An engaged employee is not only a productive employee, they’re a happy employee – and because we’re currently experiencing the largest talent gap since 2007, employee retention is more important than ever. So, how do you know who’s happy and who’s not, and, most importantly, what you can do to improve your current environment? A smart, simple way is through an employee engagement survey.
While the simple act of conducting a survey shows your employees that you care and are invested in them, you have to ask the right questions in order to get to the meat of any potential issues. Here are a few suggestions to get the necessary conversations started:
Ask open-ended questions that require more than a “Yes” or “No” answer.
Open-ended questions require employees to put thought into their answers and give specific examples of what they think needs to change. It also puts the employee on the hook to back-up their complaints with examples, details, and suggestions, rather than just a blanket response that doesn’t give the leader the information he or she needs in order to make the necessary change in policy or culture. A few ideas for open-ended questions include:
- If you were the president of the company, what is the first thing you would change?
- If your family or friends ask what your role is, what do you tell them?
- What three words would you use to describe our culture?
Ask employees to respond to statements.
By listing statements that employees can rate on a scale of “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree,” leaders can get a more in-depth view of how employees feel about different topics or issues. Here are a few sample statements:
- I can see myself working here in five years.
- I always know what is expected of me when it comes to my goals and objectives.
- I believe in my company’s mission.
Ask questions that require employees to fill in the blanks.
By having employees finish a sentence or fill in the blanks, you can get a better idea of how your employees talk about the company and their role within it to others. This insight speaks volumes about how they feel and what they do day-to-day. Examples of these questions include:
- My company’s core values are…
- My company’s mission and objective are…
- I could do my job better and faster if only…
Bottom-line: The way you frame the questions will greatly impact the answers you receive. By asking smart, targeted questions, you will get honest, informative answers that will help you make the right decisions in the long-run.