If you think your staff is highly engaged, what proof do you have? After all, workplace surveys typically show that bosses overestimate the job satisfaction levels of their employees. And when your personal gauge of employee engagement is on the high side, you’re missing opportunities to improve productivity, innovation and staff retention.
An employee engagement survey can help you determine whether your staff is as committed to your company’s growth, vision and strategy as you’d like them to be, and measure key drivers of engagement, such as alignment with the company’s values, opportunities for career advancement and training opportunities.
Here are six tips for programming and executing an engagement survey in your company:
1. Set goals. Figure out what you want to get out of the survey, and develop your questions accordingly. Stick with three or four areas of priority, such as whether staff believe their opinions and input matter and how fair they perceive the promotion process to be. Don’t exceed 40 multiple-choice questions.
2. Be transparent. Tell employees what you are trying to achieve with the survey and that the results are intended to help management create a better work environment.
3. Ask a few smart questions. A good starting resource is the Gallup Q12, a set of 12 simple and straightforward indicators of employee engagement from which a richer engagement survey can be built. To wit: “I know what is expected of me at work,” “At work, my opinions seem to count,” and “The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.”
4. Go online. Web-based survey tools like SurveyMonkey are affordable, easy to program, offer rich analytical options and provide for respondent anonymity, making them excellent DIY resources for small businesses on a tight budget.
5. Dig deeper. Conduct a focus group with employees to ensure you interpret the numerical data correctly and to develop ways to operationalize the results of the survey.
6. Act! Develop and implement one or two focused initiatives based on the survey results, communicate them to staff, track progress and communicate that progress. If staff don’t see something positive come out of the survey, they’re assume you’re paying mere lip service to their needs and making a false commitment to improving engagement.