How to Craft an Employee Feedback Survey (to Get Useful Answers)

Amanda Stillwagon

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Employee satisfaction surveys are important for keeping your team happy and productive. In general, you should run an employee feedback survey at least once per year to find out how happy your employees are and what they might change about your workplace culture.

Simply asking your employees how they feel could help them feel more connected to your company and happy with their role. But don’t just make employee feedback surveys an exercise without asking for (or acting on) actual feedback, or your employees will see right through them, and the effort will backfire. Here are some tips to help you get the most useful information possible out of an employee feedback survey.

Have a Clear Objective

Is there a specific part of your office culture that you think might need some work? Think about what you’d really like to get out of your employee feedback survey. Then tailor your questions around that objective.

So if you’d like to improve employee productivity, make sure to ask employees what they would do to improve it in general and what they feel their biggest strengths are so you can cater to those strengths. If you think your teamwork needs improvement, ask questions about collaboration and team-building activities.

Not every single question needs to be squarely focused on a single objective, but you should be sure to at least cover the subjects you have concerns about.

Cover the Basics

While you should cater your questions to your main objective, there are also some basic types of questions you should always include for baseline measurement that you can trend over time. These questions include your information about their overall happiness in their roles, in their teams, and with their career development.

You can vary your actual questions based on your objective, but you should at least cover each of those topics briefly.

Leave Room for their Input

Once you’ve covered each of your topics, you should also leave room for employees to give you their comments or suggestions. That way, if you don’t ask a specific question that they had concerns about, they still have a place to share their input.

This can help you gain valuable insights on topics that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Value their Time

As with any survey, you want to try and keep an employee feedback survey as short as possible, which is best done by sticking to your objective and to the basic regular questions about overall satisfaction. If your survey ends up being over 15 minutes long, you could discourage people from taking it altogether. And even those who do take your survey will be unlikely to give you helpful answers because they just want to get through it as quickly as they can.

However, if your survey, out of necessity, ends up being long, be sure to give your employees advance notice in the invitation so they can set aside the needed time for the survey.

Value their Opinions

Once you do complete the survey, it’s important to actually act on the information provided. You don’t need to necessarily make changes based on every single suggestion. But if you see patterns in the answers, it could be indicative of some issues with your workplace culture. And if your employees see that you value their opinions by making changes based on their input, they’ll be more likely to share their thoughts again.

So the next time you run an employee feedback survey, employees will actually want to share their thoughts and opinions, because they know you will be likely to actually use them to make improvements.


Courtesy: Small Biz Trends

About Amanda Stillwagon

Amanda Stillwagon is Chief Marketer for Small Business Trends. She oversees online marketing, email marketing and social media marketing for the Small Business Trends group of sites.