Time and again, for almost every company we’ve ever partnered with, we’ve seen the genuine truth of the philosophy that business success is driven by happy and engaged employees. In fact, we believe that employee engagement is quickly becoming one of the driving differentiators of successful organizations in the evolving business marketplace of today. In an effort to gain this competitive edge, many companies want a way to measure the satisfaction of their employees, often administering surveys to achieve that end. But do employee engagement surveys actually work?
Our answer is yes, they do work. But there are some caveats. By themselves, employee engagement surveys have little purpose. But as part of a holistic employee engagement strategy, they have the power to transform your business.
The biggest mistake a company can make in administering an employee engagement survey is doing it only because everyone else is doing it. Without strategy, goals, and forethought, a survey will simply make employees more aware of their disengagement, which, if your organization doesn’t quickly take action upon, will spiral downward toward further disengagement.
That’s why perspective of the big picture is vital. It starts with a company mission and a thoughtfully crafted employer brand, both of which should reflect and be lived out in the day-to-day operations of your company. Everyone from leadership down to temp staff should be able to see the embodiment of your company values and mission within the workplace.
A holistic employee satisfaction strategy starts from that mission and values and trickles down into branding, recruitment, training, and retention strategies. Only then will employee engagement surveys actually work to provide any value.
Of course, you could implement all that strategy and still miss the mark if you’re asking the wrong questions (or too many). Don’t make the mistake of creating questions that are too vague, such as, “are you satisfied with your work environment?” The right questions really dig down into the factors that lie behind employee engagement. Also, recognize that there is a difference between being satisfied with the job and being engaged and happy in the workplace. Your questions need to reflect this difference.
Need some examples? Engagement occurs on a number of levels, so once again, keep the big picture in mind. Ask questions about how they perceive the company’s communication efforts. Ask about teamwork and collaboration. Ask them if they feel heard, recognized and rewarded. Do they feel empowered and involved? Do they feel that the company cares about their wellbeing? Although you want to avoid asking too many questions, you do want to dig into the details to get a true picture of employee engagement.
Employees want to know they’re being heard; it’s part of what keeps them engaged in the workplace. Accordingly then, it’s a good idea to report on the results of company-wide surveys. While you always want to guarantee anonymity in order to encourage complete honesty, find a way to accurately present the compiled information in a summary. This should occur as quickly as possible after the surveys have been completed. If you leave it too long, your employees will likely no longer care.
Likewise, acting upon the answers you receive should happen soon after. Make it clear to your employees what steps you are going to take, and then take the time to implement new training or strategies at every level, from investing in leadership development to educating employees about their benefits. Welcome feedback from your workforce, especially on a one-on-one basis where you can better determine the level of engagement in real-time.
Employee engagement surveys are a valuable tool that should be administered regularly in order to nurture a healthy workplace. We absolutely believe they work as long as they are part of a well-rounded business strategy to boost and maintain optimal employee engagement across the spectrum of your workforce.
Because engagement is so key to employee productivity and customer satisfaction, being able to measure and analyze that engagement is vital to continued business success. At Synergy, we deliver full service HR management to help businesses streamline their HR administration, enabling companies to ensure their employees are always being taken care of. Let us know how we can help you today by requesting a free HR outsourcing consultation today.