Creating a useful employee engagement survey can be a difficult task. Some may assume it is as easy as putting together a few questions and sending them to your employees to answer. However, the truth is that creating an employee engagement survey that will bring value to your business requires a detailed project plan and that takes time and effort.

Just as with any other project, you should begin with an end goal in mind. The purpose of your employee engagement survey should be to help your business identify and build upon its strength so that you can find a competitive edge within your industry. If you’re trying to figure out if employees are happy with the software you use, such as your scheduling software, then tailor your survey to meet that goal.

Engaged employees have proven to perform better end deliver better results, so you want to measure their current engagement levels and gather employee feedback on what could help to boost engagement at your business.

Employee engagement is something that we can all relate to. It is the feeling that you get when you believe in the work that you do and that feeling causes you to go above and beyond to be successful. It’s when you push yourself to work even when you don’t want to. If you have a company full of people who are engaged your company can be unstoppable. It is no surprise that employee engagement has become such a crucial aspect for organizations

Happy employees conversing with one another. There is a high level of engagement between the two.
Measuring employee engagement is an important step for any successful business. From the scheduling software your employees use to interactions with management – all of this determines how happy and productive an employee is while at work.

Measuring Employee Engagement

To capture an employee’s full work experience, which goes beyond just satisfaction and engagement, you must acquire various points of data throughout their career.

To gather this information, surveys are the perfect solution.

Below we have laid out a way to approach engagement surveys that are best suited to be conducted on a semi-annual or annual basis. Please keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but this approach will serve as a foundation upon which any engagement survey can be built.

Engagement Survey Best Practices

There are several significant factors that you need to consider when creating employee surveys. Before you get started, please take into consideration the following guidelines:

1.    Determine which individuals within your company need to provide input.

2.    Set clear goals, deadlines, and turnaround times before you begin to craft your survey.

3.    Have one person do a final sign-off on the survey.

4. Go over each new survey question to determine whether it is essential and meets a goal.

5. Avoid crafting your survey by a committee.

Employee filling out a well structured survey.
You must structure your survey in a way that provides you with beneficial information that can help improve your business. If you believe that your scheduling software is lowering morale, then create questions to help you understand how that may be happening.

How to Structure Your Survey

When creating your engagement survey keep in mind that this isn’t just a questionnaire, it is meant to be used as a tool to gather data and improve the employee experience.  It is important to have a strong survey structure –  one that brings organizational psychology and applies them to your company. With that being said, we recommend dividing your engagement survey into three sections – all with a clear and concise purpose.

  • Section 1: Measure Engagement. By measuring engagement, you can determine how you’re doing and can track your progress over time. This section can measure job satisfaction, pride, enjoyment for work and intent to stay. For example, you can determine in this section if your employees are happy with your scheduling software.
  • Section 2: Measure What Drives Engagement. This section should cover conditions that may cause or detract from engagement. Necessarily, it can tell you what you’re doing well and what you need to improve upon.
  • Section 3: Comment Section. An open-ended comment section can measure what is on your employee’s minds. The section provides more in-depth employee data allowing you to better understand feedback that you may not have known to look for previously.

The Length of Your Survey

There is no perfect length for an employee survey. The needs of your business will end up determining its length. The key is to find a balance between asking robust questions but not asking too many that it becomes too long. As a general rule, you should limit your survey to around 40 questions.

To better help you determine which questions should be included, you should ask yourself the following:

  • Are we prepared to act on this question?
  • Is this question redundant or covering something we asked in another question?
  • Does this question provide us with useful information?
  • Is this question relevant to our business?
Manager brainstorming survey questions.
Writing questions for your survey is the most important aspect. You must be clear, concise and consistent with your questions to ensure your employees can easily understand them and so you can gather the most accurate data possible.

How to Write Survey Questions

When you are writing your survey questions, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be Clear. Ensure that your question is clear and concise by only mentioning a single subject or idea. Failing to do so can result in a double-barreled question. This can lead an employee to feel uncertain as how to respond. Rather than creating a double-barreled question, it would be better to separate the questions into individual ones.
  • Be Consistent. All of your questions should have the same meaning to all respondents – meaning that each survey taker should interpret the meaning of the question in the same way. If respondents interpret the question differently, you will have skewed data which would be unhelpful to meet your goals.
  • Be Concise. It is crucial to use the necessary words to convey the idea of the question clearly and concisely. However, adding additional words that change the meaning of the question can potentially confuse respondents. Keep your questions short and concise.

When it comes to word choice, there are few other factors to keep in mind. First, you should use words that only have one meaning. This will help to ensure that a respondent doesn’t misinterpret the question. Additionally, your questions should be simple to maximize reading and comprehension.

If you follow these tips, then your questions will be easily understood by your respondents, and your data will be valid and reliable.