A well-written employee survey can provide you with insight on everything from how to better serve your customers to what incentives will motivate your employees. Follow this advice:
• Temper expectations. Let employees know that while you want their feedback, you can’t guarantee that you will be able to offer everyone what they want. Explain that you will use the feedback to make broad changes that improve the workplace, rather than addressing each issue on a personal level. Share the results with employees and keep them in the loop about how you will use the survey data.
• Make it confidential. To receive honest responses, collect data in a way that ensures it can’t be traced back to employees.
• Keep it short. The survey should not require more than 10 minutes to complete. If it is too long, employees could rush through the process and the data won’t be meaningful.
• Balance the question format. Stick with a standard five-point scale for most of your questions (e.g., 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree). In addition, include open-ended questions that allow employees to share their thoughts in more detail.
— Adapted from “8 Quick Tips for Successful Workplace Surveys,” www.knoll.com.