Ah, employee engagement surveys. Most employees are used to seeing this once every year.
And they typically ask the same types of questions. For example, “Rate your work environment on a scale from 1 to 10.”
Or, “Do you feel you went the extra mile this year?” Already you can feel the cringe, right?
Questions like these don’t typically offer useful survey data. But these kinds of questions say more about the survey provider than the employees filling out their own assessments.
Maybe you’re not convinced that survey results can churn out actual insight. But understanding the practices of your organization and the experiences of your workers is integral for your company’s long-term success.
So why not gain insight from your employees? And receive honest feedback that can steer your company in the right direction?
Sounds like a win-win to us. And who knows – maybe you’ll even improve engagement and have fun getting to know your employees along the way!
See Related: What Is Employee Engagement?
What are employee engagement surveys?
We started this article with a rather bland example of an employee engagement survey. And most employee surveys tend to be exactly that.
But an employee engagement survey is meant to be so much more than that. And there’s no one way that you should or should not conduct an employee engagement survey.
You could even trying shifting things around with some corporate entertainers. Bringing them in could not only lighten the mood but provide some entertainment at the same time.
Ultimately, whatever route you choose, it should be for the benefit of everyone involved. When you conduct employee engagement surveys, you’re actually using a market research tool.
With this tool, you’re able to receive important information about organizational growth. And you can even use these surveys to assess the engagement level of your employees overall.
So, no, it’s not just an obligatory end-of-year employee survey that you pass around. It’s a way of assessing engagement throughout the year and figuring out how to measure success within your organization.
Already, things are starting to sound much more exciting, right? Now all those other organizations who have bragged about their survey results are starting to make sense.
How do employee engagement surveys measure employee engagement?
Employee engagement is all about how employees relate to their workplace surroundings. So it’s not necessarily about employee satisfaction.
It’s more so about the connection workers feel to the company. And the key drivers that help to maintain and inspire employee productivity.
Work data measures how employees are engaged with their individual work. Say you have an employee in sales.
Engaged employees in this department will see their individual work as a reflection of themselves. So it’s not just a job that they’re in for the money.
It’s a personal connection they feel to the efforts they put in. Makes sense, right?
Business success can hardly ever be attributed to a single person. Most often, it’s due to a cohesive team of engaged employees working together.
Employee engagement surveys will measure not only how employees work with one another. But also how connected employees feel to their colleagues and managers.
Lastly, organization measures how engaged employees are to the company itself. For example, how do employees feel about the workplace culture?
Are they brand ambassadors for the company outside of work? Do they identify with the business and the process through which success is achieved?
These standard drivers represent valuable feedback for the organization as employers learn not only about the practices of their company. But how employees relate to those practices as well.
Types of employee surveys
Because there can’t just be one kind of survey! How else will you get well-rounded data if not through a variety of engagement surveys?
Comprehensive engagement surveys
If you’re used to once-a-year engagement surveys, then you’ll know what this type of engagement survey is. Managers and employers implement this survey across the organization.
And it measures individual benchmarks and tangible objectives. We’re not saying that this type of engagement survey is useless.
In fact, it’s incredibly useful for improving employee engagement! We just think that there are better ways to increase employee engagement throughout the year.
These types of engagement surveys can be conducted throughout the year on any topic at any time. They tend to target specific areas for improving engagement.
And data shows that these frequent and lightweight employee engagement surveys tend to take the stress off of employees. What? Evaluations can be intimidating!
But this type of survey specifically looks for feedback. So the employee can relax a little and feel like they have a voice within the company.
Most jobs have initial training and exit surveys, right? Well, lifecycle surveys are meant to measure just how effective these training periods are!
This is particularly helpful for companies and organizations who want to gain insight into their operations as a whole. After all, the training process itself can either make or break an employee.
So make sure employees are well cared for every step of the way. Including if they get a new job within their specific department.
Benefits of conducting employee engagement surveys
By now, you know that an employee survey can measure whether employees are engaged or not. But what other benefits can an employee engagement survey provide?
(Spoiler alert: Many. There are many benefits that employee engagement surveys can provide.)
Allows employees to discreetly voice concerns
Companies and organizations that don’t look for employee feedback are simply asking for trouble. After all, wouldn’t you want to know about the employee experience at your organization?
From your actual employees? Well, not only does an employee engagement survey give employees a voice.
The employee feedback you collect can also help you make more informed decisions down the road. If you can’t identify where exactly the root of a problem is, get a better understanding from an employee or two.
Piece of cake. No, really – you can have your cake and eat it too!
Assesses employee engagement
This might seem like an obvious benefit from an employee engagement survey. But if you have dozens of employees, you’ll want to keep track of who’s in need of a little engagement.
Companies that have tons of different managers can sometimes feel isolating for employees. After all, when there are so many other employees around you, it can make you feel a little expendable.
But that’s all the more reason a company needs to show employees that they are invested in them individually. Remember – engagement happens on multiple structural levels.
So in getting feedback from the individual, you’re actually strengthening the organization as a whole. And trust us, that little extra effort will do wonders for you the more employees you accumulate.
Highlights individual employees’ weaknesses
Industry news and industry specific data can only help you so much. But if you’re only relying on other organizations’ statistics, then you’re ignoring the insights of your business right in front of you.
Maybe there are some managers in need of a little guidance at your company. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.
But if your organization can create a better process for managers to adhere to, then why not help them create that? A survey might seem impersonal.
But it’s actually highly personal. The data received comes from each individual employee in your organization.
So take that survey data and use it to implement better structures that can help employees or managers that are struggling. A company is only as strong as its weakest link, right?
Creates a means of communication
Depending on the size of your organization, communication may vary. Not just from employee to employee.
But employees to higher-up’s, and so on. But an employee survey is a great way of giving employees the chance to communicate across the organization.
Sometimes, that kind of communication can feel impossible. But when employees know that their voice can make a difference, their engagement levels will also go up.
So you’re not only creating a better stream of communication. You are empowering each employee to take action and get engaged with the work they’re putting out there.
Allows for employee feedback
When you measure employee engagement, you might think it’s all about evaluating the employee. But on the other hand, such a survey can actually give your organization the feedback it’s been needing.
Sure, sometimes engagement levels will have to do with employees’ personal lives. But other times, employees may not be engaged because of the lack of practices implemented at your organization.
If that’s the case, then a survey is a great way to open up that conversation. Not to mention, that conversation is made all the easier when an employee engagement survey is made confidential.
This gives employees a safe space to voice their concerns. And that way, you’ll be getting the most transparent feedback you possibly can – and all because you asked.
Improves employee satisfaction
Earlier, we said that employee engagement and employee satisfaction are not the same. But that doesn’t mean they’re not related.
When engagement levels are high, satisfaction automatically goes up as well. That’s because both have to do with employees’ emotional states.
Always look to see that engagement levels come from a positive place of reinforcement. That way, employee engagement will be far more sustainable when it comes from a place of empowerment and care.
If you notice engagement and satisfaction are low, consider bringing in a virtual master of ceremonies to change things up in the office. Maybe even gets folks laughing together to remind them that work isn’t just about work alone.
Gives companies a chance to identify organizational weaknesses
It’s naive to think that your organization has no faults whatsoever. Sure, if your company is your baby, then you’re already going to be biased in terms of how it’s operating.
But an employee engagement survey is a great way to humble you and bring you back down to earth. This isn’t to say that there’s automatically something wrong with your company.
It’s just to suggest that there’s always room for improvement. Besides, a solid company will remain solid through thick and thin.
Provides insights on how employers can improve
Again, not every employer is perfect. And they’re not meant to be either.
But opening up the dialogue between employer and employee is crucial for engagement levels. Not to mention the business’s overall success.
Just remember that an employee engagement survey is just as much about the employer as it is about the employee. That’s a symbiotic relationship that must be strengthened over time.
And if you need help strengthening that relationship? There’s no harm in hiring a comedian to come in and poke fun at everyone in the office. Really, laughter is like the great equalizer!
Increases employee loyalty
If you’ve ever had a job that didn’t care about your voice, odds are you weren’t very loyal to them. After all, they openly demonstrated that they weren’t loyal to you, right?
But employee engagement surveys actively demonstrate a company’s ability to care. And that action says more than words ever will.
So if you’re looking to improve employee loyalty, consider an employee engagement survey and act on the feedback you receive. After all, actions speak louder than words.
Gives organizations benchmark results
The very purpose of a survey is to measure something, right? Well, use these surveys as a tool to measure benchmark results over time!
Odds are, you’ve already got a lot on your plate as an organization. So these surveys can act as an organizational tool to track different levels of engagement and improvement.
Improves employee engagement
Not only are these surveys meant to measure employee engagement. They’re meant to improve employee engagement.
This all goes back to an employee feeling like they have a voice. So give them a voice with a survey and maybe even notice a shift in their demeanor when they feel that they’re being valued at work.
Strengthens retention rate
We’ve all been in situations where we didn’t feel valued. And when that happens, it feels easier for us to leave.
Don’t let your employees get to this point. Make it be known that you care about their feedback and they’ll likely stick around, waiting to see their suggestions be enacted.
Makes for happier and healthier employees
A productive workforce of course puts out a level of effort like you’ve never seen. But that productivity says more about their emotional states and wellbeing than anything else.
Think of these surveys as a kind of medicine for your organization as well as your workers. It simply benefits everyone involved.
Do you have an engaged workforce?
Running a company is a huge endeavor. And there are a variety of aspects for you to keep track of.
Allow employee engagement surveys to help you out in that arena though. There’s no rule that says you have to go it alone.
In fact, it’s far better if you don’t. So start communicating with your employees and strengthen those bonds so that everyone involved can benefit from the work you’re all there to do.
You never know how much organizational growth you’ll achieve through these surveys. After all, the opportunities are endless!
Keep Reading: What Is Workplace Communication?
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.