Earlier this week, we spoke about why measuring employee engagement matters. But how do we measure employee engagement? What are employee surveys? What tools are available to us? And which tool is most appropriate for your business?

What are Employee Surveys?

Employee surveys are tools used by organizational leadership to gain feedback on and measure employee engagement,employee morale, and performance. Usually answered anonymously, surveys are also used to gain a holistic picture of employees’ feelings on such areas as working conditions, supervisory impact, and motivation that regular channels of communication may not. Surveys are considered effective in this regard provided they are well-designed, effectively administered, have validity, and evoke changes and improvements. — Wikipedia

Normally, an employee survey is a manual, anonymous process to gauge the state of the relationship between a business and its staff. The quality of this relationship is important, because:

Engaged employees can directly affect an organisation’s productivity, efficiency, and bottom line […] and [employee] surveys provide the opportunity to collect valuable employee feedback and enable organisations make changes on their behalf if needed. If this is done right, it is possible to optimise engagement and improve organisational performance. — BandT

There are several different types of employee surveys, depending largely on the metric that you wish to measure in your business — but broadly speaking, these surveys are set out to measure factors such as attitudes, opinions, staff engagement, performance, reasons for leaving, and feelings on organisational attractiveness. Many of these factors touch on the overall health of your business, and the importance of happy and satisfied staff cannot be overstated when applied to the success and longevity of the organisation.

Surveys are increasingly being performed on on-line survey systems, although many businesses still rely on the old paper-and-pen method. They are also in most cases anonymous, except when it becomes necessary to get data on specific staff members — such as in 360 Degree Assessments.

Here are a couple of interesting links that should give you a better understanding of employee surveys, their different types, and how they can be implemented in the business:

If you’re still confused, unsure of what the best tool for your employee survey may be, or not quite sold on the idea of asking your employees what they think of your business — give Omnicor a callWe’ll help you work it all out.