Human Resources

How To Create An Employee Survey

Would you like to set up an employee satisfaction survey? Would you like to know what practical steps you must take for a good research? Get a free practical guide! Follow these 8 steps to conduct this survey.

Step 1: Business Strategy

To initiate a survey, it is important to define the purpose of the survey and key groups you would like to include. Questions you could asks yourself are:

  1. What is the purpose of this survey?
  2. What do we want to achieve?
  3. What are we plan to do with the results?
  4. Are the results needed to take the next step in our business strategy? Or should the outcome of the investigation solve a current problem?

It is important to involve stakeholders in this step, for example the HR department, the works council and trade union (s) and a group of employees.

Step 2: Target Audience

Based on the goal of your survey you need to determine which audience you want to reach. Do you want to send the survey to all employees? Or do you need to enquire the view of senior management? Do you want to approach employees working in a particular part of your organisation, region, or otherwise? Take into account the size of the population when determining your target audience.

Step 3: Research Methods and execution

After choosing your target group, please also choose your research method. The most common method of research is an online survey. In this study, it is obvious that the anonymity of the respondents are guaranteed.

You could also decide next to the online interview to choose for a quantitative research; for example a face to face interview with a group of employees. You can use this interview in two ways. 1. Research: You can assign a group to submit your questions in order to optimise your questions for the survey. 2. You can also use the  interviews afterwards to discuss the results of the online survey and to collect more information. Please make sure you set up the interview at a neutral venue.

Online tool for free
If you want to perform the survey, you can use for example for the online tool: SurveyMonkey. This online tool provides templates which already contain a number of questions to be customised to your own needs and company layout. The tool can also be integrated with MailChimp and hass a free basic plan, but offers more paid features. To conduct the survey by an external agency, you could choose a firm for example HumanInProgress or Effectory.

Step 4: Preparation

Now that you’ve chosen the survey methodology it is time to create the survey questions. Please make sure you take into consideration the following:

  1. Is there a variety in open and closed questions?
  2. Is there an opportunity for the respondent to also give detailed explanations?
  3. Does the survey contains questions in which respondents choose to answer in order of importance or have to value the answers on a scale from 1 to 5?
  4. Is the list of questions not too long?

Step 5: Communication

Now that all the steps have been completed, the questions and the method have been established, please inform the employees about the survey, planning and distribution of the results. In your communication, before, during and after the research it is important that there is emphasized that the answers will be processed anonymously.

Also pay attention to the fact how the results will be presented and what can expected as of the next steps. Experience shows that employees are not always confident that the management team will follow-up the results and provide the employees with an action plan. Be very specific in your communication and strategy if there is any correlation between the results of the survey and your business plan.

Step 6: Launch of the employee survey

The process of the survey can be measured in the tools online. Inform employees when the survey needs to be completed and send the respondents a reminder a few days before the deadline to complete the survey.

Step 7: Interpretation and Analysis

The results of the survey will be displayed in reports with graphs. These results can be easily exported to Excel and used for a PowerPoint presentation. Please agree with your HR department or Communication department how the results will be communicated to the employees.

Step 8: Follow Up

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is crucial that there are practical and visible follow-up action plan. Identify the key results and address to employees what actions can be expected. Inform employees and other stakeholders in a timely manner. Also emphasize the positive results and do not only focus on what needs to be improved. Involve your employees and senior management in developing the action plans and make them accountable for the execution. The actions and follow-up can be discussed during a (weekly) meeting. Obviously during the year, progress should be discussed in management team meetings. After one year a new survey can be scheduled.

Marieke Stoop