On the Beekeeper blog we’ve talked a lot about different ways to keep the lines of communications open with your employees. One of the best ways to get honest feedback and improve employee engagement is through customer surveys. If done right, surveys can help you fix internal issues, improve company culture, and give your employees a chance to be heard.
Here are five things you can do get signal instead of noise from your employee surveys:
1. Shoot for a 70% Response Rate on Employee Surveys
According to OfficeVibe, a 70% response rate is ideal from employee surveys. You might think, “Wouldn’t 100% be better?” Well, if you’re well above that, you probably unnaturally enhanced your participation rate with too many incentives (think gifts and prizes). If you’re far below that, you won’t have a representative sample from which to glean insights from.
2. Assure Your Employees that the Survey Results will be Anonymous
Although some argue that anonymous employee surveys can do more harm than good, anonymous surveys allow you to get honest feedback and accurate results. Otherwise, you risk polluting your results with self-serving qualitative data that will be counterproductive if you act on it. By being transparent and telling your employees how you plan to keep their responses anonymous, you can assure your responses will be as honest.
3. Indicate What you Plan to do with Your Results
It’s one thing to explain why you are initiating an employee survey and what you plan to do with the results. It’s quite another to send out the survey via email without giving any context behind your request. Lay out your plan for the survey and make sure to mention explain what you will do with the data. Show how you will keep their responses secure and how management will approach the implementation of the insights they glean from the data.
4. Keep It Short
Remember the last time you took a long survey? You probably started rushing through your answers without giving the questions much thought because you were racing to the end. This is the danger of long surveys, as employees can become impatient and begin to give inaccurate answers just to get through it. Keep in mind thatn abandonment rates can reach 20 percent for surveys of more than 7-8 minutes. There isn’t a set amount of questions you should limit your survey to, but respect your employees time and keep them as long as they have to be to get the data you’re seeking.
5. Act On Your Results
The biggest mistake to avoid after conducting an employee survey is not acting on the results. As Chris Ippolito, a manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers says:
“If you are going to ask for opinions, it is incumbent upon you as a leadership team to act upon the results.”
You’ll upset your employees and lose their trust by not making use of their survey results.
The bottom line is employee surveys can boost engagement and also lead to real business gains you would have never seen if not for the insider insights of your staff. There are nuggets of wisdom waiting to be found, its up to you to go to your employees and discover them.