Employee engagement surveys aim to find out how 'engaged' or satisfied your employees are with their work, the organisation and the vision and values of your business. You want to increase employee engagement because people will tend to work more effectively, use more of their creative energy and enjoy their work more if they are 'engaged'. In turn, that means the organisation or business will be more successful.
You need to find out how engaged or satisfied your staff are. The best way is to ask them. If you ask people in an unplanned or unstructured way, it will be difficult to ensure you have asked everyone and in the same way. Some people will tell you what they expect you want to hear - out of politeness or fear of losing their job. Others might take it as an opportunity to moan or complain, forgetting anything good. It will be difficult to record the results in a meaningful and comparable way.
Hence the need for a survey. The best engagement surveys are clear, concise and confidential. A mix of multiple choice and free text questions works well. For multiple choice, statisticians favour a 5-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree with given statements (see the attached example).
For ease of distribution, completion and collation, on-line surveys are hard to beat. It doesn't have to be a costly exercise. There are various software programs available (see references below) which are free or low cost. You can conduct the survey internally, normally through the HR department, or you can use an external facilitator. An advantage of out-sourcing is that it tends to increase staff confidence that the results will remain confidential and be anonymised in the results.
Once you have conducted the survey, make sure a summary report is available to all staff. You may want to talk through the results with teams to identify action points for problem areas and to celebrate success in what is being done well within the business or organisation. Most programs will enable you to present results in graphs where appropriate. These can then be added to PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint presentations can be easily converted to read-only PDF documents which are also small files if you need to e-mail copies.
The ideal scenario is to conduct an employee engagement survey every one or two years and track the results. That way you can assess if issues are being addressed as far as staff are concerned and if success is being maintained or improved year on year.
We have conducted employee engagement surveys in large and small organisations, within the UK and where there are employees in over 20 countries. Contact us if you want to discuss further or to ask us to conduct a survey for you.
Links to a sample of survey programs:
This work by Peter Kenworthy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.