Best practices when planning a survey
When done right, employee surveys can get you accurate information on topics employees are sometimes too intimidated to broach – and about which management may be misinformed.
A survey project involves a lot more than collecting responses online and generating standard reports.
The success of an employee survey has to do with involving all stakeholders in a productive discussion of work and reward issues. It has to do with snapshots of “reality,” as people at different levels and locations describe reality. If an employee survey is done well, it provides an unparalleled opportunity for honest exchange. It removes the interpersonal dynamics of face-to-face conversation.
The following are some of the important caveats about conducting employee surveys:
- It is worse to do a survey and take no action than to do no survey at all. If results are not communicated, are poorly communicated, or nothing is done, morale will decline. The information obtained must be properly used so that the project has a payoff beyond mere measurement.
- Survey questions must be worded such that they are relevant and unambiguous. The tone of the survey must communicate respect. Survey construction is as much art as it is science.
- Surveys must be conducted such that they assure anonymity. This has much impact on the response. It also determines whether the survey will be a trust-building event for your company. This is the hardest requirement to meet when a survey is produced in-house.
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plan and execute an employee survey project.