One of the most tried-and-tested ways for companies to get feedback from its workers is the conduct of an internal employee survey. This type of poll can measure levels of employee engagement, morale, and performance. Often answered anonymously, an internal employee survey can be used by the management to gain a holistic view of the employees’ feelings on various issues, which other communication channels may not be able to provide. Surveys can be effective in this regard as long as they are well-designed, well-administered and can evoke changes and improvements within the organization.
Some of the areas that internal employee polls can focus on are compensation and benefits, communication, customer service, mentoring, strategic planning, staff development, leadership, senior management, innovation, satisfaction, functional expertise, and adaptability.
Results of these surveys, or the feedback generated from the conduct of the poll, is essential to facilitating changes within the organization. It also enables the organization to focus on the needs of its employees, and informs the leadership on which actions to take to address these needs. Management can also be provided with both positive and negative feedback from the employees, giving them an idea on the internal health of the organization.
Employee surveys can also be used to measure the impact of new programs, policies, and procedures. For example, the corporate communications team can conduct an employee survey on how the new IT program has affected employee productivity. HR, meanwhile, can have an employee poll to measure the success of a fitness program it recently implemented.
It can also be used to motivate employees and improve levels of jobs satisfaction. When employees see that their management values their opinions, they will feel more appreciated and valued. It thus increases the likelihood that the workers will be more motivated to work harder for the company, especially when they see that management heeds their suggestions or feedback.
How It is Conducted
A company’s boss cannot just come in one morning and ask the HR manager to conduct an internal employee survey right away. Like any other business tool, the conduct of an employee poll normally goes through a process.
The first step is the conduct of a needs analysis. Meetings involving key departments are held to determine the goals, objectives, and content of the project.
Then a survey design would be developed. This is done by synthesizing information from needs analysis and documents available to the group.
It is also in the survey design that the team or individuals involved in the conduct of the internal employee survey will decide on the rating scale to be used in the poll.
Next up is the development of questionnaire. The questionnaire typically contains items rated on a five-point scale and may be developed to measure various dimensions of the organization, from communication, leadership, management, benefits, etc.
After the questionnaire has been reviewed and approved, the usual step is to determine the participants. Would the team survey all employees, or just a sample? If all employees are included in the survey, then everyone in the company will be given the opportunity to express their opinions. The disadvantage is that it may be hard to collect and process the data, especially for a large firm.
If the poll respondents are minimized to just a sample of the population, then the unit in charge will have less data to collect and process. But the poll won’t give everyone in the company to raise their concerns.
After the questionnaire forms have been answered, data would be analyzed. This will be followed by writing interpretative reports that summarize the results of the study, and presentation of these results in a report format.
Results are then shared with management and employees, if applicable.
How to Ensure Quality Execution
Here are some tips to manage an internal employee survey and ensure its success:
One person should be in charge of the project. Usually, a senior HR officer is given this responsibility. He/she should be held accountable not just for conducting the poll well, but also for summarizing key results and ensuring that the organization is utilizing its results.
The wordings of the questions should be thoroughly reviewed. There should be no ambiguity, as this could affect the responses of the employees.
Underline the confidentiality. Employees are usually hesitant to share their opinions if they fear that their supervisors will find out about it. So those conducting the survey should ensure the respondents that the survey is confidential.
Moreover, employees must be taught the importance of giving feedback to their leaders. A person who is distributing the questionnaire or enlisting participants or respondents to the survey should stress that desired improvements in matters like working environment, training, benefits, and performance won’t be achieved without the employees sounding off.
Assistance from a professional or colleague who has a background on statistics and research could prove handy especially in evaluating results.