Ahh, the employee survey: best friend to employers everywhere. Versatile in design, easy to implement, and relatively painless to complete. What could go wrong? If your gut reaction is everything, then I would agree.

However, employee surveys ARE a wonderful tool. Whether you’re hoping to gain insight on employee satisfaction or interest in wellness programming, they’re probably your fastest and most budget-conscious option. Invest additional time planning and employee surveys can also be an effective tool and a strong foundation for employee engagement strategies.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how do I implement an employee survey that’s actually effective? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Define scope

What are you hoping to learn? If you want to understand how employees feel about your PTO policies, don’t throw in a question about parking. Just because you can write any question into the survey doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Clearly define the scope of your survey and stick to it.

Craft the right questions

Surveys should be used to capture the thoughts and feelings of your organization. They should NOT be used to prove your hypothesis. Spend some time crafting the right question set free from bias and leading questions. Use a focus group or project team to review the questions to ensure they are both concise and comprehensive.

Don’t survey until you know how you will use the responses

How are you planning to use the results? If you can’t answer this question with more specificity than, “We will review responses to gauge employee interest/thoughts/feelings,” you shouldn’t send the survey. Have a plan in place for the survey results that is not contingent on the results. For example:

Be transparent

Explain to employees why the survey is important and how the organization plans to use the results. After the results come in, be sure to share them, whether they’re good or bad.

Follow these few tips to keep your employee survey on point. If you have a targeted approach, craft the right questions, and know how you’ll use the responses, your survey will garner worthy results. And if you’re transparent about it, your employees will be happy too!


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