Why Do We Distribute Employee Surveys?
Most leaders understand how a great employee experience can impact a company’s success. When workers feel heard, understood, and supported, they’re much more likely to feel like they belong—and to do their best work. All too often, though, employers shy away from asking even basic employee experience questions, which complicates their decision-making. After all, how can you inspire and support your employees without really understanding their needs?
At Yourco, we understand the challenge of surveying your workforce, whether they sit in an office or spend their days on the jobsite.
In this blog, we’re going to briefly explore the “why” behind employee surveys, including some best practices for effective employee survey distribution. By the end of this article, you’ll have some actionable ideas for developing a better understanding of employee experience—and how you can use surveys to make a positive impact.
Why Are Employee Surveys Important?
The main reason why employee surveys are important is that they provide a simple mechanism for employers and employees to better understand each other, so they can work better together. But what are the benefits of an employee survey, exactly? Let’s get a little more specific, and look at it from perspective of both the employee and their employer:
- Employee surveys give workers a voice. When it’s not easy for employees to provide feedback into their experience with their employer, it can cause them to think their opinions aren’t important. Not a good feeling! By contrast, when their feedback is welcome—actively solicited by their employer, even—it helps them to feel heard and valued, increasing their engagement level as well as their sense of belonging.
- Surveys can also uncover meaningful information and insights for company leaders. It’s not enough to merely think “well, no one has quit or voiced any complaints recently, so I assume everything is A-OK.” The truth is, employees are often hesitant to share their feedback—especially if it’s negative—out of fear of consequences. That’s why it’s important to provide employees with plenty of safe opportunities to express themselves, and to encourage them to be transparent and clear (without fear of reprisal).
At the end of the day, employee surveys benefit both parties by increasing understanding and promoting healthy dialogue.
What Are the Different Types of Employee Surveys?
The two most common types of employee surveys relate to employee satisfaction and employee engagement. While they are sometimes lumped together, it’s worth distinguishing between the two types:
- Employee satisfaction surveys focus on how happy or content an employee is with the company and/or their specific role or responsibilities within it. As defined by Ceridian, “employee satisfaction is about how closely the job and organization are aligned to an employee’s personal career goals and preferred work environment.”
- By contrast, an employee engagement survey, again according to Ceridian, is more about gauging to what extent employees are “driven by a connection to the work.” Alternately, an HR Dive article describes four pillars to employee engagement:
- How connected an employee feels to their colleagues, as well as management and the larger company.
- How meaningful they perceive their role to be.
- How impactful they perceive their work (including their specific responsibilities) in relation to the company’s customers and organization as a whole.
- How appreciated they feel for their contributions to the company.
As you might guess, not all employee surveys are created equally. That’s why it’s important to limit the number of questions you’re asking, and to make sure they are clearly worded and being asked for a specific reason. Otherwise, employees will quickly develop “survey fatigue,” the result of being asked too many questions, too often, without effective follow-up or follow-through from the employer. Participation will feel like “going through the motions,” in other words—which doesn’t really benefit anyone.
How Do You Write an Employee Survey?
Depending on the type of survey you want to create—and what you want to use it for—you might pose any number of questions to your employees. The best employee surveys are well-focused, and they ask a limited number of questions. This is especially important to consider when surveying non-desk workers. If you ask too many questions, and take up too much of their time, they probably won’t complete the survey. Or, if they do, they may not give it much actual thought.
What Are 10 Good Survey Questions to Ask?
To get you started, here are 10 great employee survey questions to consider asking, separated into groups of five by survey purpose:
5 Good Employee Satisfaction Questions
The best employee satisfaction survey questions are usually closed-ended questions. They start with statements, which employees can respond to as true/false, agree/disagree, or according to a numerical ranking (where 1= strongly disagree, 5= strongly agree). Possible prompts for employee response include:
- My feedback is valued by company leaders.
- My manager(s) seems invested in my success.
- My work responsibilities allow me to do what I’m best at.
- I see plenty of opportunities to grow and advance within the company.
- I understand exactly what is expected of me, and what “good work” looks like.
5 Good Employee Engagement Questions
Compared with employee satisfaction, employee engagement is more focused on how committed an employee is to the company and its mission. Again, these questions should primarily be closed-ended, though there is certainly room to include some open-ended prompts if there are specific things you’d like to ask about.
Some sample employee engagement questions include prompts such as:
- My accomplishments are regularly noticed and appreciated.
- I understand—and feel inspired by—the company’s mission, vision, and values.
- I find my work to be appropriately challenging, yet engaging.
- My manager understands how I work best, as well as what my strengths and challenges are.
- I would recommend my friends or family to work for (or do business with) this company.
It’s important to note that the lists above are just examples, not necessarily the end-all, be-all of employee survey questions. Workhuman has put together an extensive list of sample questions for effective employee surveys. In addition to questions related to employee satisfaction and engagement, this resource includes a total of over 100 survey question examples that also relate to things like workplace culture, environment, management, and more.
What Is the Best Way to Distribute Employee Surveys?
Once you’ve created a great survey, how that survey is distributed matters—especially in industries with a large number of non-desk employees (like manufacturing, construction, or transportation and warehousing). While email is often the go-to mechanism for sending out surveys, non-desk employees don’t often have a company email address. If they do, they’re not checking it often because they’re too busy doing their jobs, and may not have data plans or internet access!
Increasing survey participation means making your survey accessible and easy to complete. Yourco’s two-way employee texting platform was created with these best practices in mind—no email, no problem! With Yourco, it’s easy to select recipients and conduct brief surveys through text message. Employees can receive the survey questions and respond when it’s convenient and safe for them to do so. Yourco makes it easy to view employee responses as they come in, so you can stay on top of things—and ensure that you’re creating a workplace culture and environment where all employees can feel as important and essential as they are.
Yourco: Employee Surveys (and More!)
Yourco’s platform was developed to meet the needs of companies who find it challenging to survey their employees. That’s just one aspect of the platform, though. Yourco is also great for sending things like onboarding resources, company announcements, and employee alerts.