The Value of Employee Surveys

Employee surveys are an incredibly useful tool for both employers and employees.
From an internal point of view, employee survey information can be the key starting point for any annual recruitment strategy, as they allow you to identify:

  • Your business’ USPs from an employee perspective.
  • What is valued the most by your employees and why they stay with you.
  • Areas of your business which need additional focus and where improvements could be made.
  • Incorporating this information directly from your employees into your recruitment strategy is key to ensure you position and describe your company in most effective way possible to attract and appeal to your target candidates and potential employees.

If you conduct an employee survey, as well as using the information to develop your branding and position of your company, talking about the fact you listen to your employees through a survey is a great tool in your recruitment strategy.

The following ideas will help you showcase your culture to potential employees:

  • The fact you host an annual or biannual employee survey is something worth talking about. It will demonstrate to prospective hires that you listen to your employees and that they will have a voice in your company.
  • When you’re conducting your survey- shout about it, social media could be a great way to do this. Areas of the survey you have scored highly in give you something to showcase to your prospective candidates.
  • The results: When the results of the survey are released (hopefully showing some great statistics) shout about it even more! Make sure you use your careers page and social media to spread the message and maximise its reach to potential candidates.

Stories to tell: There will be some areas of the survey you scored low in, don’t hide these away. If you have examples of how you acted upon a low score, use this as it gives you a great story to tell about listening to your employee voice.    For example, you could explain to prospective hires that your survey revealed a low score for upwards communication from employees to management. You acted upon it and have now introduced a number of tools to encourage upwards communication.

If you can demonstrate that you have turned a negative into a positive, include these examples in your interviews with candidates, real-life stories of listening to employees will be so valuable. Being able to demonstrate real employee engagement will be a useful tool in your talent attraction strategy. An employee survey is a great way to achieve this and can provide those all-important examples of how employee engagement has shaped your business.

Employee engagement isn’t about showering your employees with benefits and rewards, it’s about appealing to their deep-seated drivers and motivators, in order to draw out true engagement. This, in turn, will enhance work, culture and profit.

“Employee engagement can be defined as:”Employee engagement isn’t about showering your employees with benefits and rewards, it’s about appealing to their deep-seated drivers and motivators, in order to draw out true engagement. This, in turn, will enhance work, culture and profit.”

Even if you feel your company has excellent lines of honest communication, an employee survey is still incredibly useful in ensuring you are gathering regular anonymous feedback. In turn this information can be used to strengthen your employer brand and talent attraction activities.

According to Emplify, companies with higher levels of engaged employees:

  • Report 2.5x more revenue than competitors with low employee engagement
  • Create higher shareholder values
  • Outperform those without by 202%
  • So you have gathered your responses from your survey. What next?

This is arguably the most important part of the survey. What do you actually do with the information? How do you use it? How do you communicate the outcomes?

According to Officevibe, a leading employee engagement software company, employees reported the following.

  • 20% said their manager never followed up on their concerns
  • 27% of managers never reviewed survey results at all
  • 52% of managers reviewed survey results but took no action

Do not fall into this trap!

If you have taken the time to ask your employees for their views and opinions, show them that you care about what they said! Before you conduct your survey make sure you have:

  • A dedicated team responsible for your employee survey project.
  • A plan for how you will analyse the data.
  • A mechanism for how to decide on action to be taken.
  • A communication plan for sharing the results and outcomes with your employees.
  • We’re not saying that you need to make every change that your employees suggested. But you do need to share the results with them, and explain your reasoning behind the decision you have made.

Post survey, communication between the survey team and employees becomes critical. Explain why certain ideas are being converted into action and change, whilst others are not.

If you can avoid the pitfalls outlined in the stats above, and prove to your employees that their opinions drive change, your employee survey will collate honest feedback.

This feedback can drive improvement throughout your recruitment strategy, not only developing how you present your company to potential employees, but can also be used as an example of employee engagement.

Our Tips

If you decide to implement an employee survey, bear in mind that you need to:

  • Ensure the respondents are anonymous and remind employees of this.
  • Before administering the survey, explain the need for the survey and what will be done with the results.
  • Be transparent to employees and debrief the true results.
  • Show that managers are proactive by following up and acting on the results
  • Keep the survey brief (5-10) minutes.
  • Ask questions that have a clear link to either a business outcome or job performance. Surveys often fail because they were not purpose-targeted.

Ask managers which areas of the business they feel need improving and include questions about these areas.
This blog is taken from our 2018 Essential Recruitment Planning Guide. To see one of our example surveys, you can download the free Essential Recruitment Planning Guide here:

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