As the name suggests, employee engagement surveys are market research tools that enable organisations to determine how engaged their workforce is. 

 

Whilst engagement surveys remain one of the most valuable tools available to track employee engagement, they’re often underutilised. 

Although there are many benefits to having an engaged workforce, businesses often do not prioritise it due to the perceived amount of extra time and work it involves. But it doesn’t have to be so.

Engagement surveys can be conducted using various techniques to suit all budgets and time constraints – from traditional paper surveys, online surveys, or a third-party platform. 

In the end, no matter what method your organisation chooses to pursue, it will be the right step towards better understanding your employees’ needs, as well as building further trust.

Employee engagement is certainly crucial for the financial health of your organisation, but how does tracking it help? Discover the following benefits of incorporating surveys into your HR practices:

 

1. Surveys help you build & foster trust.

It’s one thing to tell your employees that you care about them. It’s quite another thing to show you care by proactively soliciting feedback from them and enacting change.

Regularly conducting engagement surveys — and caring about the results they reveal — is the easiest way to prove to your employees’ that their voice matters, and that you care about their concerns and ideas. 

Naturally, this will enable you to establish trust, and help it develop over time. And we know that when employees trust their employer, they’re more likely to go above and beyond because they understand the purpose of doing it.

This of course has a roll on effect, helping you:

– boost performance

– increase productivity

– reduce risk & absenteeism

– retain top talent, as well as 

– better results across the business at large.

 

2. Surveys are a vehicle for positive change.

Regularly monitoring employee engagement within your business enables you to identify both areas of strengths and areas for improvement, allowing you to roll out an action plan based on valuable and tangible facts. 

For instance, should you notice a specific department is consistently performing, surveying them enables you to gain insights into how they achieve this and how to implement it across the organisation.

However, it’s important to remember that surveys alone do not create positive change. Instead, they create opportunities for staff members to share their thoughts and ideas on how to better the organisation. Turning these ideas into action is the leadership team’s responsibility.

Disengagement begins when people who provide feedback or respond to a survey don’t hear back from their leaders. So make sure to share the results with your team and create an action plan based on the collected feedback

Furthermore, while it’s tempting to jump and make immediate changes once a survey is completed, it’s essential to take the time to understand what the results are telling you beforehand. In jumping in and making quick changes, you risk creating new problems as you fix old ones.

 

3. Surveys allow you to benchmark results.

Conducting employee engagement surveys will also allow you to benchmark data. This then enables you to compare your results with industry-specific data to better understand how your company performs in comparison. 

Benchmarking also allows you to identify whether any issues are specific to your company, or if they’re industry-wide. 

For example, suppose data shows that only 50% of your employees are satisfied with the development opportunities you have on offer. In this case, you can compare this with other companies to see if this is a typical finding or one that you need to improve.

 

4. Surveys look for trends.

Engagement surveys enable your business to be proactive when enacting change, rather than reactive which puts you at risk of losing valuable employees. 

For instance, should a survey reveal that your company’s strict nine-to-five policy is viewed tremendously unfavourably by virtually all of your employees, you’re now able to proactively amend your policy to ensure you don’t lose top staff to a more flexible employer. 

On the other hand, if a survey reveals that the majority of your staff don’t really care for a complimentary gym membership, and would much prefer an allowance for training & personal development, you’re able to quickly redirect those funds, rather than wasting them on unnecessary extras.

All in all, thanks to employee engagement surveys, leaders are able to spot trends, helping them make smarter and more informed decisions and investments. 

Consequently, learning to spot trends also helps you implement changes to improve your company’s engagement levels, as well as enable you to become an attractive forward-thinking employer. 

Two great examples of recent trends include:

 

1. Prioritising mental health in the workplace.

Poor mental health is one of the most significant workplace issues today. It is estimated that 1 in 6 working-age people will suffer from a mental health issue, which causes a loss of over 70 million working days every year.  The recent pandemic has only made things worse.

Employment engagement surveys and case studies have repeatedly revealed that deskbound employees are one of the prime sufferers of poor mental health. 

As a result, employees have become more aware and concerned about taking care of their mental health and well-being. Knowing this, employers and managers play a unique role in supporting mental health in the workforce. 

Their aim should be to create awareness, identify the factors triggering stress and take the necessary steps to create a healthier workplace environment. 

 

2.  Offering interesting and challenging opportunities.

The top reasons for leaving a job are insufficient pay (44%), limited career paths (43%), lack of challenging work (30%), work-life balance (28%) and lack of recognition (27%).

Exciting and challenging work is a prime long-lasting motivator for employees. Your employees might continue to work without exciting work, but they will not be engaged and put their heart and soul into it.

This is a phenomenon in GenX and Gen Z employees as they are critical thinkers, challenge-seekers and problem solvers.

Creating exciting and challenging opportunities an employee engagement trend that every company must acknowledge.

Employers and managers have a unique role here. Sound performance management systems, welcoming strategies and setting goals are some ways to do it. Achieving this will help you attract top talent and retain existing employees.  

 

Hear From Our Expert

 

All in all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. If you’re not tracking employee engagement in the first place, how can you possibly expect to make it better?

Regularly surveying your team — and acting on the results — is the easiest way to improve engagement. You’ll find out directly from the source what’s working, and what can be improved upon. The end result? A more productive workforce, and happier customers. 

 

Celine Senior HR Advisor

About the Author:

With over 20 years' experience in Human Resources, working across both government & private sectors, Celine is an expert at her craft. As a Senior HR Advisor, Celine has extensive experience working across different industries, advising clients on a wide range of HR topics.
Read more about Celine Rethore.