1. Focus on teams
One-size-fits-all, whole-of-organisation surveys have their place, but they’re also clunky and can fail to give a true indication of the state of your staff’s engagement with their job and your organisation.
Evidence suggests that a staff member’s immediate team and line-manager have a big impact on how they feel about their job. So, tailoring surveys to suit the needs of individual teams gives leaders more honest insights into the workings of their team, and focus their energy on what really matters.
2. Be consultative
Involve staff in the design of your survey to generate buy-in and higher participation rates. When you ask staff to be part of the survey’s creation, you also gain insights into what your staff want to tell you their team, their job and their manager.
3. Make them regular
Once a year surveys just don’t cut it anymore. Conduct your staff engagement surveys no less than twice per year. In my opinion, conducting a staff engagement survey once every quarter is best-practice, especially if you are a large organisation.
Shifts in culture and in the general business environment happen quickly and often in today’s business landscape, so conducting surveys any less than twice per year can result in stale, unusable data over time.
4. Make them easy
Make sure your surveys are easy to access and not too long. Conduct the survey online and make it accessible through a link you can send around via email and that is available on your intranet or online learning management system.
The survey should take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. Any longer and staff will lose interest and answer questions without proper consideration. At the end of the day, you want your staff being productive not spending half their day filling out a survey.
When the survey is ready for staff to complete, set and communicate a deadline along with regular reminders so staff don’t forget to participate.
5. Be transparent
Share survey data with everyone in the organisation as soon as possible. There are a number of ways you can do this. Try a combination of the following: an agenda item at team meetings; a whole-of-team email; a whole-of-organization email; an address from the CEO; post results on your intranet or online learning management system; all of the above.
Include in your communications a high level plan and timetable for taking action on survey results.
6. Take action
Don’t expect the data from your surveys to always tell you how awesome it is to work at your company. No company is perfect and even the best places to work in the world invest in maintaining and improving their culture. Good staff engagement is a continuous program of improvement.
Get to work as soon as possible. Create project teams to plan and drive the change process. Open project teams up for volunteers from all teams who want to make a positive contribution to the company. Ensure senior leadership champions your change agenda.
A great company culture is the sum of a lot of different, interconnected activities and efforts. Knowing how engaged your staff are with their job and how they feel about working for your company is the first step toward creating a company culture that drives productivity and success.
Sharing is caring, so please let us know your tips for conducting staff engagement activities?
This piece was originally written and then adapted for Fridge Magazine in 2015.