It’s hard to know what employees are thinking. Are they happy with the way the business is being run? Do they feel supported at work? What changes would they like to see happening in the future? It’s impossible to guess what someone is thinking, but employee engagement surveys are a useful tool. With surveys, it’s possible to gain an insight into the opinions and thoughts of employees, giving you the information, you need to make key changes.
Why Carry Out Employee Engagement Surveys?
There is a lot that goes into running a business, and employees are a huge part of a business’ success. After all, without employees, a business is unlikely to get very far. However, business owners shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that all employees are completely happy and satisfied at work, simply because they have not heard anything different. Though someone might not disclose that they have a problem, that’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement. This is where employee engagement surveys come in.
Employee engagement surveys are an effective way of identifying areas of improvement, especially as far as improving morale is concerned. Unless you are an employee, it’s hard to have an accurate sense of what it’s like to work as part of the team, and how enjoyable it is to be at work. With an employee engagement survey, employees can highlight any problems they have, and bring awareness to aspects of the business that could be improved. You can then implement these changes, resulting in boosted morale and employee satisfaction. This leads to better engagement, a good work culture, improved mental health and a happier workforce.
What to Ask in Employee Engagement Surveys?
In order to get the most out of an employee engagement survey, you need to ask the right questions. It’s a good idea to centre these around job satisfaction, life balance, teamwork and how employees are treated in the workplace, as this will give you a good overview of what employees think about various topics. You could start with questions such as:
On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your job and the business as a whole? – This is a great opener, as it provides you with specifics about how satisfied an employee is. Using this information, you can find an average amongst the team.
How effective is communication within the business? – There’s bound to always be something happening at work, and it’s important that employees feel informed and included. Being aware of company news and changes helps an employee to feel valued, appreciated and part of a team.
Do you feel that you have a good work-life balance? – Not having a good work-life balance can lead to burnout, stress and poor performance. It’s important to make sure that employees are able to balance their personal life with their work commitments.
How to Interpret an Employee Engagement Survey
There is a lot that you can do with an employee engagement survey, and it’s not merely a task that’s there to provide a brief overview of employee thoughts, only to then be discarded and forgotten about. In fact, you can interpret an employee engagement survey in a variety of ways. When you are doing this, make sure to have an open mind and look at the information without judgement. Employees’ opinions are valid and should be paid attention to, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what has been said.
You should look for trends in employee answers, as this will highlight larger and more prominent problems in the business. For example, if a lot of employees have mentioned a lack of flexibility in their work schedule, it’s something that probably needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Group the questions into themes – such as leadership, communication and work-life balance – and identify themes that emerge as areas of strength, and those that show signs of employee dissatisfaction.
As well as looking at the results as a whole, analyse individual survey questions. Take a look at the responses to individual survey questions to identify areas of strength, and areas that you should improve in. You might find that the answers vary across different departments or teams, which could signify a discrepancy running through the business.
Actioning the Results of Employee Engagement Surveys
Once you have assessed the areas of the business that need improvement, you can start making changes. Think about the workplace culture that you want to create, and how you could change the business’ values, goals and behaviours in order to build this. Evaluate the existing policies and procedures that could be impacting the culture, and work on successfully aligning them.
Identify any gaps between the existing policies and your desired workplace culture. Determine which policies need to be modified or revised to help this. Ensure that the business’ policies are clear, concise and easily understandable. It’s important that employees know the policies are there, and the processes involved. If anything changes in the policies, explain the rationale behind the changes and offer training, if necessary, to ensure that employees understand the new way of doing things.
Once you have actioned the results of your employee engagement survey, monitor their implementation. Track the impact of the policy changes on employee satisfaction, engagement, and behaviours. Regularly assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the policies, and make any adjustments if needed. It’s also a good idea to continuously seek feedback from employees regarding anything mentioned in the survey. Encourage open communication and create channels for employees to express their thoughts, and then utilise this feedback for future improvements.
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