Employee Engagement

Step-By-Step Guide To Creating An Employee Engagement Survey

June 3, 2022
min read

Statistics show that employees who lack engagement can cost their company about 18% of their salary. This equates to a significant amount of profit lost each year. These losses can be especially high for workplaces plagued by disengagement.

Therefore, employee engagement is a much more important issue than some might initially think.

How can companies detect a lack of engagement before it leads to major problems? The answer lies with employee engagement surveys or questionnaires.

Creating An Employee Engagement Survey

An important starting point is to first understand what employee engagement refers to. Employee engagement is essentially the level of enthusiasm and commitment employees feel towards their company and their work.

An employee who is fully engaged is self-motivated and willing to go the extra mile to be successful. In short, what employee engagement boils down to is a willingness on the part of the employee to produce the absolute best results they can.

Further, a lack of engagement is heavily linked to absenteeism and employee turnover. Employees who aren't invested in their work are far more likely to leave an organization than those who are.

How To Design An Employee Engagement Survey

1. Decide What The Purpose Of The Survey Will Be

Before designing a new survey, HR teams should discuss the purpose of the survey and have a clear understanding of the issues they wish to uncover.

With a clear goal in mind, management can center the questions around those particular goals. In this case, the survey would be centered around employee engagement. 

2. Get Senior Management Involved

Company management should give input and potentially even assist with the creation of the survey. Have other departments contribute so that more specific issues can be covered in the survey questions.

3. Formulate The Questions

With a clear goal in mind and the support of company managers, it's time to start formulating the questions. The questions should cover factors that influence employee engagement, both positive and negative.

This includes questions related to how long employees see themselves staying with the company, their opinions on management, their job satisfaction levels, what they think the company does right and what they would like to see more of.

Employee surveys are generally made up of 30 to 60 questions. Here are a few examples:

  • Do you feel proud to work at this company?
  • Would you recommend the company and its products to others?
  • Do you look forward to starting work each day?
  • What would you change about your job?
  • Do you plan to stay with this company for at least the next two years?
  • Is there respect among your coworkers and management?
  • Do you feel comfortable speaking up when you don’t have the resources, skills or knowledge to do your job?
  • Do you feel adequately recognized for your individual work and successes?
  • Do you receive rewards on special days like your birthday, professional milestones, or work anniversary? If yes, do you feel those rewards are meaningful?
  • Does management encourage or hinder you in your position?
  • Do you have enough time during work hours to do your job well?
  • Do you think you're missing out on time you should have with friends and family?

Questions may ask the surveyee for yes or no answers or to pick from a range (typically “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” or “very good” to “very poor”). You can also ask open-ended questions that allow employees to go into more detail.

4. Be Transparent About The Company’s Intentions

It's important to let employees know the purpose of the survey. Not only will it put their minds at ease, but it will also help get more honest and accurate data, which is crucial for this type of survey.

Employees might be too afraid to give honest answers. Making the survey anonymous leads to more open responses from the employees because they'll have the reassurance that they won't be facing any retribution for negative responses.

Only the final results should be reported and not the names of the person who gave certain feedback.

5. Set A Convenient Time For The Survey

The period during which the survey is carried out can have a direct effect on its success. It's important to avoid issuing surveys during busy periods or when employees are stressed. For example, don’t send out the survey close to tax filing deadlines.

Give employees enough time to give carefully thought-out feedback. About 2 weeks should be enough time to leave the survey open.

6. Collect and Discuss The Results

Once the survey is completed and employees are thanked for their participation, the totals can be tallied up and a summary of the results compiled in a report. 

Meetings should be held to discuss the survey findings with HR and senior management. A way forward can be decided based on the results.

You might also want to share the results of the survey with employees to show that you acknowledge their feedback and you are taking the issues they have raised seriously.

Why Are Employee Engagement Surveys Necessary?

An employee engagement survey acts as a company-wide check-up. It is a method for employers to check in on the current state of the company's most valuable asset: its employees.

When employees are disengaged from their work it can severely reduce productivity and cause the company to lose out on profit. 

This state of disengagement can sometimes be invisible to upper management when they are not involved in the daily running of the business. If left unaddressed, it could lead to some serious setbacks and threaten the survival of the business.

This is why employee engagement surveys become a necessity. The survey allows employers to investigate their employees’ current views, experiences at work, and their level of commitment to the company, which all equate to their level of engagement.

Related: Top Employee Engagement Metrics to Retain Talent

What Factors Influence Employee Engagement?

1. Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace refers to the employees' ability to formulate their own schedules and cultivate a better work-life balance. 

Workplace flexibility allows employees to choose whatever hours that are best suited to them, and even work remotely.

This also gives employees the freedom to handle other responsibilities that regular work hours might clash with.

With a great work-life balance made possible through a flexible schedule, employees can focus on their work more effectively. This is what makes workplace flexibility a key factor influencing employee engagement.

2. Career Development and Progression

Employers need to provide support to help further the careers of their employees. This can include things like providing training programs and promotion opportunities.

By solidifying an employee's position at an organization through the use of career development opportunities, the employee will likely feel a sense of purpose and involvement in the company's dealings.

This will often lead to them becoming increasingly engaged and motivated, especially if the employee has the desire to further their career. Employers showing a vested interest in their employees' careers helps to show that they value the people working for them.

3. Work Environment

Having a good work environment is highly influential in terms of employee engagement. Employees need the right resources and enough of them. Without these, employees become frustrated, as do customers.

The work environment doesn't just refer to the physical office, but also the general atmosphere and feelings of the employees.

When the office is a dull, dreary place, this feeling will likely have an effect on the workers themselves. Similarly, a work environment that maintains a culture of hard work will encourage individual employees to be more productive and keep up with the group and customer needs.

A good work environment values open communication between management and the workforce. Open communication can help build better relationships between co-workers and even boost morale.

Employees must know their voices are heard and their opinions valued. It is wise for management to discuss company goals and values with employees to nurture a sense of connectedness which drives employee engagement.

4. Recognition And Rewards

This refers to employee incentive programs specifically designed to promote employee engagement and show appreciation.

Employers use recognition and rewards programs to help cultivate a more productive and engaged workforce by giving them goals to strive towards and fair compensation for reaching those goals. This compensation can be monetary or non-monetary, depending on what employees find most desirable.

Employers should openly acknowledge employees for doing great work to boost engagement. Acknowledging hard-working employees shows them that they are valued and their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

When it comes to rewards and incentives, employees are often given more tangible compensation for their hard work. An incentive program would involve issuing a list of requirements and goals for employees to aim for, and when those requirements are met are eligible for the rewards.

Rewards and recognition programs can encourage disengaged employees to become more invested in their work and they will encourage engaged employees to maintain their motivation.

Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Helps Companies Measure Employee Engagement

A survey can help employers detect a lack of employee engagement before it becomes an issue that takes them off guard. Often employees will say little about their concerns until they become unbearable and they will simply leave.

By understanding their employees’ current engagement levels, employers can make the necessary changes to counter disengagement and ensure that the business keeps running smoothly.

2. Gives Your Employees A Voice

Employee engagement surveys can also help to give workers a platform to voice their opinions. They have a safe space where they can let employers know which aspects of their work and the workplace  they like and what they are struggling with.

3. Encourages Communication Between The Employer And Employees

Surveys and the discussions held afterwards help foster two-way communication between employer and employee.

This is the ideal communication system for a successful business. When everyone is tuned into what is happening within the company, work becomes more efficient and productivity is encouraged.

4. Makes The Company A Better Place To Work And Attracts Talent

Through the use of surveys, employers can detect aspects of work that employees find difficult to deal with and which prevent them from being able to do their job properly.

With regular input from employees given through surveys, the company can become a better place to work and employees want to stay with the company. This also helps attract new talent.

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