In 2021, an average of 3.95 million Americans left their jobs each month. The so-called Great Resignation continues, as more and more employees are leaving unhappy work environments in search of something better. As a result, employers are scrambling and asking a lot of questions: How can we maintain a competitive compensation package without breaking the budget? What can we do to hold on to our talent? What needs to change to keep our employees happy, meet the needs of a changing workforce and continue to attract new talent? The best way to find the answers is to ask your current employees.
No one knows what your employees want more than your employees. Allow them to tell you. Employee surveys can be an instrumental tool in driving company initiatives or digging into problems or concerns. A survey allows you to get feedback from your employees on various topics, such as what to prioritize in the next year and what they perceive as your organization’s weaknesses. Soliciting direct employee feedback can also play into wider support of resulting initiatives. People are generally happier at a workplace that listens to them and takes their concerns seriously.
Benefits of an employee engagement survey
While focus groups and one-on-one meetings are an excellent format for sourcing employee feedback, the time, effort and facilitation skills required do not always make them a feasible option. A survey offers an effective alternative to reaching more employees promptly.
Companies often utilize surveys and focus groups together. Surveys allow you to throw out a broad net to narrow in on the most prevalent concerns. Then, focus groups can generate more detailed information around those concerns, which can be used to design more effective solutions.
Additionally, surveys also produce data. Quantitative data can be more useful to summarize, understand and communicate. When you hear complaints through the grapevine, it can be difficult to understand the pervasiveness of the issue. Having the data helps employers understand how much of a problem these complaints really are.
Lastly, and most importantly, surveys help foster employee buy-in. The employees may be more onboard with initiatives that result from a survey because they feel they had a say in their workplace experience.
Why use a third-party solution for employee surveys
Custom solution: Surveys aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Each workforce has different shared experiences, desires and general make-up, and a survey should reflect that. An outside survey provider will work with you to understand your history, your team’s experiences and previous employee survey initiatives.
Technical expertise: While you know what you want to learn from your employees, it can be difficult to know the right way to ask it. A team trained in survey development will help you identify important survey themes and develop the questions with correct wording and formatting to get the answers you need.
Confidentiality: Employers often seek out survey services because they want honest feedback from their employees. It’s not uncommon for employees to express concerns about retaliation if they provide honest critical feedback to their employers. Having a separate organization collect and analyze the data gives employees confidence that their comments will remain confidential, and gives employers more trust in the validity of the survey results.
Save time and resources: Many organizations are currently understaffed, and employees must wear multiple hats to keep operations running smoothly. There’s just not enough time to put together and distribute a survey, collect and analyze the results, and build initiatives to drive employee retention, motivation and morale. Don’t put that on next year’s to-do list. An experienced outside organization can remove that burden and keep your strategic initiatives moving.
Accountability: Employees often feel surveys are pointless because nothing comes out of them. Companies will often survey their employees and then fail to communicate results or discuss how they will address concerns. Or, they do all the right things but don’t connect the initiatives back to the survey results. Be sure to find a provider who can help you develop a plan to communicate survey results and take action to address employee concerns.
Broader perspective: An experienced survey administrator can compare your situation to other employers with similar pain points. They can offer insights into how similar organizations have addressed these issues and give you a better idea of how to get started.
A customized survey offers many benefits to your organization. RKL’s Human Capital Management team is experienced in all aspects of survey creation and distribution. Contact your RKL advisor or use the form below to start the conversation.