Best Employee Surveys

Common Mistakes to Avoid With Employee Engagement Surveys

Common mistakes to avoid with employee engagement and satisfaction surveysEmployee engagement and satisfaction surveys are invaluable tools that can provide you with insight about how your employees feel.

You can get information and feedback about their level of satisfaction and engagement with your company. Before launching your survey, however, prepare for success by knowing common mistakes to avoid.


Conducting Your Survey In-House

One of the pillars of having a successful employee survey is assuring respondent confidentiality. If you try to create employee engagement survey questions in-house, the guarantee of anonymity will be more difficult. Even if you can create a system that assures anonymity, it’s employee perception of safety that matters. Respondents are not able to offer candid criticism to their employers if at all concerned that their responses may be linked to their identities.


Asking Confusing Questions

Question design is mission critical when asking your employees for feedback. One of the most common mistakes we’ve seen is asking more than one question at a time. For example, “Does your manager handle your personal and professional issues effectively?” Instead, separate concepts until you are measuring only one idea per question, as in, “Does your manager handle your personal issues effectively?”

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Having Too Many Preconceived Notions

Maybe you are aware of certain problem areas in your organization, or perhaps you already have in mind a plan to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. It's important to remember that the purpose of your survey is to collect information. Don't let what you know or what you think you know influence that process.


Remaining Silent after the Responses Have Come In

If employees hear nothing from you after they've completed their employee engagement survey, they may feel that the process was pointless. While you may plan to take your time with the data, preliminarily communicate to the team what your plans are for next steps. Remember to thank them for their participation. Feeling valued is, after all, the #1 driver of employee engagement amongst the Best Places to Work in the U.S.


Not Adequately Preparing Managers

Supervisors and managers have a vital influence on how their employees experience their work life. Factors like work/life balance and building good relationships are shaped by the manager’s approach and style. So, it's very important to involve them in coming up with a response strategy to address the feedback with their staff.


Not Taking Action

From the outset, you should have clearly laid out goals and timelines for every step of the employee engagement survey process. If too much time elapses between the analysis of the survey data and formulating a viable action plan, you run the risk of losing momentum and support. Long gaps of inaction can also suggest to staff that their feedback has been disregarded. Plan an employee feedback reports analysis session within 2 weeks of your employee survey close date.


Not Communicating During the Process

Employees who have responded to the survey have a vested interest in its outcome. They want to know it's about the findings as much as management does. They're interested in the outcomes and possible changes that will come about because of the survey. Schedule specific times to share the results of the employee engagement survey questions with staff and allow time for questions and feedback in the days and weeks to come.


Being Less Than Transparent With the Results

Your employees have placed their trust in you by honestly responding to your employee engagement survey. If you're not completely transparent with the results, you run the risk of damaging that trust. Supervisors and managers should discuss the results of the survey with their staff, regardless of whether the findings were positive or negative.

If you avoid these all-too-common mistakes, you’ll have a much better chance at improving the quality of your results. 


Collect your employee feedback.

When a company asks its employees for their opinions, engagement at that organization tends to increase by 5%. Just asking your employees for feedback moves the needle! It’s important, however, to be choosy about what kind of feedback you collect. Because employees want their employers to take action on their feedback, it’s essential to conduct an employee survey only if the results are valid and actionable. Unfortunately, businesses sometimes make the mistake of using employee surveys to collect data that is irrelevant or impossible to act on. To ensure that your employee feedback data is actionable, ask your survey provider how customers use reports to affect change.

Do you think your team might be ready for an employee survey? Find out when you download this FREE checklist. Our Survey Readiness Checklist helps you to review criteria for survey administration and reporting, communicate clearly with your team about what there is to be gained from a survey project, and
determine organizational readiness for an employee survey.

Download Survey Readiness Checklist


Tags: Employee Surveys, Employee Engagement, Employee Trust, Employee Satisfaction, Incorporating Feedback, Survey Rationale

Lauren Eisenhauer
As Director of Marketing for Best Companies Group, Lauren is responsible for implementing the company's brand, content, social, and digital strategies. Lauren gained her expertise through years of experience working in the marketing and advertising field, most recently for digital marketing solution provider, Listrak. Lauren studied Professional Writing and Marketing at York College of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband Joe and their three children, Katie, Evan, and Beau.
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