Ensuring your employees are happy is a critical part of business success, which is why employee engagement surveys are an important tool. But it can be challenging to decide on the right questions to ask to get honest and actionable insight from your team.
Ensuring your employees are happy is a critical part of business success, which is why employee engagement surveys are an important tool. But it can be challenging to decide on the right questions to ask to get honest and actionable insights from your team.
The term “employee engagement” is formally defined as the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to your organization, and put effort into their work.
In a professional landscape where human capital is arguably the most valuable business asset available, having engaged employees is a key to success. In fact, Gallup found that engaged teams show 21% greater profitability, and a report from The Engagement Institute indicated disengaged employees cost U.S. companies more than half a trillion dollars every year.
But how can you really be sure exactly how engaged your staff are? It’s not unthinkable that employees would hesitate to tell their leaders they were disengaged for fear of repercussions.
Enter: the anonymous employee engagement survey.
When done correctly, these can be an extremely effective and accurate temperature check of where your team is at. And they can be done well in three steps:1. Decide on Survey Frequency – The frequency with which you conduct anonymous employee engagement surveys depends on what you’re hoping to get out of them. If it’s a one-time temperature check in hopes of identifying an isolated issue, then it would be wise to conduct one survey to identify an issue and then a follow-up survey to determine whether the issue has been resolved.
However, it’s most beneficial for organizations to conduct employee engagement surveys at least once per year, if not more frequently. At Outback Team Building and Training, we conduct our Annual Engagement Survey every November because it provides us with a year-over-year analysis. This allows us to pinpoint if and how things are changing and to help identify strategies we can implement to enhance engagement among our team.2. Develop Strategic Survey Questions – The theory behind anonymous employee engagement surveys is simple. But executing them effectively is significantly more challenging. That’s because you need to ask the right questions in the right way in order to achieve honest, meaningful, and actionable feedback. Your questions need to be impactful, exploratory, and categorized. But at the same time, your survey needs to be respectful of your team’s time. They have their day-to-day work to take care of, so they probably don’t have time to spend an hour on a survey.
Instead, you’ll need to make sure your survey is user-friendly and concise. You should also utilize a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions to ensure you give people a chance to provide detailed thoughts.
If the prospect of having to determine this finnicky balance seems daunting enough to be deterring, don’t worry. We’ve created an Employee Engagement Survey Template in collaboration with our in-house experts so that you can simply share it with your team and get all the information you need.3. Analyze the Results and Determine What Action to Take – The last and most important part of the anonymous employee engagement survey process is to analyze the results and take any necessary action. If you’re unsure how to do this, you can try:
- Organizing your survey results in a way that makes it easy to interpret and analyze the data so that you can draw conclusions like “perception of culture has increased by 5%” or “21% of our employees feel they don’t have a clear understanding of their job responsibilities.”
- Identifying trends, positives, or areas for opportunity using your newly acquired data
- If you have data from previous years, dig into the year-over-year results in order to understand what might be driving the level of engagement in your organization
- Connecting with your leadership team to determine how to address any issues
- If you’re comfortable to do so, share the results with your team, highlighting any strong points along with your action plan to remedy any red flags
Following an employee engagement survey, it’s often wise to conduct targeted team building, training and development, or coaching and consulting solutions with your team. If the results were positive, this can help reinforce that momentum. And if you’re experiencing challenges, these solutions can help your team develop key skills and build a stronger rapport in a hands-on and impactful way.
To use the template, follow these steps:
- Sign-in to your Google account
- Follow the link above
- At the top right of your screen, click on the three dots icon
- Click “Make a Copy” and select a location to save your survey
- When your new copy is saved, you can:
- Rename your survey to fit your needs
- Click the three dots icon to…
- Edit your preferences, including making questions required and collecting email addresses (we recommend not collecting email addresses in order to ensure confidentiality and help your team feel more comfortable in being honest)
- Add collaborators, such as other leaders, or make your survey and results private to yourself only
- Under the “Preferences” menu, we recommend opting to “Limit to 1 Response.” This way, employees can only complete the survey once, in turn ensuring your data remains accurate. This will require them to sign in but will keep their email address anonymous. It’s wise to communicate this to your team in advance.
- When you’re ready to distribute your survey:
- Click “Send” at the top right of your screen and you can…
- Edit your message
- Either email it directly through Google or share the URL from your own email address
- Click “Send” at the top right of your screen and you can…
- Once you’ve submitted your survey and your employees have responded, you can:
- View responses by clicking the “Responses” tab at the top center of your screen
- Export your results into a spreadsheet for easy analysis by clicking the green Excel emblem above your responses
Learn More About Employee Engagement Solutions That Can Benefit Your Organization
For more information about team building, training and development, and coaching and consulting solutions that can help drive employee engagement within your company, just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.