Key elements of a successful employee survey include:
- High survey participation rate
- Culture of trust that encourages candid feedback
- Positive employee perception of survey
Employee participation rate is influenced by several factors:
- Proper communication from senior leadership convincing them that the survey is important
- Proper communication of the purpose behind the survey, making employees stakeholders in the survey
- Convincing employees of privacy and absence of any negative implications to employee’s candid feedback
- Providing employees the necessary time from their jobs and a convenient way to complete the survey
Will your employees share their thoughts with you without fear of retribution if they complained? Do they trust you to be good custodians of their feedback? It is clear that if employees do not sufficiently trust the organization’s leadership, the usefulness of an employee survey is limited. Trust cannot be built overnight. You may alleviate some concerns by making survey responses anonymous. Due to only a handful yet prominent negative headlines, online surveys are considered less anonymous than paper surveys. Employees may suspect you will be able to track their IP addresses and link individual survey responses to individual employees. As uncomfortable and inconvenient it may be to you, it helps to start with respect for such fears. Invest in educating employees about how the data is collected and stored. Zarca Interactive designed a special feature called anonymous online surveys. Once survey data has been received, management must ensure that no employee is ever singled out or identified for their feedback. Over time a culture of trust will emerge which will improve the quality of the feedback as well as contribute positively to employee morale.
Your job is not over when survey data has been collected. Employees expect that survey findings will be discussed with them. They may even expect that the findings will directly influence future plans and strategies of the organization. It is imperative that you share such findings and set clear expectations on what changes will be made and in what time frame.