Employees are the most valuable assets among other stakeholders involved in a business. They ensure day-to-day operations and contribute to overall success.
Unfortunately, a 2019 survey revealed that almost half of the employees are dissatisfied with their work. Low salary, stressful workload, team conflict, and poor management usually trigger job dissatisfaction. It can lead to poor performance, decreased productivity, and even employee turnover.
It’s crucial to set up an employee development program in your company. The goal is to ensure job satisfaction, increased productivity, employee engagement, and high retention.
But how do you gauge if you have happy and contented employees? That’s where surveys enter the picture.
In this Process Street article, we’ll share what employee survey management entails. Find out what the favorite survey questions of business experts are.
- What to know about employee survey management
- 10 favorite employee survey questions from business experts
- The pros and cons of employee surveys
- What do employee surveys mean to employees?
- Employee surveys: From managing people to making employees stay
What to know about employee survey management
Before we delve into favorite employee survey questions shared by business experts, let’s first understand employee survey management.
What is an employee survey?
An employee survey is a questionnaire used to gain insights into the employees’ perceptions about the company, jobs, people, and workplace.
This survey evaluates employee morale, engagement level, workplace achievements, and aspirations. It helps leaders and managers improve employee interaction, business processes, work environment, and the company. It also makes employees feel heard, empowered and valued.
Types of employee surveys
Employee surveys vary from one type to another. The basic types are:
- Employee opinion survey: Evaluates employee perceptions and attitudes towards the organization. Employee opinions matter as they reveal whether or not they are satisfied at work.
- Employee engagement survey: Measures employees’ participation, commitment, and motivation toward their work and the organization. Employees participate in the activities and endeavors of a robust company.
- Employee culture survey: Measures employees’ perceptions of the organization and sees if these views align with the workplace culture. Their sense of belongingness will make them either stay or leave a company.
Understanding employee survey management
Employee survey management is a business practice that involves planning, conducting, and evaluating employee surveys.
Some crucial factors to consider when planning and conducting employee surveys are:
- Resources needed for the survey;
- Frequency of employee surveys;
- Proper timing of the employee survey;
- The right survey questions to ask;
- Evaluation of employee feedback;
- Actions to take in response to employee feedback.
10 favorite employee survey questions from business experts
The most important aspect of an employee survey is its content. The written questions are crucial in deciphering the employees’ thoughts and feelings towards their jobs, colleagues, management, workplace, and business.
In addition, the survey answers are vital in improving business processes, boosting workplace relationships, and providing needed resources.
Now let’s look at ten employee survey questions shared by some business experts.
1. “Do you see yourself working in the company for a year?”
Happy and satisfied employees equate to loyal employees. They will most likely stay in your company for good. But if they are unhappy and dissatisfied, they might eventually quit.
Even if employees are content, they might potentially set career goals outside your company. The last thing you want to happen is to see your performers leave due to greener pastures.
Tim White (Founder of MilePro) said that asking the question above reveals who will most likely stay or resign.
“To avoid possible quitters, employee surveys will help you plan on how to meet your employee needs. By doing so, you can find ways to make them stay in your company.”– Tim White, Founder of MilePro
2. “What makes you stay in this company?”
This question unfolds who will most likely stay or leave the company. It offers insights into the workplace culture, management, team members, and the business. The employees will reveal what they think about the different aspects of your business.
“Even if employees are no longer happy, this question will force them to see the bright side. Chances are, employees focus more on the lack of things. They fail to see the other side of the coin — what the company has been giving them all these years.”– Grey Idol, Director of Marketing of altLINE Sobanco
3. “What do you like and dislike about your job or role?”
The specific jobs or roles play a crucial role in employee retention. After all, these are what they do almost every day.
Some common complaints include heavy workloads, stress, and burnout. But on the other hand, some employees love their jobs, enjoy their passion, and have a sense of fulfillment.
The question above reveals whether employees are fit for their jobs or roles.
“It will let you see how you can help your employees manage their workload. This way, you can streamline the workflows and improve business processes.”– Brian Dechesare, Founder & CEO of BIWS
4. “Are you happy with your offer (salary and benefits)?”
Did you know that many employees leave because they are not well-compensated? More than 70 percent of U.S. employees looked for new employment in 2018 because of low wages and job dissatisfaction.
The question above unravels those satisfied and dissatisfied with their salary and benefits.
Ouriel Lemmel (CEO & Founder of WinIT) suggested you consult with the HR team to see if they can make the necessary adjustments to employee salaries. If the company offers yearly appraisal, your management can perform the needful.
“Be sure to record, track, and evaluate employee performances. When the right time comes, ensure employees get what they deserve.”– Ouriel Lemmel, CEO & Founder of WinIT
5. “What can you say about your working relationships with your colleagues?”
Employee relationships are essential to the workplace culture and the business in general. Every employee must work hand in hand towards achieving a common goal. Constant communication and collaboration can ensure overall success.
The question above is crucial in assessing employee relationships.
“A team conflict is the last thing you want to have in a business. They lose the employees’ focus on their personal career goals and business objectives. Also, they make the workplace an undesirable environment to work in.
As much as possible, make sure to resolve conflicts, promote harmonious relationships, and make your employees a happy camper in the workplace.”– Max Wesman, COO of GoodHire
6. “Do you get the help you need from the support and management team?”
The management does more than manage teams and their members. The support team is responsible for supporting employees’ career goals and aspirations.
In addition, the team ensures employee motivation and encourages employee engagement. Plus, it offers an internal mobility program, where employees can hone their skills, gain more experience, and advance their careers.
The question above helps you gauge if the employees get the support, motivation, and help they need from the management.
Shawn Plummer (CEO of The Annuity Expert) suggested that you sit down with the management team and see how you can further boost your employee development program.
7. “How do you define and describe the work culture in the company?”
Workplace culture consists of a set of values, norms, and goals. It’s integral in keeping employees and making them stay in the company.
The question above helps you see if the employees’ views align with the work culture. They probably have different perceptions, making them feel they don’t belong. If not, they are most likely happy and content
There’s more to work culture than meets the eye.
“It goes beyond what’s written in the handbook. It encompasses employee relationships, business practices, and company vision. It refers to everything that happens, day in and day out, that will make employees leave or stay.”– Mark Pierce, CEO of Cloud Peak Law Group
8. “Is your voice heard, and do you feel empowered?”
The employee survey allows employee voices to be heard. But while feedback empowers employees, it also serves as a guiding light for the management.
Leaders and managers can make sound business decisions out of this feedback.
“Employees’ voices must get heard. If you listen to their voices, they feel empowered. If they feel empowered, they will do more and give their best in the workplace.”– Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity
9. “What areas of opportunities can you identify and hope to address in the company?”
It’s crucial to have employees identify problems in the workplace.
They probably have issues with their salary and benefits, the support and management team, and their team and colleagues. It’s better not to turn a blind eye to these problems and face them, no matter how heavy they may be.
Mark Daoust (CEO of Quiet Light) said that it’s best to ask for employees’ suggestions on how you can improve the workplace.
“You can collate all these suggestions and present them to the management team. You can then decide what to implement and how you can improve the company in general. In the end, the employee surveys will make sense for the whole business.”– Mark Daoust, CEO of Quiet Light
10. “Are you going to stay or leave?”
It’s best to throw in a straightforward question. Ask employees if they have plans of leaving or staying in the company.
On the employees’ part, this question will help them ponder the value of their work and the company. It will help them decide to stay or leave.
David Aylor (Founder & CEO of David Aylor) believes that the crucial question helps prepare for the possibility of some employees leaving.
“While at it, you can still do something to retain employees and win them back. If not, you know what to expect and can make sound business decisions.”– David Aylor, Founder & CEO of David Aylor
The pros and cons of employee surveys
Employee surveys come with a handful of benefits. But if implemented uncarefully, it can lead to some potential drawbacks.
That’s why employee survey management is essential.
Potential benefits of employee surveys
Let’s look at some facts and figures showing how employee surveys can be beneficial to your business:
- High retention, less turnover 📈: Key factors preventing employee turnover are career opportunities (18%), work-life balance (10.5%), job satisfaction (10%), management support (7.8%), ideal working environment (7.7%), and company rewards (7%). Employee surveys are viable solutions to measure these factors. They allow you to make sound business decisions to make your employees stay.
- Higher engagement and increased profits 💰: Employee surveys can lead to a boost in employee morale. They are most likely to engage more in the workplace. Gallup reported that high engagements among team members boost profits by up to 21%.
- Workplace empowerment and increased productivity 🤝: Employees with heard and acknowledged voices feel 4.6 times more empowered. When they have workplace empowerment, they will most likely do their best. That can translate into a boost in business productivity.
- Quality outputs and business success 🌱: Regular check-ins, peer feedback, and a supportive work environment can result in quality and successful outcomes, according to 89% of HR leaders. Hence, employee surveys can be instrumental to your overall business success.
Possible drawbacks of employee surveys
In a recent report conducted by Officevive, 25% of managers think employee surveys are useless tick-box exercises. The same proves correct for employees, where the average response rate to surveys is only 30%.
Let’s look at some potential drawbacks of employee surveys:
- No employee survey plan ❌: About 29% of employees claim that employee surveys are pointless, and even managers think so too. That’s why there are 20% abandonment rates for surveys taking only 7-8 minutes. Hence, a poorly strategized employee survey ends up a waste of time, money, and effort.
- Wrong timing ⏰: Conducting employee surveys at the wrong time can compromise your employees’ day-to-day functions and disrupt the business. Set a regular employee survey at a particular time of the year. If not, inform your employees ahead of time and include the surveys in their work schedule.
- Inappropriate survey questions 📝: Asking the wrong questions in employee surveys will defeat their purpose in the first place. You won’t be able to elicit authentic customer feedback that can help your organization. Surveys posed with the wrong questions will be a waste of time, money, and effort.
- No action and resolutions 💤: Conducting surveys can result in high employee expectations. Unfortunately, 52% of managers said they reviewed survey results and took no action. If the management makes no resolutions to meet expectations, employees will be disappointed. It can lead to lost trust and increased turnover.
Hence, employee survey management is very crucial. Managers and leaders must sit down and carefully plan this. Most importantly, they must take actionable steps to address identified problems after conducting surveys.
What do employee surveys mean to employees?
Generally, employee surveys help the management get employee feedback. They reveal the workforce’s thoughts and feelings about the job, workplace, management, and entire organization.
Leaders and managers can make sound business decisions and take proper action to improve their employees’ plight.
But on the other side of the spectrum, what do employee surveys mean to employees?
For employees, these surveys allow their voices to get heard. When heard, these employees feel acknowledged and empowered. When they see action taken and resolutions made in response to their feedback, they will all the more feel valued.
Employees who feel valued and empowered will most likely stay in their company. Not only will they choose to stay, but they will also perform better. Ultimately, they will help contribute to your overall business success.
Employee surveys: From managing people to making employees stay
An employee survey is crucial to the overall success of an organization. However, it requires critical management through careful planning and proper execution.
On top of this, you must ask the right questions in your employee surveys. Consider the favorite ones shared by business experts outlined above. Most importantly, value your employees’ feedback and find ways to improve their situations.
Employee surveys can lead to employee empowerment and business success when you conduct them properly and take action to address some problems. Ultimately, it will be a win-win for both the employer and its employees!
Do you conduct employee surveys at your organization? And what did you think of the business experts’ favorite survey questions? Let us know in the comments below! 👇
Erika Rykun is an independent content creator and a career and productivity copywriter who believes in the power of networking. She enjoys reading books and playing with her cat Cola in her free time.
I love the idea of employee surveys, but we have a very small team – 3 leadership team members plus 2 employees. How do you handle sending a survey to such a small group? I want to encourage open and honest feedback, but not put anyone on the spot.