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The Ultimate Guide On Employee Engagement Surveys


This is the ultimate guide to employee engagement surveys.

It will focus on four main areas:

  • Basics of engagement surveys
  • What to do before running an engagement survey?
  • How to run employee engagement surveys?
  • What to do after you get the survey results?

If you’re looking for something like the above, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started.

employee-engagement-joining-the-pieces

The popularity of employee engagement surveys is neither unexpected nor unjustified.

Since the phrase "employee engagement" was coined in 1990, leaders and human resources have struggled to understand how to engage their people.

But before proceeding, let’s be clear about what employee engagement means.

Employee engagement is when employees feel happy, motivated, and committed towards their place of work.

To tap and harness these traits, employers have been spending billions of dollars on new, unique, and advanced employee engagement strategies.

Yet, that’s not enough. Such engagement strategies form only one piece of the puzzle.

Mere implementation of these strategies isn’t enough. It is also crucial to know if these strategies are actually working for you.

But here’s the problem.

Employee engagement is quite a qualitative concept. That's why it can prove to be tricky to measure.

Also, remember that how highly engaged employees express their satisfaction will differ from each other. Attempting to track that in a meaningful way is easier said than done.

But without measuring employee engagement, you don't really know if your efforts are working.

Since no signs are floating above employees' heads proclaiming "Engaged" in neon letters, an engagement strategy without any measurement tool is a major no.

That is when having a robust employee engagement survey comes in handy.

Chapter 1: Basics Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Basics Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Why Measuring Employee Engagement Is Hard?

There are a lot of challenges tied to measuring employee engagement.

The biggest problem is that everyone defines engagement uniquely.

For some, it might be employee happiness. For others, it’s about if people enjoy the work they do.

So, when it comes to measuring employee engagement, we all have different goals in mind.

Thus, the ways to measure engagement also differ from company to company. But essentially, there are three ways to do it:

  • Using in-house surveys
  • Taking the help of employee engagement survey vendors
  • Opting for a hybrid approach by mixing in-house and vendor-based surveys

No matter the type, engagement surveys are your best friend when it comes to measuring employee engagement.

What Are Employee Engagement Surveys?

The definition of employee engagement surveys is simple.

Employee engagement surveys are a powerful tool for measuring a company's employee engagement levels by gathering meaningful feedback from employees.

In most cases, these surveys will help you pinpoint why your employees feel happy, stressed, or unsatisfied.

All in all, employee engagement surveys are a great way to know your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Employee Engagement Surveys V/S Employee Surveys

employee-engagement-survey-resized--1-

They might sound similar, but they are not.

Employee surveys consist of various types of surveys that an employee fills out over the course of their career. It could fall under one of the following categories:

  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys
  • Employee Engagement Surveys
  • Company Culture Surveys
  • Business Process Feedback Surveys
  • 360-Degree Feedback Surveys
  • Employee Onboarding Surveys
  • Exit Surveys

However, as seen from the above, employee engagement surveys are a subgroup of employee surveys.

To clarify, here’s how the hierarchy looks:

employee-surveys-vs-employee-engagement-surveys

Chapter 2: The Objectives Behind Employee Engagement Surveys

Before handing out any employee engagement surveys, you should be clear about its goals.

When you do, you will be able to design a survey that is clear, precise, and to the point.

Also, your employees will be more likely to give their genuine opinions when the survey feels genuine.

The question is:

What should the ideal engagement survey achieve?

Let’s take a look.

The Objectives Behind Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Measure Employee Engagement

I’ll start with the most obvious one.

Measuring levels of engagement is the primary goal of every employee engagement survey.

A good employee engagement survey will help you assess how engaged, disengaged, or actively disengaged your employees are.

The category in which your employees fall is only revealed after an engagement survey.

However, the contrasts between them are simple to understand.

Engaged Employees

Such employees love their jobs and the company. Highly engaged people would go above and beyond to perform well. Also, they are your strongest brand advocates.

Disengaged Employees

Disengaged employees are not your biggest fans. They lack interest, happiness, and meaning in their work-life. They will probably do what’s expected of them but not put any extra effort into doing good work.

Actively Disengaged Employees

Actively disengaged employees are just not unhappy. They will show this unhappiness by acting out, complaining, and leaving negative feedback about the company. They are least bothered about their work and will experience a performance dip.

But basically, there are two main scopes through which you can measure engagement.

  • Across the organization
  • Across teams

The first method will help you get a broader picture of the overall employee engagement in the company. It will give you a collective measurement of how your people actually feel about the company.

The second method is a bit more precise. A team-wise engagement score can help you pinpoint the problems with the work environment or company culture.

For example, if Team A has a lower engagement score than Team B, you can dig deeper into the reasons behind it.

2. Track Necessary Metrics

A good engagement survey will not only measure engagement but also show you areas to improve upon.

Here are some of the metrics that your engagement survey should display:

a. Drivers Of Employee Engagement

Enhancing employee experience is not easy. But understanding the drivers of employee engagement is the first step towards it.

When I say “drivers of employee engagement,” I mean the workplace factors that affect employees' feelings of motivation and loyalty.

Some key drivers of employee engagement are:

  • Work-life balance
  • Work environment
  • Career development
  • Leadership
  • Recognition
  • Work relationships with peers and managers
  • Meaningful work

But here’s the thing.

Not every employee wants the same thing. Hence, the drivers of employee engagement can vary from:

  • Company to company
  • Teams within the same company
  • Multigenerational workforce
  • External factors such as a pandemic, recession, or crisis

A good engagement survey can help human resources management figure out what variables are driving or hurting the engagement rates of different teams within the company.

b. User Participation Rates

The accuracy of engagement survey results depends highly on the people participating in the survey.

According to Officevibe research:

60%-80% is a good target for the response rate on the employee survey.

A low user participation rate can really affect the survey results scores.

With a limited demographic, the real issues will never come to light, and all your efforts in conducting a survey will have gone to waste.

c. Team Engagement Scores

Survey results that show team-wise engagement scores have essentially two benefits:

  • Help you identify the drivers of employee engagement for different teams
  • Help you decide which teams are the most disengaged and need instant actions

d. Demographic-Wise Engagement Scores

Let’s be honest.

Different demographics have different experiences in the workplace.

A woman minority employee, for example, will have a very different workplace experience than others.

However, when a survey focuses just on team-wise results, the feedback of certain demographics gets lost.

As a result, when selecting an engagement survey provider, make sure they allow you to specifically target employee subgroups.

3. Compare Benchmarks

Proper benchmarking is vital to get the most out of your engagement surveys.

Without comparing your survey results with the known industry standards, you don’t have the chance to know whether your survey results are good, bad, or average.

For example, say you got an overall engagement score of 50.

Without benchmarking, you would think that the number is inferior. But with benchmarking, you’d know that the number is, in fact, above the industry average.

Benchmarking will also allow you to see in which areas your company is lacking.

Let’s say only 30% of your people are happy with the work-life balance. But the industry average for work-life balance turns out to be much higher than yours.

Thus, it becomes a clear sign that this is an area that your company needs to focus and improve upon.

4. Empower Employees

An organization where employee opinions are not taken seriously enough is bound to face eventual disengagement.

And guess what?

It turns out that employees value having a say even if they don’t get their way.

It’s even more important now since the recent wave of millennials and Gen Z employees entered the workforce. These employees feel persistent about telling the issues that matter the most to them.

They are less likely to stick around with a company that suppresses their voice.

As a result, having a medium — such as an engagement survey tool — can help you retain your top talents.

Employees feel empowered when they get the chance to share their opinions. It makes employees feel like they play a significant role in the company’s journey.

Recommended Article: Employee Empowerment- Are You Doing it Right?

Chapter 3: The Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Funnily enough, engagement surveys are not only for measuring levels of engagement.

It brings a whole lot of positives to the table.

In my experience, engagement surveys can change the very company culture itself.

So in this chapter, we’ll explore the many benefits of employee engagement surveys.

The Objectives Behind Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Nip Problems At The Root

Everyone is familiar with the old adage: “Prevention is better than the cure.”

With a bit of tweaking, it stands true for your employee engagement troubles too.

In other words:

Address problems before they turn out to be the cause for disengagement.

The proper engagement survey can turn feedback from employees into a robust action plan. It can help predict a major disaster from happening: employee turnover.

Turnover is not fun, extremely costly, and bad for morale.

For human resources leaders, it would be monumental to know if an employee is on track to quitting.

The faster you act upon the survey results, the faster you can turn your organizational weaknesses into strengths.

For example, Vantage Pulse— our employee engagement survey tool— shows you the specific engagement scores of over 30+ categories.

vantage-pulse-categories
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

2. Builds Trust And Transparency

Mutual trust is vital to any organization.

It’s vital that your people actually like working for you. And for people to feel this way, trust and transparency must be cultivated.

Salesforce research found that:

Employees whose voices are heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work.

By building a culture of feedback through engagement surveys, it sends a clear message:

You care about the opinions of your people.

In turn, your people proactively tell you how to make their employee experience better.

Thus, you and your team create a strong sense of trust resulting from relating to one other's goals.

3. Prioritizes Morale

A high-performing employee may or may not have a high level of morale.

While this might not sound serious (after all, they’re doing good work, right?) but there is a high risk for eventual burnout and turnover.

And the last thing you need is low morale and high turnover.

A good engagement survey understands this.

It will support human resources leaders to identify if their people are low on motivation. And if “yes,” what are the possible factors contributing to it.

Recommended Article: Amazing Ways To Improve Employee Morale in Your Workplace

4. Map Your Engagement Progress

employee-pulse-surveys-measure--1-
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Data generated from engagement surveys are nothing short of a gift.

Over time, your engagement strategy is bound to change. You’ll add some. You’ll stop some.

Nevertheless, as a leader, you should evaluate the efficiency of these various engagement approaches.

It gives you the bigger picture of which strategies worked for your employees.

A good employee engagement survey lets you do this and much more. It will track your engagement scores over time and show you the trends corresponding to those scores.

It's a clear win-win situation!

5. Employee Performance Boost

Most of the time, low engagement can have a drastic impact on the performance of your workforce.

And I don’t need to stress how vital performance is to a company’s bottom line.

Consistent low performance can be an indicator of something going wrong. It might be because of:

Engagement surveys will undoubtedly be a helpful tool in helping you determine the causes of these performance dips.

Recommended Article: A Brief Guide On Performance Management

6. Change Behaviors

When you send an employee survey, you are not just taking feedback. You’re also influencing the desired behaviors.

When a survey asked people whether they’d like to volunteer three hours for the American Cancer Society, the volunteering rates spiked from 4% to 31%.

And this effect is actually backed by science! According to psychologists, asking questions can influence behavior.

Let’s look at an example of how this effect will work in an engagement survey.

Suppose you send a simple survey question like:

How often do you recognize your peers and colleagues for a job well done?

This could prompt your people to reflect on their behavior.

So, even if your employees didn't appreciate their peers previously, it will serve as the catalyst for them to start doing it.

Chapter 4: Characteristics Of Employee Engagement Surveys

A good employee engagement survey will make the survey process easier to run, handle, and analyze.

Here are some essential characteristics that you should look out for:

Characteristics Of Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Quick And Easy

Nobody likes long and dull surveys. Least of all your employees.

In fact, the longer the survey, the more your employees will face survey fatigue.

Long surveys also increase the likelihood that respondents may be insincere in their responses.

According to Survey Monkey:

The more questions you ask, the less time your participants spend on average answering the questions.

Thus, look for selecting short and simple engagement surveys. It will keep the user participation rates high while keeping the survey results accurate.

2. Timely

Do you know the issue with engagement surveys? They tell us what the employees are feeling at that moment.

Not yesterday. Not tomorrow.

Thus, there’s a high chance that their responses will change. And with that, your engagement levels too.

So, I won’t be wrong when I say that:

Inconsistent surveys are as bad as no surveys.

Without sending them periodically or sending them once a year won’t help get an accurate picture of the engagement levels of your company.

A good engagement survey should be sent out frequently and timely. Only then will you get accurate data on the company’s engagement rate.

When I say frequently, I mean once in a fortnight or month. Sending it too often can result in extreme survey fatigue. It’s vital to find the right balance.

3. Anonymous

Employees will only be honest about their opinions if the survey is confidential.

Thus, the engagement survey you select should provide employees with much-needed anonymity.

4. Real-Time Trend Analysis

A good engagement survey gives you the ability to view real-time engagement trends and analyze what your employees feel.

It will allow you to reflect upon the much-needed improvements in engagement metrics. That way, if you have implemented any new strategy, you get to know if it’s working or not.

5. Instant Survey Results

Look for surveys that begin displaying results as soon as the first participant completes the survey.

The instant results allow human resources managers to begin working on a solid action plan for enhancing engagement right away.

6. Comprehensive

A good survey should focus on all the workplace aspects that influence employee engagement.

Most of the time, these aspects will be the categories of the survey questions. Here are examples of a few common types:

7. Benchmarks

Having benchmarks (i.e., a standard set of results to match against) allow you to actively track survey results and the engagement trends year after year. It assists you in determining the success of your engagement initiatives.

Engagement surveys are integral in keeping leaders and managers accountable for employee engagement.

8. Convenient

A good engagement survey should make measuring engagement easier. In addition, it should simplify your task of managing, distributing, collecting, and analyzing the surveys.

Plus, your staff should find it simple and easy to complete the survey. It is necessary to ensure that the engagement survey is available on various devices and platforms.

Chapter 5: The Primary Factors Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Now that you are familiar with all the basics of engagement surveys, let’s get into how they work.

Any engagement surveys that you find on the market will, of course, be different from each other.

But the question is:

What factors influence their functionality?

Let’s take a look.

The Primary Factors Of Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Scope

The scope of a survey refers to how the survey is distributed. It is based on the size and depth of the survey.

Size

The size of the survey is determined by:

  • How long is the survey?
  • The number of survey participants

Depth

The depth of the survey is determined by:

  • Do the survey questions go beyond scratching the surface of the issue?
  • How detailed is the survey analysis?
  • What will be done with the survey results?

2. Frequency

The frequency of a survey refers to how often the survey will be distributed. It can be customized according to the company’s needs. But the most common frequencies are:

  • Weekly
  • Fortnightly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Annually

We recommend fortnightly, monthly or quarterly.

Chapter 6: The Types Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Based on the scope and frequency, engagement surveys can be further divided into four types.

  1. Always-On Surveys
  2. Spot Surveys
  3. Pulse Surveys
  4. Annual Surveys

Let’s talk about them in brief.

The Types Of Employee Engagement Surveys

types-of-employee-engagement-surveys

1. Always-On Engagement Surveys

Always-on engagement surveys allow managers and leaders to collect real-time feedback from employees instantly.

These surveys make it simple to provide input as well as receive and review feedback.

To put it into perspective, it acts as a real-time sentiment monitor.

In addition, it provides an open channel for your people to share opinions and improvements, share ideas, and even appreciate their peers.

The con of these surveys?

It isn't very useful for measuring levels of engagement. It doesn't delve into the core of the matter. Even the survey results can be hazy and difficult to quantify.

Always-on surveys are often used in two ways:

a. Gather Ongoing Feedback

These surveys can be pivotal in establishing a feedback-based company culture.

It is also a powerful tool to encourage the practices of timely rewards and recognition.

However, this kind of survey lacks structure and is anonymous.

They don’t allow the functionality of selecting a target audience. That is, all employees are free to share their suggestions.

Always-on is also highly effective for assessing an employee's performance. Because of the anonymity and absence of structure, a 360-degree feedback view is welcomed.

P.S. 360-degree feedback is when you get input from your peers, superiors, and managers all at once. It enables the collection of open and honest views.

b. Modern Suggestion Box

As described above, these surveys welcome the opinions of every employee. It allows people to speak up about their problems as soon as they arise.

2. Spot Engagement Surveys

Spot surveys are designed to address and analyze a specific problem.

It might be a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, a sudden spike in burnout, or high levels of absenteeism.

The situations may vary, but the end goal remains the same. Collect the feedback of employees about a drastic organizational change.

Spot surveys are often characterized by these features:

  • It is presented in the form of polls.
  • It's simple to take, collect, and review.
  • It can be customized according to your needs.

Even spot-on surveys, like always-on surveys, are not the most reliable way of measuring engagement.

Because they are so goal-oriented, employees' opinions on other important topics are neglected.

It makes spot surveys a one-track technique that is unhelpful for building an engagement action plan.

3. Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are a quick, easy, and effective way to boost employee engagement by assessing the company's strengths and shortcomings using survey results.

As the name implies, a pulse survey is intended to track the organization's "pulse or heartbeat."

An employee pulse survey measures the "health" of the company culture in the same way that our pulse rate provides a quick check of our health.

Pulse surveys are brief, structured, and targeted.

Employees are given a set of survey questions to answer on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10.

Some basic characteristics of pulse surveys are:

  • Easy, short, and to the point
  • Conducted timely and frequently
  • Focus on targeted and in-depth questions
  • Induce lesser survey fatigue among participants

Pulse surveys are becoming highly popular among today’s businesses due to their ease of use, management, and accuracy in gathering vital engagement insights.

4. Annual Surveys

Annual surveys are the most traditional method of measuring employee engagement.

These are usually long-form surveys with at least 50 questions that are collected once a year.

These kinds of surveys, however, are becoming increasingly rare. Thus, they are being replaced in favor of the more user-friendly Pulse Surveys.

Earlier, human resources leaders deployed annual surveys to:

  • Get feedback from employees
  • Gauge yearly performance
  • Assess engagement

They are, meanwhile, helpful in establishing a baseline, defining benchmarks, and identifying areas for growth.

Chapter 7: The Types Of Employee Engagement Survey Questions

By now, you know that employee engagement surveys can be extremely powerful to optimize your engagement efforts.

But, until now, we haven't paid attention to the most critical part of engagement surveys.

Employee engagement survey questions.

Let's start with the basics.

The Types Of Employee Engagement Survey Questions

The main doubt that must be running through your mind is:

What questions do I ask in the survey?

But, before we get into what questions to ask, it's vital to know the types of employee engagement survey questions.

types-of-employee-engagement-survey-questions

1. Binary Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Binary employee engagement survey questions give participants two options to choose from.

The most common options are “Yes” or “No.”

Due to the limited number of choices, binary survey questions are also known as “forced-choice questions.”

The pros are that:

  • Human resources get a quick read on the sentiment of the workforce
  • It can be ideal for face-to-face surveys
  • Easy and convenient

But these types of survey questions also have their fair share of cons.

  • Participants might not find the exact option that they wanted to give
  • Can influence incorrect feedback from employees
  • Employees may choose options that are most similar to the actual response, even if it is different.
  • Not ideal for measuring employee engagement

Some examples of binary employee engagement survey questions are:

  • Do you have everything you need to fulfill your career goals?
  • Does the work environment strike you as positive?
  • Is the work-life balance in this company good?
  • Do you like the company culture here?

2. Scale Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Scale employee engagement survey questions allow participants to use a rating scale to answer them.

Survey participants choose the number that best describes their opinions and views.

Typically, the ideal range is either 1-5 or 1-10.

Due to the number-based way of answering, these survey questions are also known as ordinal questions.

As with binary questions, scale questions also have their pros and cons.

The pros are that:

  • They are universally applicable and understood
  • Are likely to gather more accurate feedback from employees
  • Easily quantifiable responses. This makes engagement data easier to analyze.

On the other hand, cons can be like:

  • Too many categories can be confusing to survey participants
  • Participants can lean towards choosing the extreme ends of the scale

Some examples of scale employee engagement survey questions are:

  • How satisfied are you with your career development on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how positive is the work environment in this company?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with the work-life balance here?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how important is it for the company culture to be improved?

Employee Net Promoter Score

The eNPS is not a type of survey.

Instead, it can be viewed as a method of measuring employee engagement by using scale-based questions.

In fact, the eNPS approach is used by the majority of pulse survey vendors to base their evaluation.

In eNPS-based surveys, each survey responder is sorted into one of three groups:

employee_net_promoter_score--1-

  • Promoters: These people often react with a score of 9-10. This group consists of highly engaged employees who will go above and beyond for the company.
  • Passives: These people often answer with a score of 7-8. These employees are not disengaged, but they do have some ongoing problems or challenges with their careers.
  • Detractors: These people often reply with a score ranging from 0 to 6. These people are actively disengaged and have serious qualms about the company. They can be listed as actively disengaged.

The calculation of eNPS is straightforward.

Employee Net Promoter Score = {(Number of Promoters - Number of Detractors) / Total Number of Survey Respondents} X 100

It can seem that the passives are unimportant. But they are critical for estimating the total number of survey respondents.

3. Open-Ended Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Open-ended employee engagement questions require answers that are statement-based.

That is, employees can use a scale or a “yes” and “no.” They must write down their responses to these questions.

The pros are:

  • Unlimited range of answers
  • Fresh new ideas
  • Captures the true nature of how employees feel

The cons are:

  • Difficult to quantify and analyze
  • Higher chances of survey fatigue
  • Time-consuming

Some examples of scale employee engagement survey questions are:

  • What steps would you like the company to take for your career development?
  • Through what ways can the work environment be made more positive?
  • What new measures do you need for a better work-life balance?
  • What major reforms does the company culture need?

Chapter 8: How To Create Employee Engagement Surveys?

In this chapter, I’ll take you through the steps of carrying out an employee engagement survey.

How To Create Employee Engagement Surveys

1. Keep Track Of Your Starting Point

Do you ever notice how someone methodically maintains track of their measurements while on a fitness journey?

They do this to see how far they've progressed since they first started.

The same applies to measuring employee engagement too.

Before doing anything else, it’s essential to gauge the present employee engagement scenario of the company.

Start by creating a baseline of how your employees feel about their employee experience in the present time.

This means that you will need to ask for honest feedback from employees on how things are going currently. If your company had never done something like this before, it might prove to be awkward.

But on the plus side, it will help your employees to get accustomed to giving any future feedback.

This will enable interaction and allow you to compare the outcomes of your future engagement survey results to your baseline.

2. Onboard Leaders And Managers

Most of the time, engagement surveys are viewed solely as a human resources activity.

Senior managers and leaders rarely actively engage with the survey or the survey results.

However, for actual change to occur, engagement surveys must be prioritized by management.

To put it simply, leaders must not only be an onlooker. They must actively participate in the survey’s success.

The human resources department should try to include leaders right from the beginning of the planning process.

It will allow for healthy dialogue on how to take the employee experience to the next level and how an engagement survey may help you do so.

Similarly, it allows both parties — you and the leaders— to mutually set the survey objectives.

As a result, leaders will have a vested interest in acting on the employee engagement survey results once it goes live.

3. Set Your Goals

As discusses before, setting the goals of the survey beforehand is imperative to its success.

But don’t make the mistake of taking on too many goals at once.

Identify your high-priority areas and try to keep the focus of the survey on that.

Meanwhile, hold an open meeting with leaders and managers. Seek their counsel on which workplace metrics are seeing a drop, such as productivity or performance.

4. Survey Design

It is evident that engagement surveys are powerful and meticulous tools for collecting feedback from employees.

Yet, it is critical that the design of the engagement survey method you pick also fits your company's goals and needs.

A very detailed or lengthy survey will intimidate employees. They will either abandon it or rush through it to the end.

Here are a couple of more things to consider:

a. Cost Analysis

The expense of developing, executing, and monitoring an in-house survey might be highly costly for many companies. Thus, be prepared to conduct a SWOT analysis of the option you choose to pursue, whether in-house surveys or a survey vendor.

b. Building The Survey

Whether you're using an internal or external survey vendor, strive to express your goals to the people designing the survey. It will assist them in understanding what you are looking for and set it as their ultimate goal.

c. User-Friendliness

Choose precise, relevant, and measurable question categories. Simplify the questions so that all of your people can grasp and complete them. The aim is to keep the survey as short and sweet as possible while still giving you the needed data.

d. Type Of Survey Questions

Implement scaled employee engagement survey questions to provide employees the freedom to offer honest and genuine feedback. However, if you do decide to use a different method, attempt to maintain consistency throughout the survey.

e. Test Run

Before distributing the survey to your workforce, always conduct an internal test run. It will aid in the detection of any inconsistencies or errors. The test should be done from both the user's and the survey administrator's standpoint.

f. Communication

Explain why participants should participate and how you plan to follow up once the survey session is over. Similarly, conduct a meeting with seniors leaders on what their responsibilities will be.

5. Clear Communication

The best way to get accurate feedback from employees is to be honest from the get-go.

Before sending the employee engagement survey to employees, communicate the following to them:

  • What is the survey about?
  • Why is the survey vital?
  • When will the survey take place?
  • How does the survey process work as a whole?

When you are transparent about the survey goals, employees feel more comfortable about giving their honest feedback.

Also, don’t forget to be clear about the anonymity of the survey. It will help your people be more forthcoming about their true feelings.

6. Make It Accessible

Today’s workforce is remote, busy, and on the go.

As a result, people are less likely to complete a survey that can only be accessed via their desktops.

As a result, your employee engagement surveys must be made available on various platforms and devices.

7. Share Survey Results

To improve employee experience, you must develop, implement, and analyze new strategies.

  • Investigate what has worked in other companies
  • Enlist the assistance of your leaders and senior management
  • Directly ask employees what changes they would want to see in the company culture

It is vital to not only act but also to build two-way dialogue with the survey participants.

This guarantees that you convey the message that you value employee feedback.

It is essential to consider everyone's input and to clarify what you intend to do next.

Make it clear what adjustments will be made in response to the bad feedback. Also, mention the execution time as well.

8. Take Actionable Steps

The primary goal of conducting surveys is to gather pertinent information on the company culture. For employees, the goal of doing surveys is to express and address their issues about their job.

The consequence of ignoring survey results (and failing to act on them) can be severe.

Employees will become disinterested as a result of this. Thus, they will be less likely to take any future surveys seriously.

Make sure that regardless of whether the feedback is positive or bad, you take the time to address the issue sufficiently.

Chapter 9: How To Increase Your Employee Engagement Survey Participation Rates?

Are you seeing a smaller number of people responding to your engagement surveys?

Here are some actionable ways to boost participation rates:

How To Increase Your Employee Engagement Survey Participation Rates

1. KISS

With engagement surveys, KISS— keep it short and simple— is the way to go.

The survey should be short and easy to understand.

Overwhelming your staff may result from asking too many or too difficult questions. It may backfire and encourage participants to select random responses merely to complete the survey.

2. Specific Questions Only

The survey questions should be clear and stick to a single subject.

For example, avoid setting questions like:

I am appreciated frequently by my manager and my peers.

Managers and peers may act in ways that are polar opposites to one another in this setting.

Thus, clustering them together will mislead the survey respondent as to which direction to take while answering the question.

3. Take Employees’ Opinions

Employees should have a say in what the survey would look like.

The majority of the time, employees are clueless about the aim of the study.

You must clearly and concisely communicate the following survey details to your employees:

  • The survey's goal
  • How the survey's results will be used
  • If there are any incentives for completing the survey, please specify.
  • When, how, and where the survey can be taken

Also, try to promote the survey widely, so everyone in the company is aware of it.

A good way to do this is to include them in deciding the goals of the survey.

Another way to make them more comfortable is by taking their help in testing out the survey beforehand.

4. Ask The Right Survey Questions

A survey should be highly user-friendly to help you collect meaningful employee feedback from a much wider pool. As a result, keep the following factors in mind while designing survey questions:

Meaningful

The survey questions should be written so that each employee can interpret the meaning after reading the question.

Unless and until this occurs, the reliability of survey response rates may be questioned and inconclusive.

Simple

Survey questions should be written in clear, brief, and plain words. Make it as simple as possible because the chances of misinterpretation will increase.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions

The "yes" and "no" questions used in many employee surveys make measuring employee engagement levels difficult.

A better approach is to use an eNPS-driven survey, which allows participants to complete survey questions on a scale of 0-5 or 0-10.

5. Anonymity Matters

Another key aspect that encourages employee survey participation is the ability to remain anonymous.

If surveys are not anonymous, people won’t express their honest opinions for fear of retribution.

When surveys are made anonymous, people are more inclined to participate. Here, you are more likely to get accurate data on how employees think about the company's culture.

6. Take Action on Employee Feedback

Employees dread filling surveys because companies rarely act on the feedback they receive.

Employees regard surveys as a pointless corporate exercise that does not entail active involvement.

It is vital to convey to employees that you value their opinion to increase the survey participation rates.

This will foster a culture of trust and transparency. Thus, employees will feel empowered to express their own opinions and thoughts to others.

It is vital to interact with your people after the survey is completed.

  • Ask them if there are any ways to improve their experience and whether they faced any challenges.
  • Communicate and discuss the survey findings and also your action plan for resolving the issues with your workforce.

It will help develop trust between you and your team by displaying that you value feedback from employees.

7. Use Neutral Language

With the high emphasis on inclusivity, try to keep your language neutral.

Chapter 10: How To Respond After Getting Your Employee Engagement Survey Results?

Let’s say you have designed a survey, run a survey, and have high survey participation.

But what happens once the survey is over?

Let’s have a look.

How To Respond After Getting Your Employee Engagement Survey Results

You may be wondering what to do next now that you have successfully collected a survey.

If this sounds familiar, your survey was likely constructed without a clear measuring plan.

When creating an engagement survey, begin at the end. First, determine the impact you want the survey to make and then work backward from there.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will be held responsible for following up on the survey results?
  • Who will take action as a result of the survey results?
  • What does that look like in action?

1. Survey Analysis

So, you have got a good set of survey results in hand? Congratulations!

Now, it’s time to analyze the said survey results.

Survey analysis is perhaps one of the most critical steps of measuring employee engagement. It’s time for you to:

First, identify the strengths and weaknesses.

It means you have to identify the categories where your teams scored low and high. However, keep in mind that the strengths and weaknesses can differ from team to team. While Team A might be satisfied with the company culture, Team B won’t be.

Second, determine if the weakness is actually a weakness.

Team B having a problem with the company culture doesn’t mean that it’s essentially so.

For example, if you happen to see all teams except Team B being okay with the company culture, then the problem lies elsewhere. It calls for future analysis of Team B.

Third, determine the impact of the weakness.

Upon closer examination, the cause for Team B’s low score was a bad manager. While it might not have been an organizational concern, a whole team was suffering because of it.

This stands true for every weakness you find. You have to judge the impact of the weakness on the company.

  • Is the weakness impacting the whole company or only some employees?
  • Is the weakness big enough to need immediate action?
  • Or is it small enough to be ignored?

Fourth, don’t ignore your strengths.

As a human resources leader, don’t forget to celebrate your strengths.

Strengths are your company’s drivers of employee engagement.

You already have the data that your people like these qualities about the workplace.

Capitalize on this knowledge and make them even more awesome.

You'll be shocked how rapidly engagement can soar.

Fifth, look for patterns and trends.

Patterns and trends can reveal a lot about how your employees feel.

For example, is the engagement rate dropping during holidays? Or is there a particular demographic that doesn’t like to participate in the survey?

Analyzing trends will help you fill in your knowledge gaps and show that engagement truly is different for everyone.

2. Follow Back

Most companies don’t share the survey results with their workforce.

If you lead one of such companies, it’s high time you start doing so.

After reviewing and sharing the survey data with senior executives, share some key findings with your people too.

To effectively communicate the findings of the survey, adopt the following measures:

  • Allows senior leaders access to the survey tool. Since managers and leaders work hands-on with employees, they’ll be able to offer vital insights.
  • Hold meetings with employees after every survey analysis. Thank them for participating. Share your discoveries and ask for their opinion on what the action plan should look like. Also, communicate your accountability to solving the issues they raised.

3. Create An Action Plan

Now that you have followed up with both leaders and employees, it’s time to make a plan. Here are a few of our tips:

  • Involve leaders and team members while drafting the plan.
  • Be clear about the focus areas of improvement.
  • Create a timeline and revisit it regularly to keep track of its progress
  • Assign people to complete each milestone. Follow up regularly.
  • With the achievement of every milestone, remember to share such small wins with your people.

Chapter 11: How To Choose The Best Employee Engagement Survey Vendor?

It is critical that you choose a survey tool that is compatible with your company's culture.

You could always use trusted third-party vendors or survey tools to design the survey.

It will improve the effectiveness and reliability of running and managing the survey.

How To Choose The Best Employee Engagement Survey Vendor

1. Cost

The cost of the survey depends on its complexity, duration, and the survey vendor.

Before going for any survey, make an estimation of your budget and what’s your maximum limit. For this evaluation, it’s better to have a transparent discussion with other company leaders.

2. Customization

Customization gives you more control over how the survey is run. The survey vendor you choose should enable you to:

  • Create the surveys
  • Select the survey duration
  • Select the survey frequency
  • Choose the survey demographic
  • Manage ongoing surveys

3. Accessibility

The importance of accessibility has grown in response to the pandemic.

Given that the bulk of our workforces work remotely, your surveys must be remote-work friendly as well.

Ensure the survey vendor you chose allows employees to take the survey from a wide range of devices and platforms.

4. Analytics And Reports

A good survey vendor will help you track engagement trends, collect meaningful feedback, and, most importantly, gain valuable insights from survey data.

Here are a few extra features to look out for:

  • Graphical representation of the data. It might be through heatmaps, pie charts, or line charts. Such data categorization makes it easier for you to find the focus areas quickly.
  • Multiple and categorized survey questions. It will help you have a complete understanding of the drivers of employee engagement levels.
  • Admin dashboard. This feature acts as the all-in-one control center of the survey.
  • Benchmarking. Benchmarking helps you have a better understanding of your engagement levels as per the industry standards.

5. User Experience

A positive survey experience can motivate employees to be more forthcoming in the future. However, a negative experience may turn them off for good.

The following are some of the things that your survey vendor should be able to provide:

  • Quick and easy to take
  • Easily accessible through their device
  • Can share their comments on the survey itself
  • Anonymous surveys
  • Gets survey dropped straight to their inboxes

Chapter 12: Why Do You Need Vantage Pulse?

Vantage Pulse is a powerful pulse survey tool that enables companies to run timely and relevant employee engagement surveys.

With Vantage Pulse, you get the benefit of:

Vantage Pulse Best Employee Engagement Survey Vendor

Grasping the Pulse

With Vantage Pulse's seamless user interface, you can provide your workforce with an exceptional survey experience. It is fast, will hardly take 5 minutes to complete, and is less likely to induce survey fatigue.

pulse
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Instant Results

With Vantage Pulse, the survey data will be displayed as soon as the first survey participant completes the survey. Moreover, the participation rate will evaluate the actual survey participants vs. the people who received the survey.

Ask The Right Questions

Asking the appropriate questions is the key to having a clear picture of your employee engagement efforts. Vantage Pulse provides over 30+ categories for gathering valuable employee feedback.

3_survey-categories
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Accessibility

Vantage Pulse enables your employees to access the survey on the go from multiple platforms (iOS and Android) and devices (mobile apps and web interfaces).

Internal Benchmarking

Vantage Pulse allows you to assess average benchmark scores across your company. Measure the high and low performance of diverse teams by segmenting results. Analyze how various employees react to your engagement efforts based on their age, city, gender, and other factors.

3_survey-categories-1
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Easy Management

With Vantage Pulse, you can create, manage or modify a survey according to your needs.

employee-pulse-survey-2
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Built for Teams

Vantage Pulse is designed for both small and large businesses. It provides you with the option to get feedback specific to different teams and departments, regardless of the size of your company.

Customization

Vantage Pulse gives you the ease of customizing:

  • The survey process
  • Set the frequency of the survey
  • Set the number of questions asked
  • Decide when to run the survey

Create-Survey-Duration
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

White Label Solution

With Vantage Pulse, you have complete control over your company's survey branding. It means you can modify the appearance and feel of the interface to match your brand persona.

Advanced Analysis

Vantage Pulse allows you to analyze real-time data-backed employee metrics via segmentation, heatmaps, participation rate, and predictions.

employee-pulse-surveys_Segments
(Screenshot Source: Vantage Pulse)

Standardization

Every employee's opinion counts in a survey. Vantage Pulse gives you a standardized collection of questions designed for global workforces. It helps in setting a common benchmark which makes evaluation easier.

Chapter 13: 45 Best Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Now that we are at the end of this guide let’s look at some examples of employee engagement survey questions.

Here's a list of scale-based questions, organized by category:

Best Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Employee Engagement Index

These survey questions will help you understand how much disengaged, or engaged employees are.

  1. I feel satisfied with my job at this company.
  2. I would be happy to recommend this company to my friends and family.
  3. While coming to work, I feel motivated and happy.
  4. I feel connected to my company’s mission and values.
  5. I feel proud of my job and this company.

Communication

Good communication is integral to smooth business workflows. Here's how to learn if your company's communication measures are good enough:

  1. My peers and I connect well with each other.
  2. My manager and I have a good working relationship.
  3. While undergoing any crisis, I trust my manager to help me solve it.
  4. I find our communication tools easy and simple to use.
  5. I feel like my opinions are valued in this company.

Leadership

Are the company's leaders inspiring and empowering enough? These questions will help you uncover what your employees feel about their boss:

  1. I feel good about the leadership style of the leaders in this company?
  2. My manager makes me feel like a valued member of the team.
  3. I am treated fairly and with respect by the leadership team.
  4. The leadership team is supportive and encouraging.
  5. My manager supports me with my work and projects.

Compensation and Benefits

A great benefits package has the power to retain your best employees. Learn if yours is good enough:

  1. I am satisfied with the work-life balance in this company.
  2. For good performance, I get fairly incentivized.
  3. I would like to replace our current benefits program with new employee benefits.
  4. I am satisfied with the bonus structure of this company.
  5. I find the employee benefits offered by this company useful.

Employee Recognition

The most powerful motivator you can provide your employees is timely and frequent appreciation. These survey questions can help you determine whether your company has an appreciation-based culture:

  1. My efforts and achievements are appreciated by my peers.
  2. My efforts and achievements are appreciated by my manager.
  3. I find it easy to recognize my peers for doing a great job.
  4. Our team frequently appreciates each other’s contributions.
  5. I receive special recognition during my birthday and work anniversaries.

Workplace Wellness

Holistic wellbeing can account for better performance, happiness, and productivity. Learn if your company fosters a culture of health and wellness:

  1. My mental well-being is prioritized by this company.
  2. My physical well-being is prioritized by this company.
  3. I feel that a corporate wellness program will be beneficial to us.
  4. I would like to participate in a gamified corporate wellness contest.
  5. The corporate wellness initiatives taken by this company are satisfactory.

Personal and Career Development

To increase engagement, it is critical to promote both personal and professional goals. Learn if your employees feel happy about their career progression:

  1. My career goals consist of me working at this company in the future.
  2. Career advancement opportunities are given a priority in this company.
  3. I am happy with the training and learning opportunities with this company.
  4. My job role is satisfying and feels right.
  5. My career goals align with the company goals.

Work Environment

Does your company's work environment inspire the employees to perform their best work? Here are some survey questions to help you know:

  1. This company’s work environment is positive and inspiring.
  2. I feel psychologically safe at my workplace.
  3. There is no discrimination, racism, or bias in this company.
  4. I am given access to every tool and resource to do my job.
  5. The other employees are welcoming to new hires.

Work-life Balance

An exceptional work-life balance can differentiate a happy employee from a disengaged one.

  1. I am feeling stressed and burned out.
  2. Overtimes are common occurrences for me.
  3. I feel more stressed about work on holidays.
  4. I am happy with the leave policy.
  5. My work extends beyond the work hours.

Conclusion

Employee engagement surveys are a powerful tool if used correctly.

With this guide, you have a clue of where to start and how to proceed.

But suppose you are concerned about the technicalities of running an engagement survey. In that case, you can book a free demo with us.

This article is written by Barasha Medhi who is a part of the marketing team at Vantage Circle. Barasha can be found either searching for interesting HR buzzwords to write about or looking at pictures of cozy Bel Air mansions. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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