How to Set Up and Use an Employee Engagement Survey

4 min read
May 31, 2024 2:05:48 PM

Are you ready to elevate your employee engagement scores? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Before embarking on any engagement journey, it’s essential to take stock of where you currently stand. Consider the following questions:

  • Motivation: Are your employees motivated to go the extra mile? A motivated workforce drives productivity and innovation.
  • Commitment: Do they share a commitment to achieving your business goals? Engaged employees align their efforts with organizational success.
  • Values: Can they effectively represent your company’s values? A cohesive culture relies on employees embodying shared principles.

While everyday interactions provide some insight, a more comprehensive understanding requires data-driven analysis. Enter the engagement survey — a well-constructed tool that provides a holistic, trackable perspective on engagement metrics.

Unlocking Employee Engagement Through Data-Driven Insights

Understanding your starting point is the foundation for meaningful improvement. Let’s explore how data can guide your engagement strategy toward success.

  • Insights for improvement: Data highlights aspects of your workplace that need attention. By analyzing engagement metrics, you can pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Trend spotting: Data allows you to spot trends and patterns. Whether it’s identifying seasonal fluctuations or tracking demographic shifts, these insights inform strategic decisions.
  • Benchmarking: Comparing your organization’s engagement levels with industry standards provides context. Benchmarking helps you gauge performance and set realistic goals.
  • Employee voice: Data empowers employees to share their experiences. Surveys and feedback mechanisms allow them to voice concerns, contributing to a more inclusive and responsive workplace.
  • Improved ROI: Investing in engagement initiatives is an investment in your organization’s future. Data-driven decisions lead to improved productivity, employee satisfaction and retention.

Conducting an engagement survey is not just about gathering numbers; it’s about translating those numbers into actionable strategies. By harnessing the power of data, organizations can create a workplace where employees thrive, perform better and stay committed for the long haul.

Steps for Creating an Employee Survey

Drafting a survey might seem straightforward: think about the questions you want to ask, and ask them, right? However, while asking questions is easy, asking the right questions in the right way to elicit meaningful responses requires significant planning, effort and skill.

Like any business initiative, multiple factors need to be considered. The most successful employee engagement surveys are those tailored to your unique organization. The following steps will guide you in setting up a survey that retrieves good data and uses that data to benefit your business and your people.

  1. Define the Goals of the Survey

Understanding what you want from the survey is crucial for developing one that yields useful results. Consider what motivated you to begin this process. Perhaps you want your workforce to be more creative or customer focused, or you aim to create a more attractive culture to draw new talent.

Defining the goals of the survey will guide decisions about its design, content and implementation. Surveys can be developed to gain insight into many crucial aspects of employee engagement, such as loyalty, team dynamics, motivation, tools and resources, leadership, culture, and customer orientation.

  1. Determine Your Survey Method

When deciding how to distribute your survey, consider two key factors: achieving a high response rate and obtaining honest feedback. To ensure a high response rate, the survey should be simple to use, easily accessible and appealing. Surveys can be engaging and offer employees a valuable opportunity to voice their opinions, but if answering becomes a hassle or a time sink, the response rate may be too low to provide thorough analytics.

Anonymity is crucial for obtaining honest feedback. Ensure that employees can complete the questionnaire privately and that responses are stored on a secure server. If collecting demographic information, make those questions optional and reassure respondents that no identifying information will be shared.

This might be a good time to consider partnering with an outside company to create the survey and receive the results. A professional employee engagement company can create appealing, high-response surveys that ensure anonymity, making employees more comfortable with providing honest answers.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Formulating the questions is both the most difficult and the most important part of creating the survey. Guided by your survey goals, your questions should be:

  • Unbiased: Avoid leading questions or those with obvious “correct” answers that could skew results. For instance, instead of asking, “Do you work hard every day?”, try “Does your team work efficiently together?” or “Does the company motivate you to do your best work?”. Questions that focus on groups or organizations are more likely to elicit honest, actionable responses.
  • Relevant: Most people will put more effort into their responses if they see the benefit of their contribution. Ask questions your employees can relate to, those that pertain to their daily routines or work-life balance. Employees are more interested in answering questions that directly affect their work environment and circumstances.
  • Validated: There is no need to start from scratch when developing your questionnaire. To ensure your questions measure what you intend, work from a list that has already been validated through extensive research and testing. A popular starting point is the eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score): “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”
  1. Commit to Sharing the Results

Conducting an in-depth survey and then letting the results disappear can be extremely damaging to engagement efforts. Sending a survey implies that results and actions will follow — otherwise, it seems like a waste of resources. If those things don’t materialize, employees may fill in the gaps with their assumptions. Did the survey results remain hidden because they were negative? Was the lack of follow-up action due to leadership's indifference? Soliciting honest feedback and then sharing it openly requires some courage, but it promotes a culture of openness and positive change.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to make every comment public. It’s crucial to maintain anonymity. Share results at the group level and avoid sharing any data that could single out an employee.

By following these steps, you can design and implement a survey that not only gathers valuable data but also fosters a culture of trust and improvement within your organization.

Using the Results of the Employee Engagement Survey

At the conclusion of the survey, it’s time to dive into the analytics that will guide your engagement actions. Gather the results and measure them against what you want to achieve in terms of engagement and business goals. You may find that your organization has surprising strength in certain areas, and likewise that there are areas where you didn’t even realize improvement was needed.

The effect can be even greater when you team up with the right partner! The employee engagement specialists at GO2 Partners can help draft an effective survey, collect responses and analyze results. Then we’ll work with you to develop and implement a plan of action for both short-term results and long-term success.


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