Answer truthfully employee satisfaction surveys

8 tips for conducting your employee survey

Why survey employees online?

We all need feedback - whether privately or professionally. Whether as an employee or as a managing director. Without feedback, we cannot measure ourselves and only make decisions based on our guts.

There are many ways to get feedback: personal one-on-one interviews, paper questionnaires, feedback cards, voting at meetings, etc.

In all cases, the feedback must be collected and evaluated at the end in order to derive actions from the individual survey results of the employee survey.

Benefits of online surveys

  • Fast and uncomplicated evaluation of the results:If you want to carry out your employee surveys without the support of an online survey tool, you have to compile the results manually in Excel or a similar program. On the basis of the manual input, you then create calculations and diagrams for the presentation of the results.

    Many online survey tools take this process off your hands completely. From the automatic e-mail invitation to the evaluation in real time. With a survey tool you save valuable time and can initiate measures earlier based on the recorded results.
  • In addition, you reduce or minimize theSources of error and increase the data quality of your results.
  • Different mechanisms allow you to complete your employee surveysanonymous, partially personalized or fully personalized perform.

It's not always just online

You cannot always carry out an employee survey and display it completely online. In production companies in particular, many employees do not have their own e-mail address or, due to their field of activity, no direct access to a PC.

In this case, you should send the invitations to the employee survey with aHybrid model implement: Combine different options to do justice to the individual situation of your employees:

  • Answering the survey on your own desktop computer
  • Answering the survey on a provided desktop computer / tablet
  • Possibility to answer on your own mobile device (smartphone)
  • Answering in the form of paper sheets

The advantage: You can compare the various options with one another and see whether, for example, the shared terminal generated fewer responses than the individual invitations for people with their own PC.

Before you start creating questionnaires, questions and answer options for your employee survey, you should first consider which type of survey you want to implement.

If you are clear about this, you should do a few more homework. We will look at what these are in the following.

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Tip 1: How to create acceptance for employee surveys

Regardless of whether it is for employee surveys or for all other surveys: the participants must have one for themselvespersonal benefit withdraw from participation. If they are of no personal use, then they will either not participate, give truthful answers, or be subject to “voluntary coercion”.

In order to implement continuous feedback management in the company, acceptance by the employees is a prerequisite for the introduction. And you create acceptance if there is a personal benefit from participation for the employee.

A small example:

In your company, the mood between production and management is not ideal. You want to conduct an employee survey to smooth out the discrepancies.

Your boss now fears two things about the implementation:

  1. The survey is used by the production employees to simply let off steam.
  2. There is virtually no confidence that the survey will make any difference and participation will be low.

In this situation, it is advisable to use a"Easy" employee survey to start.

For example, start with an employee survey on internal tools and work clothing. These are personal optimizations for the individual employee and not critical:

  • "In your opinion, what can be improved in the workplace?"
  • "How do you rate your work clothes?"
  • "Assess the quality of the work equipment: shoes, gloves, etc."

In this employee survey, you address the personal benefit of the employee. If you then follow up with actions promptly, the employee will see the advantage in participating in the employee survey.

This is how you create acceptance. In the next surveys you can then set yourself the goal of addressing more critical points in order to achieve improvements.

But always choose your questions carefully. Addressing a direct question about a manager's “negative” points will also trigger exactly that type of response. It is better to ask where cooperation can be improved. This will direct your thoughts into a positive area.

Tip 2: Don't be afraid of the shit storm

Change and optimization also means dealing with negative comments. Depending on the size of the company and the mood in the individual departments, some employees may use the employee surveyto get rid of their frustration.

But, especially if you are concerned about this, it is a sign thatChanges necessary and there are discrepancies in the company.

What can you do to get the most out of this situation?

  • Proactive approach: Discuss in advance where and what is causing the bad mood. Align your employee survey with these areas and actively ask about the current situation and how the employees imagine the target situation.
  • Understanding for both sides: Be open about the topic. Talk to both managers and their employees. Show both sides that the current situation should be improved.
  • Looking for the root of the evil: First and foremost, it is not about pointing the blame - neither against the managers nor against the employees. Nevertheless, one or the other can or will use the survey as an outlet. This is where you should dig deeper: read between the lines and identify the reasons for the dissatisfaction.

The following causes are possible:

  • Often a little something or a wrong tone resulted in a negative attitude, which "rocked" over the course of the day.
  • Management principles are not properly communicated to employees.
  • Too harsh a tone creates the appearance of a negative work environment.

Interpersonal relationships play a major role in the mood between managers and employees.

If you ask specifically about the causes and involve all those involved before the actual survey, then you will be able to find and eliminate the causes of the bad mood in the company.

Tip 3: How not to pillory executives

Department heads, executives and managers are important key people in the company. They convey your philosophy and the corporate goals to the employees and are active in daily business. It is all the more important that the people have professional and personal skills.

In order not to publicly pillory the executives in an employee survey on internal communication or management style, the type of question is decisive.

With questions about the manager's personal abilities and questions about cooperation, you can contact awrong wording Put both the employee and the supervisor in an uncomfortable situation:

  • "How do you rate the cooperation with Max Mustermann?"
  • "Where do you see Mr. Mustermann Need for improvement? "

With a slightly modified question you defuse the situation and do not pillory the executives:

  • "How do you rate the cooperation in the team / department?"
  • "In your opinion, what could be improved?"

You can then read possible deficits in your managers between the lines of the evaluation and, if necessary, offer the manager 360-degree feedback.

The type of question should be chosen based on how the cooperation in your company is structured. If you have an open, friendly culture, you can address your personal skills more directly.

If you already have concerns that you “have to” conduct an employee survey, you should choose the questions carefully. Put yourself in the employees ‘shoes. Think about how they would answer each question.

Tip 4: Involve the works council in employee surveys

The task of the works council is to represent the interests of the employees vis-à-vis the employer. If there is a works council in your company, it has a great interest in which measures are carried out with the employees and how they are "protected".

Depending on the type of employee survey, it is therefore important how you conduct the survey.

  • If you carry out an organizational survey, for example to register for the upcoming summer party, your works council will probably agree without hesitation that personal data is requested. Because without this information, the survey would not be possible.
  • In an employee survey for internal communication, satisfaction or a 360 degree feedback anonymity plays an important role. In no case may negative consequences for the employee derive from participation.

    Your works council will pay close attention to the type of implementation.

In order to integrate the works council into the survey project right from the start and also to obtain its approval, the following procedure has proven itself:

  1. Define the goals of the employee survey before it is carried out

    What goal do you want to achieve with the survey? Do you need information for organizational purposes? This type of survey is not critical, although the data is required in a personalized manner.

    If you want to improve internal communication or give employees a voice to express their opinions freely, the focus is not on the personalized survey, but on the mood in the company / department. You do not need any personal information here, so the survey can / must be carried out anonymously.

    First define the objectives of the survey and why you need which results.
  2. Involve the company's works council

    As soon as you have defined the goals and the project, you can already involve the works council. Even if you do not have a completely designed questionnaire, it is advisable to involve the works council at an early stage in order to adjust the orientation and implementation right at the beginning.
  3. Create goal-based questionnaire

    In the next step you finalize your questionnaire, define which questions you want to use and how anonymity is ensured.

    If you have already created the questionnaire in an online tool, the best thing to do is to send your works council a preview link by email. This means that they can view the completed questionnaire 1: 1 and release it in writing.
  4. Consider data protection

    In addition to anonymity and the protection of the content of the data, technical data protection according to GDPR also plays an important role in employee surveys.

    If you conduct the survey online, make sure that the selected software solution complies with German data protection.

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Tip 5: anonymity in employee surveys

Anonymity when conducting employee surveys is one of the most important factors. If an employee feels that they have to draw conclusions from their personal answers, then they will not participate or give you honest feedback. Therefore, discuss the in advance Level of anonymity in terms of the type of survey.

Correct handling of partial personalization

If you ask for personal data, use selection questions (department, length of service, gender, etc.) or set a personalization in the online survey, you can click on the individual employeeConclusions to be pulled.

However, in order to evaluate the employee survey by location, department or team at the end of the survey, you need at least partial personalization.

In small teams with 2-3 employees, the feedback could quickly be traced back to one person. To prevent that from happening, good online tools provide oneAnonymity function. As soon as you activate this, you will only get results from oneMinimum number of participants displayed. This means that you still have the option of evaluating the result and still maintaining anonymity.

The use of anonymous access codes

In order to guarantee your employees an even higher level of anonymity, you can also carry out a survey in such a way that participation is only possible with an access code. Each employee then receives an access code that is only valid once.

Print out the codes, put the pieces of paper in a pot and each employee "draws" their own code. With that you achieve aMaximum anonymity and trust.

Tip 6: Make the survey easily accessible to everyone in the company

Every company has different structures and jobs. Partly with direct access to a computer - partly without direct access. Some employees have their own e-mail addresses, others do not because of their field of activity. And yet it is important that you invite all employees to the survey and that they can take part.

Employees with their own email

The easy way: If an employee has their own email address, you can simply send them the survey link via email via the internal distribution list or from your online tool.

Employees without their own email

For employees without their own email, you have several options:

  • You can provide the survey link on PCs that are in a separate room and accessible to these employees. Alternatively, you canTablets or terminals use as a device.
  • If your internal guidelines allow it and the employees agree to do so, you can tooown smartphone use - ideally in the WLAN of your company.
  • In order to make the survey link accessible to every employee, you can use the survey link e.g. on the statement asQR code place. Or you can post the link / QR code on the “notice board”.
  • Also thePublication on the intranet is a way to give access to a large number of employees.

You have to discuss and decide which option is best for you based on your structures. A combination is easily possible and gives you maximum freedom in designing the invitations.

Tip 7: interpret the results of the employee survey

The evaluation of the results begins after the employee survey. Before you prepare and publish the results, consider the following three things:

  1. Put on employee glasses before processing: Put yourself in the employees ‘shoes and read between the lines. This gives positive or negative comments a different weighting. Even if employees have responded very critically, it helps to put yourself in their position. People tend to exaggerate easily.

    If you take this into account, one or the other comments relativize themselves again and provide you with valuable insights to derive effective measures.
  1. Analyze individual areas and departments

    In addition to the overall result, you should also take a look at individual areas and departments. By separating them into individual groups, statements and answers are given a different weighting.
    Because the same technical requirements are not available in every department, or every department has different requirements, which then also affect the answers.

  2. Identify the need for discussion

    Before publication, discuss with the survey team whether you can publish all of the results or only some of them. If some employees have expressed themselves very specifically negative to a person, you should seek a conversation with the person in advance and discuss the results.

Tip 8: Follow up with actions

The willingness to participate in an employee survey is based on a personal benefit of the employee. If the employee does not see or experience any benefit in participating, he or she will not participate or will not answer truthfully.

It is therefore all the more important that you follow up with deeds and take constructive measures. Be aware of this in advance and plan your survey accordingly.If the employees then do notchange experience, they lose confidence in the survey and see no benefit in participating.

If you already know in advance that the changes questioned will take a lot of time, share the result with the employees anyway. Explainwhat measures Are planned step by step andin what approximate period things are being tackled.

This is the only way to ensure that the employee survey is accepted by your colleagues and that you can plan further surveyscontinuous improvements let take place.

Conclusion: Well planned is half the battle.

Carrying out a good employee survey is an extensive task: especially if you take into account how much preparatory and reworking is necessary. As is so often the case here, too: good planning is half the battle:

  • It is essential that you get the right one early onStakeholders involved: From the management to the works council to departments or employees known to be “difficult”: It is important to get everyone on board so that your employee survey is accepted.
  • Ask the right questions. To do this, you have to know your goals on the one hand and on the other hand try to create a positive, solution-oriented attitude with your colleagues through the right formulation.
  • Make sure that you can reach all employees: Your employee survey is not only aimed at office employees with their own PC and email address. Create the right setup with it alleasy participation is possible.

If you follow these tips right from the start, you will have avoided many of the problems that recur in employee surveys. In this way you can ensure that your employee survey does not become a half-hearted compulsory exercise. You have the chance to really make a difference and create a good working atmosphere.