Companies across the world strive for strong employee engagement.
One of the best ways to find out what is working is to use surveys. However, it is not wise for employers to just go find an employee survey app and download it. Surveys take thought, planning, and care. Even then, there is no guarantee that employees will take the survey.
The average employee response rate for surveys is 30 percent. Employee survey apps help increase that participation rate, but there is still more work to be done. In order to maximize the value of your surveys and gather as much data as possible, it is important to take the steps necessary to customize your employee survey app.
STEP 1: Getting Started
- The Idea
As with most things, a good survey begins with a good plan. The first question to ask yourself is, "What do I hope to accomplish with this survey?" You should be able to tell your employees exactly what the purpose or mission of the survey is. Surveys can measure things like job satisfaction, happiness, wellness, personal growth, relationships, and opinions about management or brand strategies.
Once you have the idea, you need to figure out how you are going to implement the survey. During the planning stage, you will want to identify which type of survey you want to do, and how exactly you are going to do it. Will you be using an outside agency? If so, the process will likely take longer, so you want to build that into your timeline. To whom will you be sending the survey? Our hubEngage app allows employers to segment their audience, so you can push a survey to your millennial employees or to everyone who works in the warehouse with just the click of a button.
STEP 2: Questions
At this stage, you will want to start gathering assets. This includes thinking of qualitative and/or quantitative questions and gathering photos or videos that you might use.
Quantitative questions are true/false, yes/no, multiple choice, or opinion scale questions. Qualitative questions are open-ended. For example, What is your favorite thing about coming to work every day? You can use qualitative questions as follow-up questions for quantitative questions.
Make sure your questions are specific, easy to answer, simple, and that they are not leading questions. Leading questions let the respondent know exactly how you want them to answer the question. For example, "Don’t you wish we had more parking spaces?" is a leading question, and it does nothing to reveal the honest opinions of your employees.
STEP 3: Increasing Participation
Once you have a plan in place and the survey ready to go, it is time to think about how you will get employees to respond to the survey. This is essential. A survey is only as good as the data it generates, and in order to get a good read on your workforce, you need as many of them to take it as possible. Here are a few ways to increase participation:
- Build Trust
A survey itself is a signal to employees that you care about what they think, but before they will answer honestly, you need to build trust. In a perfect world, you will have built up so much trust that you do not need to make the survey anonymous. However, more often than not, anonymity will help increase participation rates. So make sure to consider which is the best option for your company.
- Explain Everything
Employees are more likely to take a survey if they know what it’s for and why it is important. This is where that objective you worked up in the planning stage comes into play. Tell employees why you are giving them this survey, how many questions are involved, and about how long it should take to complete.
- Keep it Short and Sweet
As you might expect, participation rates increase for short surveys. It reinforces the idea that you value your employees' time when you ask targeted, thoughtful questions. Survey Monkey found that abandon rates increased for surveys that took more than 7-8 minutes to complete.
- Offer Incentives
Another way employers can encourage participation is through incentives, whether it is a coupon, free products from your company, or a badge or trophy in your employee app. This is a great method, but it should not be your only one. Make sure that the prizes are not too extravagant. An employee who only takes a survey to get something in return could give you skewed results.
- Meet Employees Where They Are
Good timing can also help to increase participation. With hubEngage’s app, you can push surveys automatically straight to an employee's phone based on where he or she is located. Instead of sending a survey while an employee is in the car or on the job, you may want to wait until the employee leaves the warehouse or enters the break room.
STEP 4: The Follow-Up
Follow-up is very important for surveys — not so much for the survey you just finished, but for the next survey you give. Thank your employees for taking the survey, and then meet with them to discuss the results.
Be as transparent as you can, telling them what you were expecting to see, if you have improved from the previous survey, and what steps you are going to take based on the data. It is important to ask for feedback on what specific changes might be implemented to improve things.
How and Why to Customize Your Employee Engagement App
Surveys are a time-honored way to test employee engagement, but they are useless if no one takes them or if you end up with skewed results. The right survey implemented carefully and transparently can help you gather data to increase engagement many times over. Using the hubEngage app, you can maximize the impact of your surveys using audience segmentation, geolocation, personal branding, and more. You can try the hubEngage app right now.