too how much time they have to complete the survey. Sending out an hour-long survey to contact center staff whose only free hour in the day is their lunch break will not go down well. Ensure that the survey length and your deadline for completion is realistic and clearly communicated.
What Are Your Goals – And Do Your Staff Know Your Goals?
You should not only be crystal clear on your aims for the survey, but make sure that your staff are clear too. Sending out a survey with no context or explanation could prompt entirely the wrong reasoning being guessed at by worried staff.
Your goals for the survey will absolutely affect the questions asked. A survey that’s being run to reinforce a customer-first culture will be very different to a survey being sent to a survey assessing employee engagement. Consider your aims carefully before you start putting any questions together.
Inform them Beforehand
The last mistake you want to commit is to carry out an impromptu survey of your employees. This may cause suspicion of an investigation, and with the staff already feeling attacked, the chances are high that you will get biased feedback that will tell nothing about how they feel.
Be as Detailed as Possible
When asking questions, try to have a number of alternative answers which the employees can choose from. But that is not all. Be sure to include open-ended questions as well.
This will allow them to share their full feedback about not only their experience working with you but also their career objectives and aspirations. Such information will allow you to find out more about your employees and guide you on how to best serve them to make them comfortable at work.
Anonymity & Confidentiality
Recognize that some staff may not be comfortable with openly voicing a negative opinion about their business, their manager or their role. If you are interested in receiving open and honest feedback, guaranteeing anonymity may be the only way you can do this.
It may be you consider adding in an optional name field, if individuals do want to discuss their feedback with a manager or member of HR. As with any aspect of customer service, giving your customers (employees) the ability to choose is a great way to ensure your survey will be received successfully.
Another good tip to ensure candid and open responses is by assuring your employees about who will see responses. Especially where an employee has given qualitative feedback about their manager, for example, they may worry that their experiences shared or writing style will identify them to that manager, if the manager has access to survey results.
In this case, consider carefully who should have access to what data, and how any non-guarantee of confidentiality could affect the honesty of responses given by employees.
Encourage Survey Completion
Whatever you do, make sure that you encourage your employees to take the survey. After all, the point is to understand them, and if you cannot have most of them, if not all, answering the questions, it will not have accomplished the desired goal. There’s a fine line to tread here – you can encourage but not enforce, as enforced survey completion will result in negative and biased answers, as well as unhappy staff.
Consider gently asking why some staff did not take part in the survey. You want to be very careful to make clear that this isn’t a witch hunt to punish employees for exercising their own free will, rather you want to ensure that all employees are fully able to take the survey, if they wish, in the future, and that there aren’t any operational hurdles preventing them from doing so.
Share the Results
After analyzing the information gathered, and coming up with a conclusive result, it is advisable that you share the results with your staff. Openness is one way of letting your employees know that they are a part of the organization and that they are never taken for granted.
That should come after going through the summary with the executives and identifying the areas of concern. The last step is to address the issues raised. This is the only way the staff will be sure that you care about them.
Sample Employee Satisfaction Questions
The following are some questions you could use for your employees.