The employee experience survey has become a pretty standard tool for people teams in recent years. Many companies now send a giant, all-encompassing engagement survey once or twice per year.
However, this strategy isn’t effective anymore, and for a lot of organizations, it never was. To stay competitive, you need to switch up your approach.
If you’re not convinced, just consider the facts. There’s a huge disparity between how employees view these surveys and what managers think.
48% of senior managers find surveys highly valuable, yet 45% of employees feel they have little to no value.
52% of senior managers think surveys provide a very accurate assessment, while 48% of employees say they don’t.
Which explains why 29% of employees think they’re pointless and only 1/5 of them believe their manager would act on concerns raised in an employee experience survey. They’re probably right; managers estimate they only spend 2-5 days per year on activities relating to their annual engagement survey.
Which kind of makes you wonder: what’s the point?
And is there a better alternative?
Here are some ways to get more value out of your employee experience survey.
Minimize admin work
A quarter of managers see employee experience surveys as a box-checking exercise.
This is why minimizing how much admin work they have to do is key. If they don’t view your employee experience survey as useful, they’re never going to take the responses seriously.
This means nothing will change, which brings us back to the question above. What’s the point if there’s no difference between before and after your employee experience survey?
Embrace automated data collection and analysis
When you have an automated process to distribute your employee experience survey and analyze the data coming in, everything becomes easier. Being able to ‘set it and forget it’ frees up more time to review the results.
Not only that, but it becomes easier to make changes in response to the data. Team members can see everything they need to know at a glance, so there’s no question about where to focus.
And doesn’t everyone want to spend more of their time making a difference rather than staring at spreadsheets?
Track the impact of your employee groups, programs, and events
Investing time and money into employee initiatives is a waste if you can’t measure the impact they have. That’s why it’s so important to monitor their results. Unfortunately, many organizations gloss over or completely skip this topic in their employee experience survey.
When you have up-to-date data measuring how your groups, programs, and events are performing, you can make the most of your energy and budget. What’s more, using this data to optimize your employee experience can help you make big strides on retention and engagement.
Shorten the time between surveying and changes happening
When managers have lots of answers to read, then analyze, it can take a really long time. It’s no wonder 27% of managers never go through them at all – it takes too long!
By automating the analysis piece, managers can skip right to acting on the results. This then becomes a self-reinforcing cycle. Because changes were made in response to their input, employees will be more likely to complete future surveys.
No one wants to wait a year to see whether their voice was heard. Shortening the timeline reduces frustrations, and helps everyone feel more valued and engaged.
Make it easier and quicker to fill in
Think about the last time a brand you love sent you a customer feedback survey. Wanting to help out, you clicked it, only to find it was really long. By the end, you’d stopped typing the in-depth answers they were looking for, if you finished it at all.
The abandonment rate for surveys that take more than 7-8 minutes to fill in is 20%. And only 30% of employees actually fill in surveys. Which isn’t great if you want to get a complete picture of what’s happening in your workforce.
It makes sense, though. Our attention spans are short, and we don’t have that much time. Our working days are filled with, well, work. It’s much easier to find time to complete a short, well-designed survey, than a long, hard to follow one.
For example, Workrowd’s automated feedback questionnaires typically take 2-3 minutes to complete and ask just 5-10 questions.
Sending them out automatically after events and program sessions means data gets collected regularly, while brief pulse surveys help complete the picture. Speaking of which…
Spread out your opportunities to collect data
Things can change quickly when you’re in business, especially in the digital age.
So, if you’re only collecting data once in a blue moon (which is about every 2-3 years), you’re not going to get accurate insight into how your employees feel. Especially when some employees won’t stick around that long, partially because their input isn’t valued.
Employees want to feel respected. Regularly collecting information on their experience at work is one way you can show them that you really are listening, not treating surveys as a box-checking exercise.
You don’t want to be bothering people every week, obviously, but the shorter the surveys, and the easier they are to fill in, the more often you can send them without employees feeling annoyed or interrupted.
And you’ll get more relevant, timely data as a result. This also prevents problems from lingering, as you’re more likely to notice them as they appear.
Combining data from a short employee experience survey with feedback from recent events and activities can give you the insight you need to succeed in today’s tight talent market.
Use it to inspire new ideas
It’s all very well and good sending an employee experience survey, but if you’re not doing anything with the feedback, it can easily backfire. As mentioned above, you’ll see low participation, and people may even leave if their input is repeatedly ignored.
Even if what people come back with is uncomfortable to hear, it’s important to listen. You can use the feedback to improve systems that aren’t working, look for ways you can embrace and encourage deeper inclusion, and highlight good things happening within your business.
Revamping your employee experience survey strategy can help you identify ways to improve. It can also show you where you should be celebrating how great your staff and business are.
If reimagining your relationship with your employee experience survey is of interest to you this year, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our lightweight tools automate the process of collecting employee experience data, then lay the results out for you in readable, real-time dashboards.
Don’t waste your time creating and promoting another long survey this year, only to have to slog through overwhelming piles of data. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of Workrowd’s tool suite to make your life easier and delight employees across your organization.