What are the Benefits of an Employee Survey?
According to research by OC Tanner, highly engaged employees are less likely to leave a company. However, only 27% are highly engaged. These are global statistics of course, and in Australia the numbers are even worse with only 14% of workers saying they’re highly engaged.
What this means for Aussie employers is their staff simply aren’t happy. This could be for a number of reasons, such as salary, direct supervisors, the type of work being done, or being under-appreciated. The reasons for disengagement will vary from person to person, but one thing always remains the same. Disengaged staff and teams are less productive.
So much goes into building a culture and workplace that people love, so it’s not surprising that many businesses get it wrong. Or at least, get aspects of it wrong. However, one way to bridge the gap and find out how you can get back on track is by using employee surveys. In fact, you might be surprised that employee surveys have much more benefit than just measuring staff satisfaction.
Identify Business Performance Issues
Employee surveys aren’t all about measuring staff engagement. It’s definitely part of it, but when used correctly these surveys can be a valuable tool for measuring performance across the company. When you give staff a voice, it’s amazing how much they’re willing to tell you, and it might be things you never even considered.
Employee surveys give you an opportunity to find out how staff think the business is performing. For example, you should always ask for opinions on leadership. This can be both at an executive level, and even down to direct supervisors. This can sometimes be confronting, but it’s an opportunity to address these things before they get out of control.
Also, once you drill down into your employee survey results, you may be able to identify trends in certain business areas.
Compare Performance Across Different Business Areas
If you do have pockets of your business that aren’t performing as well as others, you’ll no doubt know about this before conducting an employee survey. However, where employee surveys play a big part in performance issues is in identifying the why. What makes certain teams high performing, while others are struggling?
When looking at the employee survey results for high performing teams, you’re likely to see common trends, such as being happy with their supervisor, they feel fulfilled and challenged in the work they do, and they feel appreciated for their work. On the other hand, poor performing teams may not feel challenged or appreciated. They may have issues with their direct supervisor.
There could be any number of reasons for the different performance levels across your business, but an employee survey will help you discover what those issues are and allow you to find ways to bring everyone up to speed.
Discover What Is Working Well, and What Isn’t
If you’re a dynamic workplace that’s always trying new things, you’ll want input from your staff. This is why employee engagement matters, because without everyone pulling in the same direction, your initiatives will fail. Employee surveys give you a chance to really find out which initiatives are working well, and which aren’t.
You’ll also likely find out how much buy-in you’re getting from employees, and the reasons why or why not. You may have the best initiatives in the world, but perhaps you’re not communicating them properly. Employee surveys will show you whether staff understand what you’re trying to do, or whether things are missing the mark.
Gain Business Improvement Suggestions from Staff
One thing you’ll notice when you give staff a voice, is they have plenty to contribute. It’s an unfortunate nature of all workplaces that not everybody feels comfortable speaking up. Whether it be in one-on-one coaching meetings or in larger groups, many people are scared to share their ideas. Perhaps they’ve been ignored before, or they’re worried about sounding silly. These are of course issues which speak to the overall company culture, but employee surveys can help.
Employee surveys can be anonymous, and this often encourages staff to speak up when perhaps they normally wouldn’t. You might receive suggestions ranging from daily operational ideas through to suggestions on the whole company’s direction. Importantly, you shouldn’t discount these ideas. As leaders, it’s common to think that you know best, particularly where business strategy is concerned. But those on the front line have plenty of valuable input when given the chance.
Communicate Results and Reinforce Expectations
One of the most important things to consider when you conduct employee surveys is communicating the results. You can do this in emails, using infographics, or even hold meetings to disseminate your findings. This shows your employees you’ve really taken it seriously.
Then, of course, its important to actually take action. Many companies do employee surveys but don’t create action plans from them. This is probably the most essential step, and it also gives you a great opportunity to get the whole company aligned.
By communicating the results and plans, you’re given a real chance to explain how you intend to addresses some of the issues arising from the survey. But just as important, you’ve got a chance to reinforce your expectations of staff. Getting everybody on the same page is the key to moving forward.
If you want easy, customisable employee surveys that offer a real benefit to your business, why not try Spark Chart for free today. You can also book survey coaching sessions and really maximise your efforts. We’re here to help!