No employee wants to be just another nameless being wandering through an office. In fact, organizations that do not make a point to listen to their employees often see higher turnover and lower productivity. Showing employees you’re interested in their opinion will help them become more engaged and invested in the organization. Conducting a yearly, full-scale employee survey is often said to be the most thorough and efficient way to seek feedback. So ditch that dusty suggestion box, and consider these tips for conducting a savvier survey:

Go for the Goal
Before you conduct an employee survey, you should have a clear goal in mind. Do you want to learn more about your employees’ demographics? How about employees’ communication with management? Target your goal by properly tailoring your questions. If you’re using the Likert scale to figure out employees’ work/life balance, consider focused statements like, “I am not forced to choose between job and family obligations,” and “The pace of the work in this organization enables me to do a good job.”

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That
Talk to any expert about the questions you should ask, and chances are the majority will advise mixing quantitative and qualitative questions. The Likert scale and open-ended questions are usually the best way to gain a balance of anecdotal and statistical information. Experts also warn to avoid attention loss by keeping surveys no longer than 25 minutes or 55 questions.

Participation, Please!
According Inc. Magazine, typical employee surveys have 70 to 90 percent participation, but there are a few things you can do to be on the higher end of that spectrum. If you assure anonymity, employees won’t feel like their honesty will work against them, so they will be more cooperative. Keep the survey simple, and encourage employee participation by involving top managers. Finally, allow employees to complete the survey on the clock.

Follow Through
If you spend the resources to conduct an employee survey, it’s important you actually follow through. Share at least some of the results with the whole organization, and set benchmarks for improvements as needed. For better focus, split up the feedback into two categories: broad issues on the corporate level and the narrow issues on the division level.

Seeking feedback can make all of the difference in employees’ happiness and an organization’s success. If you take it seriously and think it through, your employees will, too.

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