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Everything You Need to Know About Conducting an Employee Survey

Frontline employees are the heart and soul of a business. They’re working directly with your product or service, and interacting with customers more than any C-suite executive ever will.

These workers are a goldmine of information about how your business is actually running. No amount of spreadsheets will ever give you the same insights you can glean through simply gathering feedback from your frontline teams.

But where do you start? How often should you survey your team? How will you implement their feedback?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are countless options for employee survey software available on the market today. As workplace tech stacks become increasingly complex, more companies are turning to digital workplaces and team apps to connect with hard-to-reach frontline employees.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to plan, execute, and follow up on employee surveys to make the most out of feedback you receive.

What to Do Before You Send Your Employee Surveys

Before you dive right in, there are a couple things to consider to get the most out of your employee surveys.

  • What are your goals for the survey?
  • What is the scope of this project in general?
  • What will success look like?
  • What do I want to learn about the business?
  • Develop strategic questions. Design your survey with focused, user-friendly questions.
  • Critically evaluate responses. Go over the results and measure feedback over time.
  • Remember to be consistent. 22% of companies send out surveys at least every quarter.

Defining clear answers to these questions will help you build a framework for success and keep you focused on the right information. Set the scope, so you don’t get lost in the weeds later on.

Decide Which Type of Employee Engagement Survey You Want to Send

The real question is, what kind of employee communication survey should you use with your team: pulse surveys or annual surveys?

Not sure what those are? We’ll break it all down for you here.

Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are fast and frequent. They are conducted periodically, often every few weeks or months. These are called pulse surveys because they are used to “take the pulse” of the company.

Pulse Survey Pros

Pulse surveys provide critical insight into the frontline employee experience by routinely sending out short, customized questions. Many companies elect to send their pulse surveys out through an employee app so they’re more accessible for mobile workers. This gives business leaders the information they need to develop data-driven solutions.

Pulse surveys offer a real-time measurement of employee satisfaction, helping companies identify the concerns of their employees and address them quickly. They do this by asking just a few short questions (no more than 10) about specific issues on a regular basis.

Pulse Survey Cons

Because of their frequency, pulse surveys can overwhelm some employees. Of course, there is also an increased cost to consider because they occur so often, they do slightly impact productivity. While pulse surveys tend to have higher participation rates, they can sometimes be a distraction for employees.

Annual Surveys

Annual surveys offer a global picture of employee satisfaction. They are a glimpse into your employees’ attitudes, how they feel about their coworkers, their office environment, and their work in general. Annual surveys can also be an excellent source of historical information when coupled with pulse survey best practices.

Annual Survey Pros

As the name implies, annual surveys are conducted. . . annually. These are the most common types of surveys where employees are asked a number of in-depth, comprehensive employee satisfaction survey questions.

Annual Survey Cons

Completing annual employee surveys can be long and tedious for your team. Because they only take place annually, the data collected becomes outdated very quickly.

Another issue is the lack of objectivity. Since employees are typically asked to rate their own level of engagement, there is a strong bias present in their answers. This can cause inaccurate results because employees respond the way that they think their employers want them to — not how they really feel.

And finally, because annual surveys are long, they tend to have a lower response rate.

So which type of survey is better?

It depends on what your needs are. If you want data you can take immediate action on, pulse surveys are the way to go. If you’re more concerned with gathering historical or long-term data, annual surveys are your best bet.

The good news is that you can actually do both! Pulse surveys and annual surveys aren’t mutually exclusive.

With a comprehensive employee engagement platform like Beekeeper, you can perform regular pulse surveys while planning and performing annual surveys at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds!

Best Practices for Successful Employee Satisfaction Surveys

There are many elements to consider when figuring out what to assess and how to implement change in your workplace. Employee satisfaction surveys are a great place to start, but they will only be effective if you have the right tools and strategies in place to conduct them.

Beekeeper Survey

Here are three best practices to keep in mind.

1. Drive More Engagement Through Gamification

Employee participation is key to the success of your survey response rates and utilizing technology in the workforce. If employees don’t answer accurately (or at all), you can’t learn from the results.

One effective way to encourage participation is to hold a competition. Play into your employees’ competitive nature by creating some friendly competition between different teams or departments. The team with the highest participation score can win prizes!

2. Maximize Participation With Multiple Choice Questions

It’s tempting to ask only open-ended questions, but it’s best to avoid that temptation. While open-ended questions offer qualitative data, they can also be overwhelming to respondents. This is especially true for employees who aren’t excited about taking the workplace engagement survey to begin with.

Instead, ask a mix of different types of engagement survey questions, and make sure you have a way to do so anonymously. Keep some questions simple with multiple-choice answers, and leave the most important questions open-ended. This will ensure that you get a good amount of data while also allowing employees to voice how they feel about important issues.

3. Share the Results With Your Team

It’s important to report the employee satisfaction survey results to your workforce. These employees took time out of their busy day to complete a survey, and they’re invested in the results. Employees need to know that management is listening and willing to make changes based on their feedback. It is the only way to truly bring about change within the organization.

Employees become more engaged when their company shares information. So be sure to distribute survey results. Another benefit of a team communications app is automated data collection. Survey results will be organized so you can easily review and share them.

4. Get into Action ASAP

Once you’ve completed the employee satisfaction survey process, it’s time for the real work to begin. Now it’s time to do something about the results.

Establish an internal task force to show your employees that you take their feedback seriously.

The beauty of a digital employee communication survey is the turnaround time from survey to action. Real-time feedback gives you insight into issues as they arise, allowing you to process results and define action items quickly. An employee engagement survey can help improve policies, and yield higher retention. When employees stay, uninterrupted collaboration raises productivity.

The founder and former CEO of BerylHealth, Paul Spiegelman, insists,

“Asking for feedback is only one third of the battle. If you ask, you better be accountable and be prepared to assign resources to the project.”

If employees see you acting on the results, they will believe that the results matter.

Best Ways To Boost Workforce Engagement with an Employee Engagement Survey Tool

If you’re serious about optimizing the employee experience for your frontline workers, surveys are a critical part of that process.

When employees are happier in their roles, they’re more productive.

Sample Employee Engagement Survey: 10 Best Employee Feedback Questions to Ask

For businesses with a high number of mobile workers, presenting employee survey questions with digital workplace apps is an effective way to measure workplace engagement, obtain employee feedback, and improve internal communication.

Guest service employee feedback screenshot on a team app.

Here are the 10 best employee engagement survey questions to ask your mobile workforce in employee surveys. Be sure to use a digital workplace app to improve staff communication, workforce productivity, and workplace engagement.

Here are some of the best employee survey questions to ask your team.

  1. Do you feel like your manager cares about you?
  2. How would you rate your department’s performance?
  3. Do you understand how your role affects the company as a whole?
  4. Has someone from our company (other than your direct supervisor) communicated with you in the last week?
  5. Do you know what our company values are?
  6. Are you friends with any of your coworkers?
  7. How would you rate the performance of your coworkers?
  8. Do you believe you have the opportunity for growth at our company?
  9. Would you recommend our company’s products or services to your friends and family?
  10. Do you enjoy your role?

You can gauge how successful your internal communication and employee engagement efforts are by administering another employee survey a couple months later and see how employee feedback compares. Digital workplace solutions like Beekeeper can save valuable time through features such as automated employee survey chatbots.

What’s Next? How to Evaluate Your Employee Survey Results

Simply performing an employee satisfaction survey isn’t enough, however. It’s important to properly understand and analyze the results of your employee surveys to effectively apply the feedback.

Compile and Review Employee Feedback Received Through the Employee Engagement Survey Tool

All survey information should be gathered anonymously and prepared for a general review. You aren’t just reviewing the data, but also how it was collected and from whom.

Consider which department respondents were from, how and when the survey was completed, and how many people actually responded as a whole. This review is necessary to ensure the data you collected is valuable and worth analyzing.

If there was a low response rate or a disproportionate response rate among various departments, the survey may need to be redone to ensure you’re getting accurate and valid results.

Edit and Refine Data to Improve Workforce Management

Before diving into the analysis, data needs to be edited and cleaned up. This just means making sure the data is accurate and no mistakes are included, like the same employee filling out more than one survey or survey answers being counted multiple times.

It may seem like an unnecessary step, but ensuring the data is clean before analyzing will give you the most accurate results possible!

Analyze Your Employee Engagement Survey Results

Now that you have valuable clean data, it’s time to start your analysis. First, evaluate the data and look for trends. These can show specific areas of concern and indicate where improvement may be needed.

More detailed analysis can be done to evaluate the data, like cross-tabulation, filtering, and graphical analysis. If this isn’t the first survey, you can use previous surveys as benchmarks to compare the results. If this is the first survey, keep all data and subsequent analysis to be used in the future.

Hopefully your survey results in a treasure of data, and once it is interpreted and sorted into usable information it can be used to improve the workplace, employee communication, and overall employee satisfaction. After all, the point of these surveys is to understand what action needs to take place to improve employee satisfaction.

Regularly collecting feedback through leveraging the best employee engagement surveys is an essential part of assessing internal communications strategies and improving workplace culture. The employee experience will be a major focus for companies in the coming years, and employee surveys will play a crucial role in this process.

To learn how pulse surveys improve employee engagement, download our “Real Time Employee Feedback Checklist.”