Think of the last time you checked out of a hotel, finished a meal at your favorite restaurant or ended a customer service phone call. Chances are a feedback survey immediately followed. Yet, oftentimes these surveys ask irrelevant questions completely unrelated to the experience, leaving you frustrated and unwilling to even respond. For example, “How would you rate the hotel room service food quality?” But what if you didn’t even order room service?
Surveys are everywhere these days, and for good reason. Feedback – from employees, customers, vendors and anyone else relevant to your business – is vital to the success your organization. Today we’re examining employee surveys, one critical component of feedback. They allow you to evaluate employee engagement, respond to problems or concerns, capitalize on successes and give respondents the opportunity to have a voice and impact change. It also serves as excellent benchmark data to show improvements or decline in satisfaction over time.
However, employee surveys can lead to aggravation if you don’t take the time and effort to administer it correctly. Below are important questions to ask before creating your employee feedback survey to ensure you get reliable, actionable results.
What is the survey’s purpose?
This sounds simple, but it’s actually the hardest part. Determine your primary objectives and clearly define the information you hope to gather. Try this. Instead of coming up with a list of questions you’d like to ask, write down the answers you want and work backward. Forming your questions this way will help you avoid unnecessary questions that don’t match your objectives and will ensure effective answers that are more precise and clear.
Who is my target population?
Define this early in your survey design process. Using language and terminology that resonates with your respondents will yield better response rates. Avoid technical jargon or internal buzzwords that may not make sense to all respondents. For example, your sales team speaks a different language than your engineering group. If you’re surveying both, use common language without oversimplifying the questions. Best-in-class employee survey tools also allow you to create customized surveys available only to certain groups so you’re able to get precise employee feedback that can drive meaningful action.
When will the survey be conducted?
Timing is everything. Sound familiar? When it comes to surveys, it’s true. After you’ve defined your target population, you can determine timing that makes the most sense. Consider upcoming project deadlines, holidays, travel or key meetings. Be sure you provide ample time to complete it, but not too much time so that it’s forgotten.
How will the survey’s response data affect change?
Communicate to your employees the importance of their participation and how the survey will be evaluated. Hold executives and managers accountable for leveraging the data to make improvements. Be sure to include all relevant parties in action planning.
Are you in the midst of creating an employee survey? If so, have thought through these questions? Are there any you would add to this list?