BY CHRISTINA DAVISI’ve previously explored the importance of feedback, motivation, retention, and transparent leadership. These all help to improve employee satisfaction and, therefore, engagement. While performance reviews are a great opportunity to listen to employees’ feedback on their performance and position, they don’t provide you with the information that can be gathered through a pointed, direct, and well-crafted employee satisfaction survey: one that each employee answers, containing the same questions and rating system.
What kind of questions should be asked in this survey? CEB, a best-practice insight and technology company, says research shows that the top three motivators of employee performance are “an understanding and connection to company goals, a commitment to co-workers, and having the right capabilities.” Starting with those three motivators should help you develop questions to pose to your employees. In order to be productive and assist with obtaining company goals, employees need to not only know what they are but also understand them. While you may already be discussing the company’s goals with your employees, do they understand how their position and their work tie in to achieving those targets? As you create your survey, include prompts that will reveal how well your employees understand company goals and their role in meeting them, such as, “I understand how my talents and expertise assist in reaching company goals.”
Teamwork and a commitment to one another are necessary to deliver the best possible service. If employees do not feel that their coworkers support them, or that they cannot rely on their co-workers, performance will suffer. Chauffeurs need to trust dispatchers and dispatchers need to feel supported by management. Crafting questions that help you understand the “team temperature” within single departments and across various departments will demonstrate how to improve that sense of commitment. A sample prompt would be, “There is good communication and teamwork between departments.”
Employees cannot succeed if they do not understand their roles, their work, and the company’s direction and culture. It’s important to include questions that help you gather information on how well you are providing training and resources as you encourage a collaborative workforce that is in line with your mission, vision, and values.
Getting information like this about your employees is virtually impossible without well-crafted employee surveys, which will help guide you to improvements and increased team engagement.
Some statistics on employee satisfaction and engagement:
• 1 in 3 workers will change jobs in the next six months (Saba Software)
• Customer retention rates are 18 percent higher on average when employees are highly engaged
• 27 percent of workers strongly agree that the feedback they currently receive helps them do their work better (Gallup)
• Engagement plummets to 2 percent among teams with managers who ignore their employees, compared to 61 percent for teams led by managers who focus on strengths (Gallup)
• Highly satisfied and engaged employees are:
• 2.5 times more likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends
• More than twice as likely to help someone at work even if they don’t ask for help
• More than three times as likely to do something good for the company that is not expected of them
• More than five times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company (Temkin Group)
Now that you have your questions created, it’s time to collect information. Many user-friendly, inexpensive survey applications are available, the most popular being Survey Monkey. Online survey tools offer complete anonymity in survey responses, which can provide honest feedback, though it can also mean that the results will be less specific. For that reason, offer the choice to answer anonymously.
You should communicate the survey’s plans and goals to both leadership and employees. This sets a positive tone, and will increase the response rate and possibly the candidness of responses. Announce the survey, why you are conducting it, and how results will be shared. Emphasize that all responses are anonymous (if you choose that route) and itemize employee benefits.
Remember: If you want to do an employee survey but don’t have the time or resources to either create questions or examine your staff’s responses, consulting firms can help with this important task. [CD0117]
Christina Davis is the HR Director for The LMC Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.