Start with the business need
If your company is new to employee opinion surveys, it’s natural to wonder where to begin. A good place to start is to identify the issues you are hoping solve. Broadly speaking, there are four types of employee surveys. We suggest you begin with the one that best meets your current needs.
Employee Engagement Surveys
Business need: I want to better understand the overall employee experience, so we can make changes that will improve our company performance.
This is the most common type of employee opinion survey. The approach is to ask about a broad range of topics, including employee engagement. Through benchmark comparisons, a handful of issues are prioritized for action after the employee engagement pulse survey completion.
At Willis Towers Watson, we measure engagement with questions such as:
- I would recommend this company as a good place to work.
- I have the equipment and resources I need to do my job effectively.
- My work gives me a sense of personal accomplishment.
Employee Lifecycle Surveys
Business need: I want to improve our employee on-boarding and orientation to accelerate how quickly new employees are contributing. I want to understand the reasons why people leave to reduce unwanted turnover.
These employee opinion surveys include questions on why an employee joined (or is leaving) your company, as well as whether they had a positive and productive experience.
Example questions include:
- I was paid fairly for the work I did.
- I was able to advance my career.
- The stress levels were manageable.
- This work will be an exciting new challenge for me.
- This organization offers a high degree of job security.
- I feel welcome here.
- I have received adequate training relevant to my role.
Business need: I want to quickly gather employee feedback on a particular topic and see if the feedback changes over relatively short periods of time.
The topics covered in this type of employee opinion survey can vary widely, but what they all have in common is that they are short (15 questions or fewer) and focused on something very specific, such as the introduction of a new initiative, assessing safety procedures or proposed changes to benefits programs.
Example questions include:
- I understand the strategic rationale for this initiative.
- Communications regarding this initiative have been relevant.
- I am confident that this initiative will be a success.
- My manager actively encourages employees to report safety concerns.
- People in my team never take shortcuts that compromise safety.
- I never have to risk safety to complete the work assigned to me.
Business need: I want to gather broad and continual input on how we’re doing as a company and collect suggestions for improvement.
The good news about these opinion surveys is that once you set them up, they can keep going indefinitely, and they are a great way of collecting comments and suggestions from employees. For example, you can use an always-on survey to select and reward an “idea of the month”.
Open-ended questions are a great way to capture this kind of feedback:
- If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?
- What one improvement would make the biggest difference in how we serve our customers?
- What do we need to do to stay ahead of our competitors?