Organizations have realized the value of surveys in terms of learning what people think about important matters. For example, companies conduct surveys to find out how customers or clients perceive their products and services. Surveys can also be conducted to their employees so that their needs and suggestions will be taken into consideration for the improvement of existing practices.
However, the idea of a survey and the thought of the company wanting to know about what its employees think about the entire system may not be that feasible. Hence, it is a must that management plans this survey on communication properly before its administration.
Before launching the survey to your employees, inform them of the plans and intentions as well as the goals of the survey. The communication must be relayed to everybody -- senior leaders, managers, supervisors, and employees. Explain that the survey is meant to improve the company's performance through its biggest asset -- its people. By doing such, it is hoped that the end result will be better products and services resulting to an improved performance and an enhanced customer service. The survey on communication is aimed to benefit the customer but it will end up benefiting the company and its employees.
There are two elements in engaging employees through the employee survey:
1. Communication. The reason why management should inform their plans of the employee survey is to set their mind into it and they know what to expect. Sensitive matters like this must never be given as a surprise. Always set a positive tone when it comes to communicating the plan and the objectives of the activity so that you will have honest responses to the questions.
2. Trust. If you are a manager who always mark your words then it is easy for you to make your employees believe in what you say. They trust people who model good ethics in the workplace and in their personal lives. Establishing trust is very important in a survey on communication.
Communications before the survey
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the top leader and the consultant or HR Manager should discuss the execution of the employee survey plan with the senior leaders. The CEO must explain why the survey is going to be administered, why it matters to him and how it will be advantageous to the organization. Things to prepare for the survey on communication will include an outline of the logistics, expectations for the senior leaders to monitor the results. Define the roles of all the managers and leaders concerned and hold them accountable for their role. Explain the most essential things to all the team members responsible for the administration of the survey -- reduced turnover, increased morale, improvement of performance, and improved leadership impact. Inform all the employees of the survey by sending them an invitation to participate in it.
Developing the email invitation for the employee survey
Introduce the survey to the employees before the actual survey. Top leaders such as the CEO and other senior managers are expected to jointly communicate the plan to all their employees through a personalized email. These emails should be sent at least one week before the proposed date for the survey on communication. How does one create an introductory or invitation email to the employees?
Inform the employees and staff of the schedule of the survey and the timeline.
Explain to them the reasons for the survey.
Explain how the results will be interpreted and how the findings will be shared and with whom.
The most important thing is that an outside company or consulting firm takes care of the filled survey forms and takes care of interpreting them. Also, the employees should not be forced to put their name or identify themselves on the questionnaires. It must be completely anonymously responded by them.
Highlight how the survey can benefit everybody in the organization. Surely, a survey on communication can greatly help the employees because the organization will have an idea of how they feel in their job and with their employment. The organization will know how satisfied or dissatisfied they are and will find ways to fill the gaps.
To effectively explain to the employees the importance of a survey on communication, explain the benefits by putting yourself on their shoes. Ask yourself questions such as "If I am an employee, how would the survey benefit me?". "Is it safe to honestly respond to the questions?" Questions like these will can develop awareness and find the best ways to communicate to the employees so that they know that the survey is really going to be advantageous for them, to their customers, and ultimately, to the organization.