Why Do an Employee Survey?

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Employee surveys rate employee satisfaction on different levels.
Employee surveys rate employee satisfaction on different levels. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Employee surveys open the lines of communication with employees and offer an effective way for them to provide honest feedback. Because employee satisfaction is key to company growth, it’s important for employees to provide honest answers to survey questions.

What is an Employee Survey?

An employee survey should be short and focused, follow a logical order and contain closed-ended questions -- a yes or no response -- whenever possible. Survey questions should be simple and follow the same rating scale throughout. Ideally, workplace surveys should be given only when employees have sufficient time to provide honest and complete answers. Employees are more likely to respond to surveys when provided on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Offering an incentive may increase response rates if surveys are given outside of these times, however.

Considerations

Surveying employees gauges attitudes at the office, reveals employees’ expectations and answers the question “How is management performing?” The anonymity of workplace surveys encourages honesty and fosters confidence, which is key for employees afraid of reprisals for negative feedback.

Benefits of Completing an Employee Survey

Employees that complete workplace surveys provide employers with important insight into company culture. Rather than ruminate about how an office runs, employees can help create lasting changes. For example, employees may offer feedback on company policies, make requests for vending machines or express a desire for vegetarian selections in an office cafeteria. Employees benefit from improvements in company culture and solutions to workplace conflicts.

The Objective of Employee Surveys

Employee surveys seek to identify problems and find opportunities for improvement. Using survey results, employers can determine trends in the workforce or their industry, and screen possible solutions to problems such as employee dissatisfaction, low company morale and high turnover rates. Spending time identifying what employees want may give a leg up in limiting future conflicts.

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