All about employee engagement surveys

Employee engagement surveys act as a Quality of Worklife barometer. They help you establish a QWL diagnostic and find out quickly solutions that can improve employee experience within your company.

Why should you run employee engagement surveys?

To boost your company's performance

When you take a closer look at your teams' working conditions, their well-being and their working relations, you're making a direct impact on your company's performance:

  • 45% turnover reduction,
  • 41% less absences,
  • 43% productivity increase.

Besides increasing the company's profitability, employee engagement improves its organizational system : more cooperation, more dialogue, and more individual and collective initiatives. The positive impact will also shine through your employer brand.

With regular engagement surveys, you'll be able to target first-line actions to implement.

To develop employee engagement at every level

Within teams, a QWL survey promotes open dialogue between employees and managers. These dialogues enable companies to tear down barriers, avoid concerns being left unsaid or the accumulation of repressed frustrations. Whether it's about giving or gathering feedback, reflecting on actions to improve collaboration, managers will benefit from concrete elements to help them tackle key subjects.

Emmanuelle Greth, HR Director of Guerlain, has been using Pulse surveys for the past three years. Since, she noticed that employees’ voices have been liberated, and teams are now able to express their concerns.

Asking for employees’ opinions on subjects which directly concern them gives them a feeling of recognition and lets them know that the company listens to their needs. It's particularly important during trial periods as 65% of new employees continue to look at job offers over the three months following their recruitment.

The different types of employee surveys

There are two main types of employee surveys. Both with the same purpose (measuring employee experience) but with different means.

The annual satisfaction survey

The annual satisfaction survey is one of the most common employee surveys. Once a year, each employee is asked to evaluate its employee experience within the company. These HR surveys measure the overall employee experience at a specific moment.

The advantage of annual satisfaction surveys is the variety of QWL subjects that can be covered. Often rich in content, they offer a comprehensive overview of the company's Quality of Worklife.

However, by being carried out just once a year, the annual survey doesn't offer the agility required for quick intervention, particularly regarding psychosocial risk factors. This way, things can slip through the net, such as significant dips in team motivation, toxic management or even cases of burnout. It is harder to act on these issues when they have the time to settle down and spread out.

The Pulse survey

The other kind of employee survey is the Pulse survey. Sent every month or every quarter to the employees, it is a shorter version of the annual survey with a short-term vision.

This method enables HR managers to collect regular feedback from each team and on each QWL topic : work conditions, relationship with the manager, training opportunities, personal development or feeling of belonging.

The main advantage of the Pulse survey is the reactivity it offers. Issues are identified and addressed quickly. This is why more and more managers use it as well.

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Focus: choosing the right survey frequency

The ideal frequency for QWL surveys depends on your capacity to analyse the results and to plan follow-up actions.

Avoid giving your employees the impression that their feedback is useless, and that nothing will be implemented (or implemented too late) to improve their day-to-day experiences in the workplace. A good engagement survey tool should enable you to process the results easily for implementing quick and concrete actions to respond to your teams' requests. The more you collect regular feedback from your teams, the more you'll be able to adjust your action plan and align it with the company performance.

What criteria should be used for choosing your engagement surveys tool?

Now that we've discovered the different types of engagement surveys, let's focus on how to choose the best-suited survey tool for your company.

The usability, for engagement surveys that are enjoyable to complete

QWL surveys should be a positive experience for employees. Therefore, it's important that your surveys have a pleasant setting, so that employees enjoy responding to them. A high participation rate is key if you want to make a real impact. So do not neglect the importance of a HR tool with a fun and user-friendly design.

You should also go for an employee survey tool that is easy to handle and use. The appropriation of a new tool by the managers is essential for the process’ success. It's better to have an easy-to-use tool with a moderate (but useful) number of features than a complex solution with so many features that you don't even use half of them.

The richness of the questions, to adapt to different situations

Companies don't encounter the same challenges, and each team has its own concerns. So, your HR survey tool needs to take these particularities into account and allow you to address all kinds of employees’ issues.

Whether the issues concern a relocation, a merger in progress, or the departure of an important manager… You need to be able to ask the right questions. At Lucca, we have created a database of over 500 questions, drafted by employee experience experts in order to address each QWL pillar.

The assistance, to analyse the survey results and implement the right QWL actions

Finally, assistance in the analysis of your engagement surveys and the implementation of an action plan is crucial for your QWL process.

Real-time analysis of your surveys is a prerequisite. Nevertheless, what will really make the difference between a simple recommendation and the identification of real well-being at work will be the implementation of actions corresponding to the employees needs. This is why we complement engagement surveys with human assistance. Our team of experts helps you analyse survey results and select the most appropriate QWL actions for your company.

Discover Lucca's Bloom at Work support

How to implement employee engagement surveys

Defining the HR indicators to monitor

Above all, think about the HR indicators that you want to monitor, as these will guide your decisions to better steer your HR priorities.

Here are the most useful:

  • Turnover: a low turnover rate is often a sign of a good well-being at work. Engagement surveys will help you align your employees' goals with the company's strategic objectives, and identify any differences of perception.
  • Absence rate: This KPI is related to the motivation level of teams. If it's too high, focus on the causes of these absences as it can show a lack of well-being in the workplace.
  • Employee net promoter score (ENPS): This measure, calculated on a scale of 1 to 10, defines the level of attachment that employees feel towards their company. The ENPS evaluates, among other things, the degree of satisfaction with work conditions.

The data collected during your QWL diagnostics is essential for defining and analyzing the performance of your HR strategy. Be careful to define the right objective and measurable indicators for each item to be assessed, so you’ll make sure to collect the right data for their evaluation.

Communicating on the engagement surveys stakes

By explaining to your employees the objectives behind the use of a QWL tool, you will guarantee a higher participation rate of your HR surveys. Not only will you demonstrate transparency regarding the reasons that led to this initiative, but you'll also be able to count on a sufficient number of responses to implement representative QWL actions.

To make sure your kick-off communication is well-prepared, list the necessary elements to inform and reassure your teams. The use of an external solution guarantees confidentiality, particularly during responses processing. This is an important criteria to consider when selecting your engagement survey tool.

From engagement survey results to QWL action implementation

Analyzing the results of your employee surveys

Once the feedback has been collected from your employees, the analysis of the QWL survey results can begin. This is the time for putting your team's feelings into words, and to add concrete, quantitative data into your HR KPIs.

Reinforce your quantitative analyses with qualitative measures: ask employees whether they have seen progress in their working environment, and how they've been feeling since the last survey.

Thanks to these indicators and your evaluation, you can get a diagnosis of your strengths and define areas in need of improvement.

Once your employee experience survey has been sent and its results analyzed, the work isn’t done yet. Don't lose sight of the main goal of the quality of life in the workplace questionnaire. The most important step in a QWL process is implementing your action plans.

Involving every employee in improving their working experience

You have already involved your employees with the QWL surveys. Go further by involving them in improving their well-being at work. From top-end management to employees, the QWL concerns everyone within the organization.

You can, for example, offer brief advice at the end of each QWL questionnaire. From stress management at work to tips for more productive meetings or how to give good feedback, there are plenty of ways to improve the employees experience.

Launch your employee engagement surveyss