The Slice

Mastering Employee Feedback: Crafting an Impactful Survey

September 15, 2023

Let's take a closer look at why asking for employee feedback can be a powerful way to boost job satisfaction and improve your brand, as well as what you need to know about creating the most effective surveys.

No matter how much you promote a culture of open communication, it's natural for employees to feel shy about giving honest feedback about their experience. Even if they feel confident there won't be negative repercussions for speaking their minds, the truth is that many employees will keep their thoughts to themselves rather than rocking the boat.

However, there are some powerful ways you can tap into the creative and constructive potential of your employees' ideas and concerns. One such way is through crafting a strong and impactful survey.

There are several important considerations to remember when designing a survey to send out to your staff, including your primary goals, the methodology you'll use, and how you will use the data you receive to create actionable steps toward positive change.

Let's take a closer look at why asking for employee feedback can be a powerful way to boost job satisfaction and improve your brand, as well as what you need to know about creating the most effective surveys.

The Benefits of Asking For Employee Feedback

The simple act of asking your employees for feedback can actually have some pretty remarkable effects on the operation of your team and company. Here are some of the most notable changes you can expect to see when you allow your employees to share their experiences and ideas through well-crafted surveys.

Assessing (and Enhancing) Job Satisfaction

How happy are your employees in their roles, really? This is one of the main questions you can gain insight into when you craft an impactful employee feedback survey. Even if the survey is more specifically focused on a certain aspect of the employee experience rather than overall job satisfaction, you'll find that you gain valuable info about your employees' general attitude and where there might be room for growth and improvement.

Additionally, asking for employee feedback and following up after the fact can be a powerful way to improve job satisfaction. People want to know that their opinion is valued and that their voice can make a difference, and surveys are a great way to communicate that to your team. Since high job satisfaction within a company can lead to reduced turnover and the ability to attract top talent, this is really a win-win for everyone involved.

Improved Engagement

When people don't feel like they have a voice, they pretty quickly become disengaged.

On the other side of the coin, employees who know their employers care about their opinions will be much more committed to the goals and mission of the brand.

Offering Fresh Perspectives

Gathering employee feedback isn't about symbolically showing your employees that you care about their perspectives. This can be a legitimately great way to gain fresh perspectives from workers who engage with day-to-day tasks and company culture from a different vantage point than the management team.

Hidden within your survey results will likely be a number of creative and innovative solutions that can be implemented to improve performance and create a more positive work environment.

Promotes Communication

Communication is key in any business, and surveys are an efficient way to promote open and honest communication within your team or company.

When employees see that you're committed to a culture of communication, it can increase morale, boost engagement, create greater loyalty, lead to higher productivity, and much more.

Identifies Areas For Improvement

There could be issues brewing in your company that you were unaware of that are identified by your survey results.

This allows you to solve problems proactively and nip issues in the bud before they become much larger and more difficult to solve.

Reduces Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in any organization, but you can work to keep it to a minimum by gaining insight into existing issues through surveys and promptly addressing them.

Even if conflict does arise down the road, promoting a culture of open communication through things like surveys can help your employees understand that you are motivated and willing to create solutions that work for everyone.

Supports Employee Well-Being

When your employees are thriving in their professional and personal lives, it can have a huge positive impact on productivity, performance, and retention. Of course, the opposite is true as well– poor well-being can lead to burnout, low motivation, and high turnover.

Even the knowledge that management cares about their opinions and perspectives can go a long way toward supporting employee well-being. When they know their feedback is taken seriously, they feel more satisfied and valued in their roles.

Creates a Positive Culture

Some companies run with the idea that the more pressure employees feel to perform at their best, the more productivity they'll get out of them. The truth is, though, that stressing out your team and promoting a cut-throat culture is actually a lot more costly than many realize.

At the end of the day, creating a positive and supportive workplace culture is more productive than one that is high-pressure and unforgiving. Using surveys to gather employee feedback helps promote the reality that you care about your employees and are willing to make changes inspired by their perspectives and concerns.

How to Craft an Impactful Employee Feedback Survey

Now that you're fully convinced that gathering employee feedback is a task well worth the effort, how exactly should you go about crafting your survey? Let's take a look at the steps you'll want to take to ensure your next survey is as successful and informative as possible.

Define Your Objectives

Before you even begin writing questions for your employee feedback survey, the first step is to clearly define why you're sending the survey out in the first place. Are there certain areas of employee satisfaction that you're concerned with? Are you looking to check the pulse of overall job satisfaction, or are you interested in understanding more specific aspects, such as work-life balance or career development?

By setting clear objectives before you begin, you can tailor your survey to ensure you receive the type of feedback you're looking for.

Choose a Methodology

For many teams and companies, the most convenient and efficient survey method is going to be conducting the entire ordeal online. This makes every step along the way incredibly easy– from distribution and collection to analysis and follow-up.

On the other hand, if you're working in the office with your team and you're just looking to get feedback on something very specific, you might find that paper-based surveys are just as simple. Another option is holding face-to-face interviews, where you ask your employees the same questions and record their responses.

Design Your Questions

Now that you know why you're sending out employee feedback surveys and how exactly you're going to do it, it's time to start getting to the heart of the matter.

What is it you want to learn from your employees through this exercise? What information would help you improve productivity, morale, and overall performance?

When creating questions, it's generally a good idea to include some simple, closed-ended, and some open-ended questions. At the same time, make sure to keep your survey sufficiently brief– otherwise, you'll find fewer people take the time to complete and submit it.

Ensure Anonymity

If you really want to receive honest answers from your employees, it's essential that you ensure that their feedback remains both anonymous and confidential. Otherwise, you'll get many responses that reflect what your employees think you want to hear rather than how they actually feel.

Make it clear to everyone that the survey results aren't being used for individual evaluation, and take steps to protect your employees' identities in the collection and analysis process.

Run a Small Test

Depending on the size and breadth of your survey, this step might be a little overkill. However, in some cases, it's appropriate to test your survey before it gets sent to the whole crew.

Consider running a pilot test with a handful of employees. This will give you a sense of whether you should edit some questions for clarity or if you're missing the mark in any regard.

Send It Out (With a Deadline)

Your survey is ready to go– now it's time to spread the word! Whether you send it out through email, use a survey app, or share it through an internal communication platform, make sure it's easy for your employees to access, fill out, and submit.

When you're sharing your survey, make sure you give everyone a deadline to respond. Make sure you give enough time for people to get to it in their busy schedules, but not so much time that they de-prioritize it and forget about it.

Follow Up

Your employees have a lot going on, so it's a good idea to send reminders periodically up until the deadline. This can help to increase participation in the survey so you can receive as much feedback as possible. You might even sweeten the pot by offering an incentive of some kind to help motivate everyone to take the time to participate.

For example, when you send out your survey initially, you can let your team know that they'll get to enjoy a pizza party or even a virtual happy hour if a certain percentage of people respond by the deadline.

Analyze the Data

Once your deadline has passed and you've received all of your survey submissions, it's time to take a closer look at the results. At this point, it's important to respect your earlier statements that the survey will be anonymous and confidential– even if you have an idea of who sent in which responses, try to keep your eye on the bigger picture.

The great thing about the closed-ended questions you included is that you can analyze them in a quantifiable way. For example, if you sent out some multiple choice questions or yes or no questions, you can chart the percentage of people that responded with each possible answer.

For the open-ended questions, you'll want to take the time to review them and take notes on common concerns and comments you received.

Watch For Patterns

When you've successfully motivated enough employees to participate in your survey, you'll find that patterns start to emerge in the information you received. This is incredibly valuable stuff– you can find out what's working well and where there is room for improvement.

If you've sent out surveys in the past that touch upon similar aspects of employee experience, you can compare the current results to previous results to help you track how things are changing over time.

Create a Plan

Your hard work isn't done quite yet! Now that you have tons of information about employee experience and have identified trends and patterns, it's time to come up with a plan.

In most cases, you'll want to involve other relevant parties in this aspect of the process, such as other managers or HR team members.

Communicate the Results

If you hope to continue encouraging a culture of open feedback in the future and participation in surveys down the road, follow up with your employees and let them know what insights and information you gained from the exercise.

Communicating the results and action plans will help them understand that their voices make a difference and that it's worth sharing their perspectives.

Looking For the Right Incentive to Increase Employee Feedback Engagement?

No matter how much time and effort you put into crafting the most incredible employee feedback survey this world has ever known, your efforts will fall flat if you can't find a way to incentivize your staff to participate. Making a mandatory feedback survey becomes just another task on their to-do list and isn't likely the best way to boost morale or contribute to a positive workplace culture. However, by offering some fun incentives to encourage them to take some time and offer their feedback, you'll likely find that you receive a lot more useful data from a big chunk of your employees.

Are you hunting around for the right incentive to help entice your employees to fill out their feedback form on time? Is it time your employees spent some quality time together and had the opportunity to get to know each other better? Whether you're interested in treating them to a virtual team-building experience or some delicious treats while they have a digital hangout, you can get started with your order today.

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