5 minute readPublished on June 20, 2019
Dominika Cechova

Dominika Cechova

Marketing Associate

Best Practices in Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys remain one of the most effective ways to measure company engagement. What are the best practices to make most of them?

Talent retention becomes increasingly more difficult. Employee turnover rates are growing. Sounds familiar? The ever-changing society we live in brings new challenges every day. While employees need to be able to develop new skills and be autonomous workers, employers need to develop successful strategies to engage and satisfy the needs of their employees in order to retain the best talent.

Yet many companies continue to fail to do so. So what is the key? The answer might not surprise you; measure engagement.

Technological development provides new ways of collecting and measuring data such as nifty AI algorithms that facilitate big data to measure employee engagement through email response times and network connections across organizations, although as previously highlighted by the Harvard Business Review, there are multiple reasons why employee engagement surveys remain one of the most effective ways to measure and keep your talent engaged.

What is the purpose of employee engagement surveys?

  • Track engagement levels and drivers of engagement
  • Track whether your current strategy is working
  • Show that employee feedback matters to your organization

You should also evaluate what the objective is of the survey you are conducting. As discussed by digital HR tech it is important to determine what exactly you want to measure. Is it the happiness of your workforce? Their engagement? How empowered they feel, or how likely are they recommend your organization? The survey should be always aligned with the business outcomes you want to accomplish and so should the engagement metrics you focus on.

We'll pinpoint the best practices in employee surveys to enable you to make the most of your efforts and bring value to your company.

What are the best practices in employee engagement surveys?

1. Short surveys work better

The length of your survey can significantly affect the employee response rates. You should always remember that answering the survey is extra work for an employee, so respect their time and keep the survey concise and to the point. Aim to design a survey that takes 5-10 minutes to complete in order to maximise your response rates.

2. Avoid technical jargon

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the entire company is not familiar with HR jargon. You should avoid using technical terms in your surveys and use inclusive language everyone can easily understand. By doing so you will not only improve the survey results but also the experience of your employees; no one likes to be asked questions they do not understand.

3. Start and end with easy questions

Asking the easy questions first will make your employees more likely to fill out the survey. You want to make it feel like an easy job to them. Similarly, finishing with easy questions allows your respondents to ease out of the survey and remember it as a pleasant experience. You want to make them feel valued and appreciated by filling in the survey.

4. Aim each question at one topic only

Keeping the questions focused on one topic each will make the data analysis easier. It will also provide clearer results to you, which will make the strategy planning easier for you. Creating complex questions focused on the big picture might be tempting but what insights are you really going to gain?

5. Avoid open-ended questions

Unless you have a solid reason to ask open-ended questions avoid them. Especially if you are working for a large organization analyzing a high number of open ended questions in going to make your life so much more difficult. It is also going to make the quality of the survey data poor as it is likely to be inconsistent and wordy. If you really want to ask open-ended questions; limit it to one focused on your employees’ suggestions. That way, you separate the vital quantitative data and the ‘cherry on the top’ extra insights from your employees, which you can separate out in your analysis. Asking for suggestions will also show that you are interested in your employees’ opinions which has proved to have a positive impact on employee experience itself.

6. Remember the importance of design

User-centered design is essential for the success of an engagement survey. People do not usually fill out surveys because they love it, they are doing you a favour and thus you should make it as easy for them as possible. If the design of the survey is confusing and unclear no one will bother to fill it out.

7. Do not forget rewards and recognition

Lastly, ensure you thank your respondents for their time and effort they put into filling out the survey.

Employee engagement best practices

To sum up, employee engagement matters, and it should matter to you. If you are still unsure how to create your first employee engagement survey read our guide to employee engagement surveys and make your company a great place to work.