Employee Engagement Surveys – Why Asking the Right Questions Matter

Posted on December 30, 2014 by

Many leaders have made ample use of employee engagement surveys in the past, only to come to the realization that they have failed to sustain a minimal rate of employee turnover at the company. There are many reasons as to why this occurs, many of which will be highlighted in this article.

Let’s begin with the problem itself, which begins with the attitudes of organization leaders and their often-incorrect strategies of increasing employee engagement.

It is an untarnished fact that many organizational leaders appear to be focused primarily on what the organization should be doing instead of pinpointing what the organization actually needs. This has led to the requirements and needs of many employees going unnoticed. For example, some managers get the bright idea of developing rewards programs or organizing new social events to try and integrate their employees in the hope of increasing their level of engagement. However, these nearly always prove to be futile.

Furthermore, the customary engagement survey used in most companies focuses far too much on the actual job and not enough on the meaning behind it. Great surveys should get to the very heart of the matter and not ruffle up the same, old answers that most employees give about why they disliked their job. A good survey should point out the values that employees have, what they genuinely care about, what they believe to be critical to their success and what may be detracting them from giving their very best work.

What are the 10 Top Drivers of Employee Engagement?

Research has shown that there are ten drivers of employee engagement that brings out the very best potential in employees when well integrated into the cultural framework of the organization:

  1. Clarity of Purpose – Expressed otherwise, the team must know what is precisely expected of them, even in a very bureaucratic environment.
  2. Employee’s Opinions Do Matter – those who are exceptionally engaged believed that their views mattered on the job.
  3. Wellbeing of the Workplace – this can play an immense part in lowering absenteeism, while maximizing productivity.
  4. Having the Appropriate Resources and Tools – Employees quickly become disengaged when they don’t have access to the best tools.
  5. Work should be Fun – Work that is entertaining will give people the greater inclination to work harder.
  6. Appreciation and Recognition – Acknowledgement of one’s work is a strong business tool that retains your best workers.
  7. Creative Possibilities – Empowering your workers to be creative is undoubtedly one of the best methods to boost your firm’s morale. Unsurprisingly, based on a Gallup survey, engaged workers are the greatest source for new ideas that can be implemented in your company.
  8. Give Chances to Learn and Grow – Workers want to have chances to learn and grow. Most training usually occurs on the job.
  9. Build an Environment Based On Trust – An employee that does not feel safe will most likely not participate in vital company functions and their performance within the organization will suffer.
  10. Make Progress Work – The greatest motivation you could every give your employees is consistent, significant improvement, as well as the feeling that they are being supported by their supervisors in making that improvement.

Formulating Survey Questions The Right Way

Survey results should be immediately actionable and the formulation of questions should concentrate on the key areas. You should always get just the right amount of questions as well, since too few questions may only leave you with more questions than answers, while too many questions may turnoff the person taking the survey.

When formulating questions, you should always use a 5-point system (such as multiple choice) to make things as easy as possible. The order of questions should also build upon one another to get an accurate assessment of the employee’s level of engagement. The best surveys also have the option of leaving narrative comments, in case employees wish to clarify some of their answers or have other important remarks to make.

Sample Questions:

  1. What’s your largest frustration in completing your assignments?
  2. What are some of the reasons that our company would match with your personal values?
  3. What have you been most proud of during your work with our company?

Here are a few tips that can be used sporadically during the year to find creative ways to improve the level of engagement found within your organization.

  1. Give People Opportunities To Talk – talk with people on a regular basis in your workplace to find out their current level of engagement and what can be done to improve it. Many people can give you some stunning ideas that you can implement immediately to increase overall employee engagement.
  2. Find Out Why People Are Getting Disengaged – don’t be afraid to be direct and ask people what it is that is making them disengaged. You don’t have to ever become defensive. Sometimes just being heard can do wonders and instantly increase engagement.
  3. Determine How Frequently Meetings Will Have To Take Place – sometimes daily meetings will have to be implemented to effectively increase engagement. However, when things become too intrusive, it may be enough to schedule meetings a few times during the year to get the desired results.
  4. Filter Out To Find The Best Ideas – it would be futile to try to implement everyone’s suggestions to create a more productive workplace environment. Choose only the best ones and try to let them get democratically determined.
  5. Decide Upon Who Will Be Making The Desired Changes – designate the right individuals to oversee the new changes that will have to be implemented. Ask your employees whom they would designate to help you get started.

Remain committed to the unique needs of your organization and slightly less on the production of new products and you will find a wonderful increase in the level of employee engagement within your organization.

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