I think we can all agree that annual employee surveys aren’t perfect. Results can be skewed, outdated, and impacted by frequent hierarchical changes. It’s no surprise then that only 11% of employers survey their employees more than once a year, according to Aon Hewitt, and more than 25% of employers survey every other year or less often. That being said, asking for employee feedback has not lost its merit. Annual surveys still paint a broad picture of the employee experience at an organization, and more frequent surveys give us insight into the employee lifecycle at all levels, as well as how leadership can more immediately manage engagement, explains Aon Hewitt.
Fostering a “feedback culture” has become such a corporate buzz phrase that it may have lost its luster for many, but its impact should not be underestimated. Think about the last time you purchased something online, or ate at a new restaurant – did you look up reviews first? Did other consumers’ feedback impact your purchase? How about the last time you interviewed for a job – did you check out reviews on Glassdoor? Frequent digital feedback is everywhere, and the same should go for our workplace. As Aon points out, this trend has “increased expectations among employees and managers alike, highlighting the limitations of evaluating the employee experience knowing that the next time you will be asked will be in a year.”
"Fostering a 'feedback culture' has become such a corporate buzz phrase that it may have lost its luster for many."
So, how do we make it easy, enticing, and inexpensive to gather employee feedback often and in a meaningful way? At Structural, we do this through the Poll feature housed in the Connect tab of our platform, and there are many other digital tools out there to make this a painless process as well. I’d like to highlight some simple ideas for polls your organization can send no matter your software-of-choice, based on four specific, common organizational challenges. I will highlight two in this article, with the others coming in part two of this piece.
1. I don’t know if my employees enjoy coming to work.
It can be tough to tackle a topic as broad and as personal as workplace satisfaction, but using multiple short, straightforward polls can provide clarity on how your employee base is feeling.
Poll #1: On a scale of 1 to 10 (or 1 to 5), how happy are you at work?
Poll #2: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”*
Poll #3: Do you have the resources/tools you need to do your job? (Yes/No)
Poll #4: Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday? (Yes/No)
Poll #5: Do you have a clear understanding of your career and development? (Yes/No/Not Sure)
*You may be familiar with the key performance indicator NPS, or Net Promoter Score, when it comes to customers rating their experience with your company. NPS can (and should!) be leveraged for the employee experience as well – just ask the creators of NPS.
As you can see, these questions are simple, they elicit gut reactions from your employees, and they will paint a clear picture of your folks feel when they come into work each day.
Let’s cover another challenge that fundamentally impacts the employee experience:
2. I don’t know if my employees feel appreciated.
Feeling valued and recognized might seem like a very subjective concept, and indeed it is unique to each individual employee, but it has measurable impact on your organization. According to Gallup, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. Beyond that, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year. As the data illustrates, leaders need to get clued into their employees’ desires to be valued if they expect to keep them.
"Leaders need to get clued into their employees’ desires to be valued if they expect to keep them."
Here are some simple ways to determine whether your most important assets feel appreciated:
Poll #1: How frequently do you receive recognition from your direct manager? (Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly/Less than Quarterly)
Poll #2: Are you recognized the way you want to be recognized? (Yes/No/Sometimes)
Alternative Poll #2: How do you prefer to be recognized? (In group settings/In 1-on-1s/Via email/Other)
Poll #3: Does your direct manager care about you as a person? (Yes/No/Not Sure)
Poll #4: Do your coworkers care about you as a person? (Yes/No/Not Sure)
Poll #5: Do you feel valued at work? (Yes/No/Sometimes)
Some of these survey questions speak directly to feeling appreciated. Others get at some of the missed components like whether or not your team cares about you as a whole person. More on this topic here. We need to ask a variety of different questions to get a true picture of how our folks are feeling at work.
Look out for part two of this discussion addressing more organizational challenges and the survey questions that address them next week. And to learn more about how we at Structural can help your organization facilitate this discussion, reach out and request a demo here.