How To Develop An Employee Survey
Employee surveys are often the result of identification of a problem. The best employee
surveys, however, are those performed to prevent problems from developing.
Whether you are developing an Employee Satisfaction Survey, an Employee Development Survey, an
Employee Engagement Survey or a very specific type of employee survey such as an Employee Benefits Survey, the process of development is the same.
First, of course, you must identify the type of survey you
wish to develop. You'll need to focus questions to gather information on that area of employee relations.
Next, you need to determine if you are willing to put the time and effort into developing
your employee survey in-house or if it would be more efficient to outsource the survey development to one of the many competent, experienced survey development firms available today.
These firms can be readily located by simply searching the Internet.
If you decide to develop the employee survey in-house, you will need to determine if you have
software that will be effective or if you should purchase commercial off the shelf (COTS) software to make survey development easy and quick. There are some excellent survey development software packages
available at very reasonable prices.
If you have determined to develop the employee survey in-house, you will need to determine if you wish to have a team of employees or management to assist in the survey
If you opt for a survey consulting team to assist in development of the employee survey, you
will still need to identify a team of personnel who will be the liaison team which will interface and provide information to the survey consulting team.
Most often the personnel team is made up of a few managers of varying levels and select Human
Resource Department personnel. You must have a team made up of people who are well versed in the policies and procedures which exist today in your company in order to develop effective, meaningful questions
for inclusion in the survey.
The questions on a survey for a widget manufacturer will probably be drastically different
than the questions on a survey developed for a software development firm.
You will also need to determine the method of employee survey deployment. You can deploy the survey as a hard-copy printed package
delivered to each employee, as an email survey or as an Intranet or Internet-based survey.
If you choose Intranet or Internet, you will need to notify the employees via email or
hard-copy exactly how to access the survey.
Employees want to know that survey responses are 100% confidential and will not be tied to them as individuals in any way. Oftentimes, a printed survey makes the
employees feel better about confidentiality.
Email and Internet or Intranet deployment can make employees feel that their responses can
somehow be traced to the source. Employees fear that negative input into surveys can result in retribution in the form of job loss, loss of future advancement or other forms of personal attack. While you, the
employer, may know this is not the case, the perception of the employees is what matters in this area.
Allow the team delegated to develop the employee survey full rein in choosing the survey questions and
design. They, as employees, often know the best questions to focus upon because they may have areas of concern themselves.
Most important, you must be open minded when developing and implementing employee
surveys. If the employees feel their inputs generate no action plan for change, the cost in dollars and manhours put into survey development will be a complete waste.
Use employee surveys as tools to improve your policies, procedures and
processes and your employees will thank you.