As the ‘highly effective’ Stephen R. Covey said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Employee feedback is the pure gold that can enhance your business’ overall performance. No question.
A well-designed employee survey will shine a light on the true state of play in a business. It highlights the important areas, to be celebrated and replicated, or changed up and improved. Ultimately, it will ensure your people feel meaningfully involved, valued and respected by your organisation.
But, before you hit that send button to share your survey, please pause for a moment. I’d like to share a few tips to make sure you mine that gold, and secure the best uptake from your survey.
Use clear communication
Crystal clear and personalised communication is essential, before, during and after your survey period. Make sure you properly introduce the project to survey participants so they know what to expect. Personalise your communications throughout the survey. It’s the little things, like a welcome note, when you open the survey, that set the tone and encourage decent take-up. Don’t forget to email friendly reminders of key dates, and offer people any extra assistance if they need it. You might think this is a bit old-school but I assure you it’ll make a difference.
Own it like a boss
Completing your survey is quite possibly the most impactful and significant 20 minutes your employees will spend at work this year. Make sure that they know it and own it!
At AskYourTeam, our surveys are specifically designed, to draw out anonymous, honest feedback from everyone across the organisation in a simple way. I believe when our customers run their surveys, they get the best buy in, when the people understand the process involved. Demystify it, to ensure participants know what to expect, and encourage active participation.
Also, make sure people understand their feedback will not just be listened to, it could be used to change their workplace, for the better. A lot of our customers also give their surveys a nickname or title that resonates specifically with their teams. I love seeing what they come up with!
Lead by example
Make an audacious play to get your leaders on board from the outset. Their influence can help to set the scene for high levels of engagement. We love hearing about managers who lead by example, role model with active participation, and empower their people to have a say.
Keeping your leaders fully appraised of the process means they in turn can inform their teams. This keeps the messaging around the project consistent too. Everyone is “in”, with the same opportunities, offered by the survey. The most important job of all, is for leaders to encourage their people to answer the questions boldly and honestly. That is the secret sauce, and the key, to finding out what’s working well, or what isn’t so good.
Anonymous, confidential. No fall out.
Once the survey is closed and the honest feedback gathered and assessed you’re ready to share the insights. Clear communication is as important, after the survey closes, as it was at the beginning. And, just like your mum always said, don’t forget to say thank you at the end. Think about preparing participants to hear the results - whether positive or negative.
We usually provide our customers with a simple toolkit; a pick n mix of options to use to share the data. Although the process is entirely anonymous and confidential, the data produced is specific and targeted. We like to recommend our customers cascade their results where suitable, and channel the results into areas for review and positive change.
So remember the organisation that’s continuously reflecting and improving, creates a rising tide, and that floats all boats.