Employee engagement surveys are certainly useful. The well-known annual or semi-annual employee survey continues to be the mainstay for understanding the attitudes and perceptions of a large employee base. When thoughtfully executed, the survey can unearth hard-to-find issues and unknown potential. We generally walk away from an annual survey with a wealth of knowledge about current employee engagement and perceptions of how individual roles contribute to the company’s success.
But there’s a limit to how often one should go to the well with this type of information. It takes a great deal of effort to field a strategically relevant company-wide survey, so it’s best not to plan to go to the well too often. However, with the larger survey as a base, there’s opportunity to keep relevant questions in front of employees – particularly if the questions (or mini-survey) also provide a communications loop for the employee.
And perhaps there’s a chance to have some fun with the information gathering.
Here are three ideas:
1. Post a question and a feedback loop along with leadership communications. More than likely, the latest blog or memo from the leadership team is directly or closely related to the company’s vision. Asking questions and allowing employees to respond is a great way to get feedback to the leadership issue as well as gather information about employee attitudes.
2. Ask employees a question or two every week. Stake out real estate on the home page of your intranet for an on-going survey. Post a new question often enough so that the idea doesn’t become stale. To keep things interesting and drive participation, make a game or contest out of the responses. But always ask.
After a few months, you’ll have lots of data. By staying mindful and strategic with your questions, and you’ll also be providing great value to the company.
3. Keep it simple. Perhaps just ask employees how they feel today. Develop an easy way for employees to register their moods or attitude. How do employees feel in the morning versus the afternoon? Are there certain times of the day when happy or cranky moods pop up. If their mood is extreme (good or bad), give them an open-ended option to say what’s going on.
There are a couple of potential benefits here. First you might get a heads up when attitudes are trending positively or negatively. You also may be able to spot regional or business unit trends before they become an issue. And of course, the open-ended responses would provide background or detail if something is going particularly right or wrong.
We shouldn’t be asking questions for the sake of asking questions. If employees are going to the effort of providing feedback, they should be rewarded with a sense (or tangible proof) that they’re being listened to – that their voices matter.
Got questions about asking questions? Or what to do with the answers? TRIBE can help.