12 Aug Six Tips for Conducting a Successful
Clients often ask me what they can do to make their employee survey a success. Over the years, I’ve consulted with big organizations as well as smaller ones. Clients who are successful at their employee surveys share some commonatities in how they approach their project and how they keep the momentum going throughout the process.
Here is what I found:
1. Get senior management buy-in. This may sound like a no-brainer. But if you don’t do a good job getting senior management buy-in, your effort will fall flat. Even if you have a solid business case, some of your executive team members may have fear of what the survey results reveal and what they might need to change. Facilitate meetings to get everyone on your senior management team to voice their concerns and what they hope to gain from the survey. Address their concerns. Help them overcome any perceived barriers. Get their full support.
2. Create a powerful employee survey marketing campaign. Be creative in communicating with your employees about the upcoming employee survey. If at all possible, don’t overwhelm your employees with bland and long emails. Your email will risk being deleted! Instead, think about what other communication vehicles you can use to generate excitement among employees and get them excited about participating in the survey. Think of your employee survey marketing campaign not as an event, but a process. You need to maintain the momentum throughout the entire survey process to ensure a high response rate.
3. Make it easy for your managers and employees. What does this mean? Make the survey process easy and accessible to all employees. Prepare frequently asked questions(FAQs) for your managers so they can answer employees’ questions. Provide a phone number or a contact person for your employees if they encounter any technical issues during their survey.
4. Ensure data confidentiality. Employees are more likely to give candid opinions if they are assured that their responses are kept confidential. For this reason, many organizations use independent third party vendors to conduct their surveys. Limiting the number of demographic questions, using passwords, and conducting tabulation analysis only when you have a minimum number of responses are some ways to ensure survey data confidentiality.
5. Follow-up on survey results and deliver on your promise. The worst thing you can do after conducting an employee survey is to do nothing. At the minimum, you need to share survey result highlights with your employees. Empower your employees and managers to discuss key challenges they face within their department, generate solutions, and test their ideas within a safe environment. Failure to follow-up on employee surveys will erode trust among your employees. If you are not ready to take action after your employee survey, don’t conduct the survey.
6. Measure success and return on investment. Successful client companies are very clear about their desired outcomes of their employee surveys–not just in terms of getting a high survey response rate, but the desired business results. These may include improved customer satisfaction, shorter time to launch new products, greater career mobility within the company, reduction in employee turnover, and better financial performance. Their employee survey results give them the insights they need to take action to make changes, which will impact their desired business outcomes.
And they don’t just stop there. After implementing the needed changes and giving their employees a chance to experience the changes, these organizations will get feedback from their employees to make their workplace even better. It’s a cycle.
Just like employee communication, conducting employee surveys is not an event, it is a process.
What other tips do you have for conducting a successful employee survey? Share them in the comment box.