‘Employee engagement' is a term used to describe how enthusiastic an employee is about their role, the business they are working in and the people they work alongside. The more engaged individuals feel in their work environment, the better they are likely to perform and the less likely they are to look for other opportunities.
According to Forbes magazine[AD1] 1, companies that invest time and energy into improving employee morale will most likely experience benefits such as increased productivity levels and improved client relationship management skills. These factors can help boost overall profitability with most employers recognising this by implementing some sort of employee engagement survey, something which has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Employee engagement surveys are extremely important as they set the direction for a company's future as well as allowing you to measure progress in improving often intangible areas.
Through the design of a targeted survey, your company can pinpoint areas that cause frustration for your team. This includes things that they think can be done better but it also provides feedback on areas that you are currently doing well in. Not only can your employees help provide insights in these areas through an engagement survey, it gives them an avenue to provide ideas to improve the day-to-day running of the business. Generally, the people who work in your organisation are the most valuable asset of a business, so why not tap into the insights they can provide?
What should an Employee Engagement Survey look at?
In order to have an effective employee engagement survey, you must first create metrics specific to your own company. What are you specifically trying to understand? How do you plan to implement the feedback you receive? Employee engagement surveys are not one-size-fits-all; they should take into consideration multiple factors related to your company's culture and its surroundings. While they can include questions around the benefits offered by the company, it’s an opportunity to identify any gaps. Are you as well-resourced as senior management believes? Are the expectations of employees aligned with those of the organisation?
Strong engagement surveys can provide an indication on whether productivity is on the decline, an impending turnover in employees, and an understanding of how well everyone is communicating.
Getting clear on the purpose you’ve set for the surveys can help you decide what you do and don’t ask your employees about. This clarity can ensure you are getting the information you need to make real change in your organisation without creating a monster survey that your team don’t have the time or inclination to fill out properly.
Analysing the results
It is key to factor into your survey the different demographics that make up your business. Ensuring you capture this information helps with the insights you can extract from the data.
· The department
· Office location
· Length of service
By gathering this type of information, you can begin to dissect and slice your data in different ways to learn how different parts of the business are engaging with it.
This information will be extremely valuable in making decisions about where to concentrate your efforts. For example, if you find out that the number one complaint is the lack of cross-training opportunities then perhaps it's time to look at restructuring training programs or job classifications. Or if new staff lack familiarity with business processes and systems you may need to review your onboarding process.
Following up with action
Conducting a survey and gaining these insights is only valuable if you follow it up with actions. Ensuring you are building out a plan to address the issues and opportunities identified from the survey is key to not wasting the time and effort of all those who took the survey. It is imperative to be mindful that if no action is taken or acknowledgement made of the survey outcomes, it can erode trust in the organisation, making employees feel that their feedback is not taken seriously. The last thing you want to do on the back of a survey is create further disengagement among your team.
An employee engagement survey may appear easy enough to complete but it does require some effort and planning on the part of employers who hope to create a better work environment for their people.
If you are interested in running an Employee Engagement Survey in your own organisation, reach out to us and we can help you through the end-to-end process.