Best Practices for your Employee Engagement Surveys

Catherine Maheux-Rochette
March 25 2021

With new generations shaking up the world of work as we know it and the generalized shortage of manpower in Canada, any organization that wishes to stand out and position itself as an employer of choice must listen to current employees.

Employee satisfaction surveys are a valuable tool for establishing conversations with employees, and key drivers of engagement and retention. By helping employers gather valuable information to assist them in reaching  company goals, they are true catalysts for change. Today, workplace surveys are not only beneficial, they are essential. Now, how do you use employee surveys to get representative results of employee engagement levels?

Here are the top 10 best practices for a successful implementation of a work climate survey in your organization!

1. Consider your motivations

The first step—and one of the most important—is to question your motives. Why do you want to survey your employees? Are there specific issues you want to address? Do you simply want to take the pulse of your organization? In all cases, it is important to have the commitment of management before undertaking your steps and make sure that they clearly understand the main objective of the survey.

Defining a goal is crucial to guide you in your efforts and to help you choose the right type of workplace assessment questionnaire in order to obtain results that will have real added value for your organization.

2. Have a plan!

When it comes to conducting an engagement survey in a company, the importance of timing is often overlooked, but Marie-Josée insists on reminding us that it is crucial to take into account what is happening in the organization and to act at the right time. For example, if several employees are working on a large project that has a significant impact on the organization, it may not be the right time. The results of a survey often imply changes, and therefore good change management, so it is important to ensure that the necessary resources are available.

3. Communicate and be transparent

A good communication strategy (before, during and after the survey) is also essential. It is important to involve your employees in your process and to communicate clearly the reasons why you are surveying them. Is it because you are thinking of expanding your office, or because you feel there is tension in the team? When in doubt, always be transparent!

4. Ask questions that are relevant, easy to understand and unbiased

Employee engagement survey questions must all be very clear, concise and completely objective. Including questions that are not impartial in the survey will bias the survey and you will get unrepresentative results. For example, it is not recommended that you ask employees if they would like the company to pay for all of their group insurance, as it is obvious that almost everyone would say yes. If you want to survey your employees on this subject, to do so objectively, you could ask them the following question: Are you satisfied with your employer’s contribution to your group insurance plan?

5. Keep it anonymous at all stages

Anonymity is an essential criterion for the success of your engagement questionnaire and it is important to mention it to employees. Indeed, the fear of being identified could discourage some individuals from answering the survey truthfully. It is also essential that all questions be composed in a way that does not compromise the confidentiality of the results. Here are some examples of questions that would not be appropriate for your employee satisfaction survey:

  • What department do you work in?
  • When were you hired?
  • Who is your supervisor?

6. Limit the length of your survey

Your employees are probably very busy and if you want to keep their attention, your questionnaire should be completed in 15 minutes or less. Also pay attention to the length of the questions individually: it is best to keep them short and concise.

7. Assess the results and analyze your work environment

Once you have collected your employees’ responses and compiled the results, your work is far from over. Interpreting the results is—another one!—of the most important steps. You must take the time to analyze and assimilate the responses in order to understand the dynamics of your organizational climate and to identify the major trends before moving on to develop your action plan. It is also recommended that you consult the studies available online to compare your results with those of other companies in your industry.

You may also want to use a third-party organization. Indeed, you have everything to gain by entrusting this task to experts: you will get advice based on unbiased points of view that will not be tainted by your company’s reality and you will have access to efficient employee survey platforms.

8. Share the results with the organization

Once you have analyzed and interpreted the results and ensured that the information is constructive, just as you have been transparent in communicating your motivations for surveying employees, you must be transparent in sharing the results with the entire organization (managers and employees). Bring your teams together and present the results to them to engage them in discussion, which may give you some ideas for your intervention.

9. Be prepared and make the right choices

A good intervention plan following a workplace survey takes into account the following elements:

  • Your company culture
  • Your mission and organizational values
  • Your employees

In fact, it is essential that your intervention be aligned with your company’s culture to ensure better ownership of the ensuing change by employees.

Here’s a concrete example: The results of your organizational climate diagnosis show that the members of your sales team are demotivated and you’re thinking about solutions to remedy the situation. Knowing that collaboration and teamwork are an integral part of your corporate culture and that you value these values, do you think that offering large bonuses on individual sales would be an appropriate intervention?

At the same time, if you value authenticity and open communication on a daily basis, it would be natural to ask for and provide detailed feedback to employees throughout the implementation of the action plan.

10. Take meaningful action to improve employee experience and workplace culture!

If you made the decision to survey your employees, it was probably to gather actionable insights that could help you make decisions that are relevant to their needs and expectations. That’s why it’s important to develop an action plan that takes into account your employee feedback. They must feel that their participation has been useful. You need to ensure that employee engagement survey results you get from the survey responses are translated into positive, incremental changes. Implementing small, simple and quick data-driven actions to start will help you gain the trust of your employees.

It is also important to evaluate the impact of your interventions on your work climate throughout the entire process. If they are not effective, you may need to review your action plan.

Would you like to be accompanied by an expert to implement effective employee engagement surveys in your organization?

Discover how employee engagement surveys can be drivers of employee engagement!


Related articles

How to Convince Your Boss You Need an HRIS

It’s not always easy to convince your management to invest in HR technology to achieve your business goals…

Read more
How an HR Software Helped an SMB Save $175,000 in One Year

We often hear about HR technologies and the value they bring to the organizations that use them, but what about the facts? This case study, conducted by an external human resources consultant, highlights the various positive impacts…

Read more
5 Termination Letter Templates (+ Tips to Handle Dismissals)

Sooner or later, you are going to face situations of employment termination in your company. While they are never enjoyable, you need to face them head-on and be able to communicate effectively throughout the process…

Read more
30+ Employee Retention Statistics You Need to Know

Considering the costs of recruiting and onboarding processes and the loss of skills and expertise associated with high turnover rates, it is crucial to focus on engagement strategies – and on key statistics that showcase the state of retention in companies. Here is everything you need to know about employee retention, and tips to increase retention rates in your organization.

Read more
What’s an HRIS: Definition and Top Features
In recent years, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) have been at the forefront of HR discussions and are taking on an increasingly important role in companies’ human resources management. But more concretely, what is an HRIS software solution? What are its key features, and above all, how can it help you reach your organizational goals?
Read more
Human Resources Today