Running an engagement survey doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. A great tool for the job is Google Forms. It has all the basic features needed to distribute your first survey. You can also try Roslin which is purpose-built for managing Employee Engagement.
This article on running an Engagement Survey is part of a series on Employee Engagement.
Phase 1 - Planning
Why are you running the survey?
You probably already know and that's why you're reading this article but just write your objectives down. Do you want to be proactive about culture management? Is there a specific issue you want to get on top of? Penning your objective will help you tackle the following questions.
Who are you surveying?
Writing out your objective will help you clarify who you need to survey in your organization. It will normally be everyone but it may be a select group first. Maybe you aren't confident in your survey process just yet so you want to trial it with a particular division first. Perhaps you're tackling a specific issue which is only relevant to a certain section of your organization.
What do you want to measure?
To make progress you need a measuring stick. Boil your objective down into actual metrics. Consider looking at the Roslin Engagement Drivers for inspiration. You'll want to measure these with your survey and at regular intervals in your follow up surveys so that you can make good decisions.
Understand the expectation you are going to create
The biggest challenge with culture building and employee engagement is expectations management.
"When you make commitments to the people in your organization about important issues, you need to follow through otherwise you will erode trust in the senior management team."
Simply asking questions and the way you introduce your survey will also start forming an expectation. This should not give you pause, it just needs to be considered before you proceed because the gains massively outweigh the risks.
Phase 2 - Build the Engagement Survey
Choose your questions
Now that you have determined your objective and your audience, creating the questions should be easy. Read our article on Employee Survey Questions for guidance on writing good questions. You can also check out the Roslin standard questions. (You'll have to register though). Note the different questions types available on Google Forms such as linear, dropdown and multiple choice.
Build out your Google Form
Once you've signed up, start a new form. Name it and write a description of it. Both will be seen by respondents. Now you can actually start with the questions which you can copy paste from your earlier work in the planning phase.
Google lets you add sections which will split your survey into several pages that the respondents will click through. This will make longer services less overwhelming and improve completion rates. Aim for 2-4 questions for a section or split them up per metric.
Some other settings to consider for your survey are below. You can edit them by selecting the gear icon on the top right of your screen.
- You can change whether users can edit their response after submitting.
- Users can be allowed to see the data of the survey after submitting. Selecting this will depend on the sensitivity of the questions that you're asking.
- You'll want to limit responses to 1 per respondent.
- You have the option of writing a message to each respondent after submitting the survey. It adds a nice touch.
Phase 3 - Analyze the data
Once the responses start coming in, Google Forms will automatically select the best chart type for your questions and populate it with response data.
You can't go very deep into your data with Google Forms though. This is where it falls short. For deeper analysis, you're going to have to export the data to excel and map the questions to different metrics. If you've set the survey to identify respondents then you can export the data to excel and map the responses to a user profiles table which will allow for segmented data reports.
This shortcoming is what inspired us to develop Roslin so check it out if the data analysis of Google Forms wasn't enough for you.
Phase 4 - Follow Up on your Engagement Survey
Once you start reviewing the responses you're going to feel a bit overwhelmed if you expect to deal with everything immediately.
That's not going to happen!
Now is the time to make hard decisions about what to act on and what to defer. You also need to ensure that you don't knee-jerk and do everything that the staff ask for blindly. You need to be very deliberate about what sort of a culture you want to create. This means using the feedback you've received to see where you are and compare it to where you want to be. THEN, you can decide on actions.
You'll want to communicate the results of the survey to the respondents within 1 month of the closing date. Be as transparent as you can by sharing the data with your organisation. It's also ideal that you communicate your action plan along with the results. Follow that up with the results of those actions 3-6 months later.
Then you can start the next round of your culture program!
It's important to tackle the various steps in running your engagement survey and then following up on the results with your team. If you plan your objective and survey questions well, you'll get good data. With good data, you can make excellent decisions. Follow those decisions up with excellent execution and you'll have an A-Grade Culture in no time!