Doing Employee Survey Questions the Right Way - HighGround


The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Surveys

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While seemingly a fairly straightforward process, there are a lot of places where an employee survey can go wrong. The distribution list is too broad or too narrow. The survey itself is too long or too short. You don’t give respondents enough time to answer, or you don’t give them an incentive to respond at all. There are many variables when it comes to the survey process, and they are all important to get right.

All things considered, we’d argue that the most important part of the survey – and should take you the most time to complete – are the questions themselves. Even if you’re already conducting surveys regularly, if you’re asking the wrong questions, you won’t be getting the right answers. A good place to start is this list of do’s and don’ts.


The most critical “do” is first on the list. Go into the process with a goal in mind. What are you trying to uncover, and what are you going to do about it? Not following up on survey results can alienate employees, lead to distrust and lessen the likelihood of participation in the future. Before jumping into a survey project, meet with your leadership team to set the clear expectation that action must be taken. It will go a long way in creating an open dialogue with employees through surveys.

As for the “don’t” – don’t be a grammar stickler. While we don’t deem this most important, it will help you get off on the right foot. If you are using an online template to formulate your questions, chances are the language is more formal than what’s used around your office. If you want honest answers, ask straightforward questions. Match the tone you would take if you were asking these questions in person.

If you want to learn more about crafting employee pulse and benchmarking surveys that yield insightful, actionable responses from employees, download our Shift Your Employee Survey Approach whitepaper.

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Human Resources Today

Human Resources Today