Employee surveys are one of the sure-shot ways to determine employee satisfaction, the pain points that the employees face and how they perceive the work culture in an organization. It is undoubtedly a win-win situation for the HR team and the entire organization, as these provide a firsthand overview of employees’ experiences and observations. If organizations are mindful of how these surveys are conducted, they can effectively measure employee feedback, act on the findings, and measure progress. Here are a few reasons why employee surveys bring in a whole world of difference to an organization:
Employees get a voice
It is one of the means of getting honest feedback from employees. An organization should periodically conduct such surveys where employees are encouraged to give constructive and true feedback. Ideally, the survey should be scale based (from 0 to 5) along with some open-ended questions where employees are expected to give quality. It should be an experience for the employees wherein they feel confident and secure about writing their experiences and feedback. Employees need to be taken into confidence that this survey that is being conducted is for the organization’s benefit and is done to improve the work culture.
When a survey is administered correctly, an organization can rightly identify the stages in the employee life cycle and where they can fit in. A lot of job function-wise, department-wise feedback, issues like work-life balance, and unequal pay compensation-related issues might come to light with employee surveys which help an organization to identify gaps and opportunities and address them at the right time. A right approach towards the employee survey can provide insightful detail into the state of engagement that the employees are in and enables the organization to take informed decisions around workplace planning.
A change agent
Employee surveys are an effective means of bringing about change in the workplace. If from a survey it comes out that the employees are under-prepared for succession or progression to the next roles, an onboarding program might need a re-look, and maybe the employees need a better training module to move ahead in their career path. Employee surveys tell you a lot about how the business plan and the action strategy are coming along for the organization and how well the employees have accepted the plans. Thus, it gives a good insight into change planning and re-prioritizing certain action points. So, it is good to carry out these surveys periodically.
When an organization starts acting based on the employee survey results, it starts building trust among employees, and they get to see a sense of belongingness to the organization. Based on the survey results, it is also important to share the action plan with employees and gain their confidence. They feel cared for, and their concerns are being acted upon. When this is set in action, the employees will be more forthcoming in future surveys and will be able to bring out more areas of concern in a meaningful way. Thus, transparency and an effort to create trust are beneficial to an organizational strategy in the long run.
Give shape to company culture
A constant effort in putting into action the practice of employee surveys and swiftly acting on the survey results shapes the company culture in the months/years to come. This is due to a constant employee engagement that happens year-round due to wellness programs, training modules, mentorship programs, and little celebrations going around. Every action that an organization takes helps in shaping the company culture. However, this process takes time and commitment from the organization. Thus, you need to be patient and stick to the calendar of activities to achieve a positive and strong company culture.
Though all the employees are responsible for shaping the company culture, the leadership team has the power to steer the organization toward a positive company culture. Bringing about positivity in employee engagement helps in profitability in the long run. Based on the survey results, the senior management can work with the HR team to create employee-centric programs. For ex.: Senior management can use town halls and department meetings to announce these programs to be with the employees and get their trust. As the spending power rests with the senior management, the implementation of employee-centric programs needs their buy-in. Thus, the leadership team needs to value the importance of employee surveys and what they can do in terms of contributing to the company’s profitability. They need to keep this as an essential part of their KRA and acknowledge that employees help the company go to the next level.
Data can be benchmarked
Collecting and tracking the employee survey results over a period allows the organization to identify opportunities for improvement, thus helping in addressing change. Benchmarking allows the organization to be more withstanding. As businesses are dynamic in nature, there are conflicts that might happen as a result. Thus, having historical data helps in understanding the conflicts better and the context behind them. In turn, it aids in coming up with more impactful and informed people decisions to tackle conflicts and uphold employee sentiments.
After going through the above benefits of engaging in employee surveys, it becomes clear that organizations must be people-centric and periodically administer employee surveys. It is obvious that only administering of the survey is not enough. Organizations need to quickly draw insights out of these surveys and implement actions that would be employee-oriented, understanding their need for growth and belongingness. Organizations ought to be transparent while administering the surveys, announcing the action plan to the employees, and implementing them so that employees stand together with their management at all times, thus contributing to the organization’s profitability.