Human resource surveys can be valuable any time, but they are especially worthwhile when:
- A business is growing rapidly and job responsibilities are frequently changing.
- A business is experiencing a high employee turnover rate, which may be a sign of employee dissatisfaction.
- A business is plagued by excessive rumors, which may signal a lack of trust among employees or poor communications from management.
- A business is planning a major reorganization or other change that may create anxiety among employees.
Here are 5 tips to help you make the most of employee surveys.
- Incorporate surveys into your planning cycle
You can learn a lot from employee surveys, but you need to make sure the information is available when you need it. For example, if you make budget decisions in April, you might want to conduct a survey in January so that you will have time to analyze the results before you make decisions on how to allocate resources. In scheduling surveys, work backwards from the time when you will need to use the results.
- Use existing templates to develop survey questions
Developing survey questions does not need to be a difficult or time-consuming task. You can use Mineful's Employee Satisfaction Survey Templates to sample questions on common employee concerns, including such things as:
- Health benefits
- Having adequate resources to work efficiently
- Retirement benefits
- Opportunities for professional growth
- Communication with management
It’s easy to customize these questions to meet your specific situation.
Employees need to feel confident that their responses to a survey will remain anonymous. If they fear their responses may be used against them, they will not respond candidly. Avoid asking too many demographic questions, such as, “How long have you been in your present position?” Employees may fear that their responses to these questions will enable you to identify them.
Online survey software offers a convenient, efficient way to conduct employee surveys. Online programs such as Mineful’s make it easy to try out questions on a representative sample group. That will enable you to fine tune your questions and determine how to analyze the data you collect. These programs also make it easy to create charts and graphs to clarify your findings.
Employees will be more willing to take part in a survey if they feel that you are prepared to act on the results. David Chaudron, an expert on human resource management, makes this point simply and clearly: “Never survey without acting”. Many businesses distribute a summary of survey results and an indication of how they plan to respond to employee concerns. Of course, sometimes you may not be able to give employees the response they were hoping for. Still it is important to let all employees know that you take their opinions seriously and that they are making an important contribution to the decision-making process.