Engagement surveys for business growth
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Employee Engagement Surveys – Surveying your way into business growth
We’ve all probably already completed one or two employee engagement surveys personally, we’ve also quite likely all shared an opinion about one too, but have you personally designed, developed and implemented one yet for staff and employees in an organisation?
Employee engagement surveys are not as straightforward as they first seem to appear. Measuring the level of employee engagement is more strategic than the case of compiling a list of mandatory questions and hoping most of the workforce participates.
Requiring a core engagement survey plan to tailor the actual survey to the individual organisation, employee engagement surveys require integration of your company’s culture, brand, leadership approaches and staff location and environment as well as an understanding and clear purpose of opinion and behavioural insights sought, which will affect the action plans and impact of initiatives taken, moving forward.
Helping employers identify weaknesses and strengths within their businesses contributes to a workforce which is further engaged, positively respondent and subsequently more productive in their role. Periodic engagement surveys not only give you an idea of performance levels but also allows you to measure changes in engagement as you integrate your initiatives and undergo change.
A successful employee engagement survey provides the platform for business growth and can mark the success or fail or your employer brand. Success being high participation rates first and foremost as it’s about getting a true measure of engagement levels as well as issues that are hindering engagement. Below are shared insights into designing, structuring and putting into action an employee engagement survey positively, constructively and most of all, successfully:
Plan & preparation
Organising appropriate and workforce representative employee focus groups before the survey is underway, offers insight into the state of the company’s workforce before a collective opinion is constructed. This ground work can help identify and create necessary questions to include, which identify where or why weaknesses may be appearing without an uninformed scattered approach of trying to define where the gaps are in the overall employee engagement levels amongst staff in your company.
Objectively, identify the collective opinion of a small group, combining management and front line employee’s opinions enticing feedback which can then be used in the preparation of the overall company annual survey which may also feed into smaller more frequent pulse surveys. This will provide the opportunity to handle arising problem areas or build on strengths which can then be fed through strategic questions shared between all staff.
Set an example
For an employee engagement survey to generate the power for success, it is imperative that all senior-based management teams show and integrate commitment into improving overall employee engagement within the company. Providing insight, feedback and contributions from the beginning enables staff to recognise that feedback is encouraged and valuable from all departments and all employees, having that reinforcement from their own managers, equates to more wholesome survey results and therefore provides more actionable, business improving insight.
Identify and integrate the key objectives of the survey which have previously been unveiled from employee/leadership feedback through previous employee focus groups. An employee engagement survey is not equipped to fix all problems at once. The more definitive and focused it is, the more sustainable and workable the feedback it will generate. Feature the majority vote of prioritised areas which need improving and tailor the questions around these specific topics. Integrate other issues raised in to more appropriate lines and means of address on a more tailored level. Consider different contact and experience points of the total employee experience, even those potential employees considering your organisation as their future employer. If the employee experience starts badly, it may not get better and you may miss out on key talent.
Regular updates to staff encourage positive employee engagement, therefore it is equally important prior to launching such an important survey, that they business shares the what’s and the why’s of the employee engagement survey before it is distributed across the company. Preparing staff in advance of its impending launch will bring it front of mind with employees and managers across the business and should result in a higher participation rate that one unannounced. It’s sensible to ensure the timing of your survey is appropriate too, so not peak trading periods, high holiday leave periods or at a particularly challenging point in any business change project.
You need the answers and views shared to be as honest and transparent as possible, so be clear that you communicate this sentiment to your staff and that they will not be identified or judged accordingly regardless of their feedback. Most businesses run surveys that provide anonymity to their employees, and many choose to have their survey conducted by a preferred experienced external partner, like Engage & Prosper, thereby assuring their employees a further level of trust and peace of mind that they are free to share their thoughts and views without redress.
Design & entice
A successful employee engagement survey is one which is simplistic and easy to complete. One that is complex and fussy is less likely to be completed and will lose the respondents interest after question two! Integrate open ended and closed ended questions, giving you quantitative and qualitative data to measure once the results have been submitted. Give people adequate time to complete the survey and that means ideally having it pen for a minimum of two weeks to allow holiday takers to take part before or after a holiday. Include people who are absent from the business at the time of the survey, where policy allows it such a people on parental, adoption, or maternity leave, those on long term sickness or on a career break. Some organisations are now including contractors and non-permanent or temporary staff too as their experience and views are equally important, particularly if a business has a recruitment strategy that offers regular temp to perm roles.
Surveys are not just about the content or the questions developed but it’s success is fed through the opening of regular and honest communication feedback and the data gleaned which can, with the right action plans, improve and strengthen overall employee engagement. It is what you do with the results which evoke the power of the survey.
Following the engagement survey itself, you may want to run further insight research by way of employee focus groups to get more in-depth knowledge about specific common feedback topics and comment trends. Employee engagement surveys aren’t complicated we know, but it is really important to ensure they are relevant, clearly defined, well designed and structured, and delivered in your organisation at the optimum time. This gives you a much higher likelihood of achieving the level of participation you want, as well as the depth, volume and honesty of insight and feedback which is why you are doing it for in the first place.
For a more detailed understanding of the value successful employee engagement surveys deliver and what an engaged workforce brings, the CIPD gives provides a very informative information hub.
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Engage & Prosper is a UK based privately owned Employee Engagement Consultancy and Social Enterprise, on a mission to help organisations develop a highly productive and fulfilling workplace culture, with their people, through enhanced employee engagement strategies, fabulous and effective internal communications platforms and tailored reward and recognition programmes.
For more information on Engage & Prosper or to discover how we can help you achieve your organisational and people goals please call +44 (0) 330 223 0464 or find out more at www.engageandprosper.com