How to Choose Meaningful Employee Engagement Survey Objectives

By Lacey Conner, SHRM-CP on Jun 17, 2021
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how to choose meaningful company survey objectives

Small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners who want to gain a deeper understanding of employee satisfaction and engagement often use employee surveys as a tool to reach this goal. While the employee satisfaction survey process can provide exceptional insight, SMBs need to have clear objectives before undertaking them. Employers will have a difficult time generating enthusiasm for the group survey if employees sense that the project lacks focus.

Common Employee Survey Objectives

Axcet HR Solutions understands that all SMBs have different outcomes in mind when initiating an employee survey. However, we have found that certain objectives appear more than others when working with clients to clarify desired outcomes. These objectives include:

  • Determine the overall level of understanding and agreement with the company’s mission and values.
  • Identify company strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Measure the overall level of employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Offer feedback to the company leadership regarding the consistency and quality of employee management.
  • Provide input to department managers and hold them accountable for results and improvement.
  • Establish future benchmarks to track company and individual employee progress.
  • Understand internal variations between departments and locations to determine best practices and opportunities to improve each one.
  • Determine training opportunities and career advancement tracks for specific groups of employees.
  • Pinpoint areas where the current organizational culture may differ from the values, vision, and mission of the company.

Assistance with implementing employee survey questions and analyzing the results is just one of the organizational development services we offer at Axcet. According to the results of a 2018 Gallup Poll, only one-third of the typical company’s employees feel engaged with their work and employer at any specific moment. No SMB can afford to have two-thirds of its workforce disengaged. The longer a sense of disengagement continues, the more likely it is for employees to become unproductive or leave the company.

Initiating an employee survey and then acting on the results sends a powerful message that the employer cares about working conditions. With these outcomes in mind, how do smaller employers go about setting objectives for the next employee survey?

employee engagement and your business' success

Questions to Help Facilitate Objectives of Employee Engagement Survey

Axcet HR Solutions is available to develop unbiased employee survey questions based on client input. We recommend that HR meet with senior leadership to discuss what each person would like to see as the outcome of an employee climate survey. We also recognize that clarifying survey objectives upfront is no easy task. However, reflecting on the questions below can help to define reasons for undertaking an employee survey in the first place.

  • What is leadership hoping to learn from the surveys? What problems do they hope to solve?
  • What have company leadership or department managers already done to explore and resolve these issues?
  • Do the team members involved in planning the employee survey agree on which areas to explore? If not, how can they compromise and still identify clear objectives?
  • Will every employee in the company receive the research study or only those in certain positions?
  • What process will the company use to build awareness of the importance of completing the employee survey? How will leadership analyze results, implement changes, and achieve employee buy-in for those changes?
  • How will company leadership monitor the results of action planning after the employee survey results come in?
  • What ultimately defines a successful employee survey?

Related Reading: To Make Employees Feel Engaged, Benefits Matter >>

Best Practices for Implementing an Employee Survey

The first thing any small or mid-sized business needs to decide before putting out an employee survey is who should participate in it. From our experience, it is ideal to gather opinions from everyone in the company. Some possible exceptions to this are independent contractors and those who have just started their employment.

The next part of the process involves determining the right questions to include, which can be overwhelming when SMBs do not have the time or resources to dedicate to the task. Forming a co-employment relationship with Axcet HR Solutions means that employers do not have to face this burden alone. We have more than 30 years of experience with all aspects of employee survey management. Typically, employee survey questions center around the following:

  • Feelings, thoughts, and opinions about the overall work environment
  • Attitudes towards company mission and values
  • Attitudes towards corporate policies
  • Evaluation of senior management and direct supervisors
  • Opinions regarding recent company developments

Another benefit of partnering with Axcet for organizational development services like employee surveys is that we safeguard employee confidentiality when collecting and analyzing the results. The ability of employees to keep their identities confidential is critical in obtaining meaningful survey results. Employees are less willing to be truthful if they are concerned someone will recognize their handwriting or specific answers.

Related Reading: How to Engage Remote Workers >>

Reward Employees for Survey Participation with Immediate Follow-Up

Asking employees for their honest feedback during a survey and then doing nothing with the results will only cause further disengagement. Axcet HR Solutions works with clients to promptly identify the top three to five concerns that appeared most often on individual responses.

After identifying leading employee concerns, we shift to creating realistic and measurable solutions for clients. We remain available to clients as they continue to monitor the success of these changes and suggest improvements where appropriate.

Request a Consultation with Axcet HR Solutions Today

Axcet is a professional employer organization (PEO) based in Kansas City since 1988. We offer a full suite of human resources administrative support services to companies with fewer than 250 employees. Please request a consultation to learn about survey management and our many other service offerings.

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