Crafting Effective Surveys: A Guide to Asking the Right Questions

The Atom Team

As a business owner, you know that your employees are your most valuable asset. Engaged, motivated employees drive innovation, productivity and ultimately help grow your bottom line. But how can you tell if your workforce is truly engaged and aligned with your company’s mission and values?

The answer is simple yet powerful: organizational surveys. Well-crafted employee surveys provide a wealth of insights that help you make evidence-based decisions to improve your business. Here’s why every business should leverage surveys and some tips on getting maximum value from them.

The Power of Employee Feedback

Surveys allow you to move beyond hearsay and corridor talk to get real, honest feedback directly from your employees on what they’re thinking and how they experience your organization. This is hugely valuable intelligence that enables you to:

  • Identify areas of strength to celebrate and build upon
  • Uncover pain points and growth opportunities
  • Make data-driven people decisions and HR initiatives
  • Track progress and ROI on programs and changes over time
  • Demonstrate that you value employee input and well-being

Ultimately, surveys provide a comprehensive evaluation of your company’s health and employee experience. By giving your workforce a voice, you lay the foundation for positive change.

Crafting Effective Organizational Surveys

To get real value from employee surveys, careful thought needs to go into their design and execution. Some key tips:

  1. Cover the right topics. While every survey will have unique aspects, be sure to assess universally important factors like perceptions of leadership, manager relationships, culture, engagement, etc.
  2. Keep it focused but comprehensive. Limit surveys to 15 min max by grouping questions into key themes. Show a progress bar to reduce abandonment.
  3. Ask good questions. Use short, direct statements phrased positively or a bit provocatively. Have employees rate agreement on a 5-point scale. Include some open-ended questions too.
  4. Analyze and act on the data. Scores above 70% are great, 60-70% are good but need monitoring, below 60% requires intervention. Compare groups to identify issues. Make an action plan.
  5. Close the feedback loop. Share top-level results transparently with employees. More importantly, discuss focus areas and commit to making improvements based on the findings.
  6. Make it a regular practice. Conduct a comprehensive annual survey with smaller pulse surveys each quarter. This cadence provides a steady stream of actionable insights.

When done right, organizational surveys are an indispensable tool for aligning your people and culture to drive business success. The feedback you gain will empower you to make meaningful changes to boost engagement, performance and employee experience. So if you aren’t already, now is the time to start making employee surveys an integral part of running your business.

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