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Employee Engagement Employee Experience HR Resources

5 Steps to the Employee Engagement Survey Process

November 15, 2022
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8 min read
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Would you be surprised to hear that only 21% of employees around the world are engaged at work?  While U.S. employees are more engaged overall, at 32%, that number is down from 36% in 2020. Gallup estimates “quiet quitters,” people who are not engaged at work, make up about at least half of the U.S. workforce — but in reality, “probably more.” Concerningly, low engagement is especially prevalent among the youngest workers, Gen Z and millennials under 35.

38% of companies are already using #EmployeeEngagement analytics. Keep up with the competition by using engagement survey software to analyze your employee data:

Employee engagement is a big deal because it affects productivity, profitability, retention, quality of work, and even safety. There’s no substitute for engaged employees — you can’t fake the results of a workforce who feel supported, seen, and appreciated by their employer.

But how do you know if your employees are highly engaged, “quit quitting,” or altogether checked out? How do you determine what is contributing to your company’s engagement levels? Get these valuable insights and more with employee surveys.

What are Employee Engagement Surveys?

Employee engagement surveys are a set of questions sent out to all or some of your employees either on a schedule or as needed. The surveys help your company measure employee engagement levels and gauge the effectiveness of your engagement initiatives. Survey results can shine a light on the main drivers of employee engagement at your organization and clue you in on bottlenecks that are keeping it from rising. 

Surveys can also be used to dig deeper into specific engagement topics, like employee wellbeing, stay motivators, remote work, and more. These can help you pinpoint areas of disengagement as well as discover what strategies are most effective at your company.

“The tool is only as useful as what you do with the information. Before conducting an employee survey, commit to taking action on the feedback. There is nothing more disengaging than asking for employee feedback and not doing anything with it. Go into it with an attitude of “exposing reality” and a mindset to take action. Then, use a tool that will allow for simple, frequent, easy-to-conduct surveys.”

- Ben DeSpain, Velocity, a Managed Services Company via Forbes

Why Send Engagement Surveys?

There are tons of reasons to send employee engagement surveys:

  • They are an excellent way to collect lots of employee feedback efficiently. 
  • Surveys allow you to get a feel for how a majority of your employees are feeling. 
  • Collecting anonymous responses increases the likelihood that respondents will answer honestly. 
  • Employees feel their voices are heard, which drives engagement in and of itself. 
  • Surveys help create a more honest and transparent company culture. 
  • Surveys encourage critical thinking, which can lead to creative problem-solving and even more discretionary effort. 

Survey results then give you an idea of whether or not your employee engagement strategies are working or if they still need improvement. You can create an action plan based on real responses rather than guessing what teams will respond to best. And best of all, your employees will see that your company is not only listening to their feedback but actually using it to inform strategy — a sure way to motivate and retain employees. 

5 Steps to Creating Your Employee Engagement Survey

Whether you’re starting a new engagement survey process or revamping an outdated strategy, getting surveys off the ground requires a plan and leadership buy-in. You’ll need to make the case not only for dedicating HR’s time to the project, but also to purchase employee engagement software. Manual surveys are nearly obsolete in today’s world, especially if your company has remote workers or multiple locations. The software enables your team to conduct an efficient, effective survey process. 

Follow these five steps to make the case for software and kick off your own employee surveys.

Don’t Disengage from Your Engagement Surveys

Sending surveys is just one part of the equation. Get ahead of the competition with surveys that inspire real action.

  • Only 29% of companies say that all managers share the results of their employee surveys.
  • 58% of companies are not acting on the results of their surveys.
  • Just 22% of companies are sending surveys that actually help improve engagement.

1. Decide which employees will get the survey.

First, you should decide who will receive the survey. If your HR team hasn’t conducted an employee survey before, you may opt to send it to a smaller number of employees. You also might be looking for responses from a specific department or business location. However, for a general engagement survey, choose a wide range of employees at every level and across departments to establish a baseline that represents your workforce accurately. 

While you can choose your survey audience, you can’t choose its response rate. Be sure your survey group is not too small in order to get an adequate number of responses and ask managers to encourage their teams to respond.

2. Set a goal for the survey.

Employee surveys need to have a clear objective — you shouldn’t just fire off surveys to your employees with no goal in mind. Identify what you want to learn from the survey before you purchase software to make sure you choose a solution that fits your needs. 

Do you want to get a feel for overall engagement? Are you interested in what new hires have to say about your company’s onboarding process? Maybe you want to identify what could be causing higher-than-normal turnover or find out what’s driving significantly higher retention in a specific department. 

To make your case for engagement software, identify opportunities for regular surveys. For example, you could send a long employee engagement survey once a year and short pulse surveys quarterly. You might want to introduce an onboarding survey to improve the experience and increase new hire retention. No matter the reason, have a goal — or a few goals — in mind to guide decision-making.

3. Get buy-in for engagement survey software.

The benefits of using employee engagement software are too numerous to ignore for both your HR team and your employees. 38% of companies are already using analytics to improve employee engagement. That’s no surprise considering the fact that engagement can make or break business success. Engagement software helps your company stay connected with its employees and keep up with the competition in the new world of work.

Did you know U.S. #EmployeeEngagement is trending down for the first time in a decade? Follow these 5 steps to send an employee survey and measure engagement at your company:

Make your case for survey software by highlighting these essential software features HR can use to launch effective surveys:

  • Choose from several different types of employee engagement surveys
  • Use prebuilt templates, customize the questions, or create your own survey questions and rating scale
  • Send surveys via email and text message to increase response rate
  • Set a closing date for the survey cycle and automate reminders
  • Analyze and compare responses to each survey question across location, department, and role with the intuitive results dashboard

Don’t forget the many benefits employees get from surveys:

  • Provide opportunities to share their opinions and have their voices heard
  • Promote transparency and honesty
  • Build trust and strengthens peer and leadership relationships
  • Organizational changes that reflect their feedback

4. Use the new software to create the survey design and launch the survey cycle.

You can write your own employee engagement survey questions or use one of the survey templates built into your new software solution. Your software provider can help walk you through designing and launching your first survey. That way you’ll learn how to use the software efficiently and get the most out of your investment. Your vendor can help you work through the kinks of your first survey cycle, especially if you want to design your own surveys. 

The best employee engagement software providers treat their clients as partners and do much more than just implement the software and hand over the reins. Great vendors provide thorough product training and best practices advice. They can help you decide what kind of survey questions you’ll ask — qualitative, quantitative, short answer, or a mixture. The vendor can also show you the ropes of the results dashboard. 

Now that you’ve chosen your audience, set a goal, purchased software, and created your first survey, you’ve made it to the exciting part. Send out your survey and wait for the responses to roll in. 

5. Analyze the results of the survey.

The final step in the employee survey process, analysis, is arguably both the most important and the most interesting part. What did your employees have to say and how will you respond? What trends did you identify and how will you address them? Did you become aware of unseen engagement issues or confirm your hypothesis that longtime employees’ top reason for staying is company culture? 

Whatever you learn from your employee engagement surveys, with software, you’re gathering real, accurate data directly from your workforce. You can show them you’re listening and that their feedback can have a positive impact. With employee surveys, you can live up to your employees’ expectations and help create an engaging, transparent work environment.

Whether or not your metrics align with recent downward trends, engagement should always be a top priority for HR. Given its influence on business outcomes and on the employee experience, improving employee engagement will always be worthwhile. That also means purchasing engagement software like ClearCompany is a sound investment. 

With ClearCompany, you get access to surveys that can help measure engagement and dig deep into topics that help you identify engagement drivers and obstacles. Your HR team can start using employee surveys to measure talent success right away with ClearCompany’s Employee Engagement software. Launch a survey from our library of engagement surveys, make it your own, or build a new survey from scratch. Then let ClearCompany handle the hard part — collecting responses, sending automatic survey reminders, and presenting the results in an easy-to-use dashboard. 

Start your own employee surveys immediately with three ClearCompany Employee Survey templates:

  • Overall Employee Engagement Survey
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging, built in partnership with Change Cadet
  • Stay Motivators

Download the ClearCompany Employee Engagement Survey Template Bundle to kick off your employee surveys.

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