Creating an Employee Engagement Survey for Your Deskless Workers
Getting employee feedback can be overwhelming. You might have inherited a system that you know is inefficient or a fledgling program that you created for your organization. Both paths are hard to divert from, but we can help you enhance your process and bring best practices to your company. We’ll cover a few of the basics in this blog, but we recommend reading our ebook on creating an employee engagement survey: Guide to Measurement and Analytics for the Internal Comms Professional.
Why Employee Engagement Surveys are Important
For starters, we think it’s important to talk about why you should be regularly surveying your employees. A recent Qualtrics survey found that 77% of employees want to be given the opportunity to provide their feedback more than one time per year. So, the annual, giant employee engagement survey is a broken system. You need to touch base more often. This doesn’t mean you should get rid of that one annual survey. Instead, add in additional pulse surveys that measure engagement and employee needs year round.
And changing your survey tactics will benefit you too. So often, we conduct these massive surveys and uncover trends in our employee population that we didn’t realize—but you can’t respond in real-time. Even if you make big changes every year as a result of your survey findings, your people will still feel like you aren’t responsive enough, like their needs and challenges can wait.
So, lesson number one is to engrain surveying into your communication strategy all year long.
Why Some Surveys Fail
There is also this notion out there of survey fatigue. But this concept isn’t always well understood. Given that employees actually want to have the chance to provide regular feedback, survey fatigue isn’t getting tired of taking surveys. Survey fatigue is when employees are repeatedly asked for feedback, and then that feedback is never acted on or acknowledged.
There are a number of reasons why we sometimes drop the ball on following up after a survey:
- We haven’t planned adequately for follow up. Internal communication professionals are busy. And surveying often takes the back seat to the many things we have to communicate on a daily basis.
- We don’t have buy-in from our senior leaders. Surveying really is a team sport. To come back to your employees with a plan of action, you’ll need your senior leaders to commit to addressing what comes out of the survey.
- We get blindsided by the responses. Especially, if you survey rarely or don’t currently have a focus group, you might be less in touch with the needs of your deskless workers than you realized. A great tip here is to hypothesize what you think you might learn and plan for it. If you have no idea what your teams might say, go through an exercise of asking what the best case scenario is, the worst case, and the most likely. And then plan from there with your leadership team.
How to Make Sure Your Employee Engagement Survey Succeeds
Before you even start working on survey questions, there are four things you need to do first.
- Look at what you already know about employee engagement and the employee experience. This existing data and insight will help you craft your questions.
- Make some educated hypotheses about what you might uncover. And we recommend not doing this in a vacuum. Let your senior leadership team know about what you think is the most likely outcome of the survey.
- Pledge to report your results back with your employees. Again, make sure your leadership team is part of the process so it’s not a shock later when you ask them to commit to a go-forward plan.
- Get organized. Like any comms campaign, be sure to assign responsibilities, meet regularly with the stakeholders, and keep everyone track.
Once you’ve done these four things, you’re ready to start writing your survey questions.