Surveys are a great way to gather information from employees, but they can be tricky. You need to know what questions to ask, how often you should send them out, and what metrics you should use to measure results. In this post, we'll walk through the three components of an effective employee survey and give some examples of questions that will help you get actionable feedback from your team!
The next step is determining whether your company's survey will be relational or transactional.
Relational surveys gauge employees’ relatively stable attitudes about their work, leaders, and the organization:
These types of surveys often ask questions like "I feel valued at work," "My supervisor provides me with appropriate training," or "I am proud to tell others I work here." A company interested in improving its workplace culture can use an understanding of these attitudes rather than focusing on specific metrics.
Transactional surveys measure specific metrics such as retention rates or recruiting quality candidates. Companies will use transactional surveys when they are interested in improving particular business outcomes rather than measuring employee satisfaction across a wide range of issues. The questions in transactional surveys measure specific metrics such as retention rates or recruiting quality candidates.
We recommend starting with a simple employee survey, such as an eNPS survey, for organizations new to the process of gathering feedback from their employees.
Whether a survey is relational or transactional, effective employee surveys contain three main components: an outcome metric, driver items, and open-ended questions.
Every employee survey should contain at least one specific, measurable outcome or metric
An outcome metric is an overall measurement of the employee’s experience and should communicate whether the experience was positive or negative.
For example, the outcome metric in a relational engagement survey would be employee engagement. In a post-onboarding transactional study, the outcome metric might be an overall rating of employees’ satisfaction with the frequency of feedback they receive.
Driver items measure specific aspects of the employee experience, telling you why employees feel the way they do and what the organization and its leaders can do to improve those experiences.
Employers can derive driver items from the specific, detailed pieces of feedback that employees provide about their experiences in your organization. They should be relevant to the company and job, measurable, and aligned with strategic goals.
To use driver items effectively:
Employees have a wealth of thoughts and feelings that they may be unable to articulate in the better-known multiple-choice questions. Open-ended questions are a way to gather qualitative data from employees who don't always feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on traditional survey platforms. Open-ended questions allow you to gain insights into the employee experience, including how satisfied employees are with their work or what new policies or benefits would make them happier at work.
Open-ended questions can also help you better understand why disengaged employees experience, which helps improve your workplace culture overall.
In summary, your employee survey should contain an outcome metric, a set of drivers (items that directly contribute to the goal), a strategy for measuring drivers, and open-ended questions. Using these components will allow you to steer your organization in a positive direction, and the grounded conclusions you can draw from effective surveys can have far-reaching implications for your business.
Keep these tips in mind when completing your following employee survey, but don't be afraid to experiment with other strategies!
You need to know what your employees think to improve your company's employee engagement. And the best way to do that is by asking them! Employee surveys can be a powerful tool for assessing current performance and creating future goals. But if you approach this task carelessly, it can backfire on you—and even hurt your business in the long run. So make sure to keep these three things in mind as you develop an employee survey strategy: