Best Practices for Implementing an Employee Engagement Survey
The following post serves as the third installment in our Employee Engagement Blog Series. This series will inform readers about the importance of employee engagement, and will provide best practices for how to boost both employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Read the first post here, and the second post here.
Now that we’ve covered Why Employee Engagement Matters to Your Business, as well as What Employee Engagement Looks Like, and How to Measure It, it’s time to address how to actually implement employee engagement surveys into your overall business strategy.
Let’s get right into it.
Tips for Building Employee Engagement Surveys
First things first, employee engagement surveys should be anonymized. Making your survey anonymous is an essential aspect when it comes to ensuring that you are collecting meaningful feedback.
We all know that there is a certain degree of politics at play in the workplace. It’s practically impossible to avoid. So in order to collect unbiased, truly actionable insights, it’s important that the identities of participants being surveyed remain unknown. Plus, an anonymous survey will increase participation and encourage truthful responses without fear of retaliation from management.
Ideally, your company’s culture is so supportive and authentic that everyone who works there feels comfortable sharing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions without fear. But it can be intimidating for employees to share negative feedback if they’re frightful that it will negatively affect their career. So keep these respondents anonymous, encourage them to provide constructive criticism, and reward their honesty with action by making noticeable changes based on their feedback.
Be transparent by communicating that these surveys are important, and are not to be written off as meaningless HR tasks. Build excitement around your survey by incentivizing employees to participate in any way you see fit, and communicate your goals and expectations to them. Informing employees that the survey being administered to them is essential to the cultural strategy of the business will lead to increased open and response rates when they receive the survey invitation.
In order to avoid survey fatigue, when crafting questions, make sure most of them are quantitative with closed-ended answer options. This makes the survey less intimidating to respondents, as they get to choose from an already existing set of answers, as opposed to building their own from scratch.
Remember to send out a reminder a short time before your survey will close. Your employees are busy, and they may need a gentle nudge to complete the survey. It’s important to account for their workloads and schedules.
Don’t be shy in reminding employees that their responses are important. Reiterate your goals and expectations so that everyone is reassured that they are part of a larger team, and this survey is for them.
3 Foundational Elements of a Successful Employee Engagement Strategy
Commitments only last when they are mutual. Therefore, your employees are expecting you to act on their feedback, and you will lose their trust if you don’t do so in a timely fashion.
Once you’ve collected your data, determine the most critical factors for engaging your employees. According to the Harvard Business Review, to be fully engaged and happy, virtually everyone wants three things: a meaningful vision of the future, a sense of purpose, and great relationships.
What is your weakest area? Start by focusing on that, so that everyone in the company can see large improvements in engagement and culture early on.
Below are some suggestions for improving each of these three key areas:
Are your employees aware of the company’s long term corporate vision? Do they understand it entirely? Are they invested in it? Make sure that everyone in your company understands how they fit into the bigger picture. This will give them a much-needed sense of security, and will lead to them being more truly engaged.
Sense of Purpose
Employees are inspired when they feel that they are working for a worthy cause, and their actions have direct impact. It makes them feel that their efforts are vital, which is essential for engagement.
In order to maximize productivity, reduce meetings and calendar fragmentation. Long and frequent meetings are emotionally draining and often unnecessary. Instead, try to implement quick check-in meetings, and save the large bulk of work on projects for individuals to divvy up as they see fit.
Group chats and project tools can be leveraged to communicate project statuses, so that when meetings are necessary their alignment with larger goals is made much more clear.
Quality of Relationships
“Aspire to inspire.” Perhaps this is an overused cliché, but it’s popularity comes from it’s effectiveness. Close, trusting, and supportive relationships are imperative for team bonding.
In order to enhance the overall quality of relationships in your corporate culture, keep communication channels open between management and staff. This makes everything more inclusive. Make a point of getting to know the members of your team by being a good and empathetic listener. Then take action.
Seek input from team members. Rather than dictating what needs to be done, motivate your team to join you in your cause by explaining why certain plans are being put in place. Leading through collaboration creates a communal buy-in, and team members will be more likely to cooperate and take ownership of joint efforts.
The most important thing you can do to establish great relationships is to build trust. Be transparent and empower employees to make decisions, and let them know that you have faith in their abilities. Employees will serve you well when you show them that you trust them.
Encourage innovation and adventure. Applaud employees when they test new tools and explore new areas.
And, last but not least, make work fun! Host events and activities that get people out of the “corporate” mindset. Team bonding builds positive energy, as well as social and emotional capital.
It’s Time to Invest in Employee Engagement
By now, we’ve built a solid case for the importance of measuring and enhancing employee engagement. So, what are you waiting for? Stop giving so much attention to employee satisfaction, and start focusing on employee engagement.
Engaging your employees is the best business investment you can make. Engaged employees work at their full potential, and simply put, they get more done. So start increasing engagement, and watch productivity and profitability begin to soar.
How does your company measure employee engagement? Sound off in the comments or shoot us a tweet for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!