Some employers use surveys once in a blue moon to see if their people are engaged. Budget spent. Box checked. But if employee surveys are well-developed, with smart analytics, these multi-purpose, diagnostic tools can address many issues and concerns that keep managers awake at night.
Take a gander at our list, below. How many of these questions have been asked by your senior team at one time or another? All of these questions can be answered to some extent by conducting a rigorous and comprehensive employee survey.
We know what some of you are thinking. “Employee surveys are useless.” Surveys sometimes get a bad rap on blogs and LinkedIn posts. Yet, nearly all of the complaints that we’ve seen have to do with bad surveys (the ones that ignore nearly a century of measurement science).
But for now, why not really put that survey budget to work for you? What questions do you have? The following may be addressed by studying question linkages, applying organizational psychology theories to the results, or analyzing the data in advanced ways.
“How do we….
…use employee perceptions to develop leaders?”
…prioritize the many things that we need to change?”
…engage our people?”
…build deep, emotional commitment to the organization?”
…find out why people are leaving?”
…determine our employer brand for attracting talent?”
…know if people are aligned with the mission, vision, and strategy?”
…get people to give more of themselves (i.e., discretionary effort)?”
…know if our problems start at the top or bottom of the organization?”
…understand our ‘real’ culture or climate, despite what we profess?”
.. identify what’s driving our employee health and disability costs?”
…know if our people are ready for a big change?”
…know if management and front line employees are on the same page?”
…reward people when we can’t pay them more?”
…know what’s causing our morale issues?”
…know if we’re making a difference with our clients (and in the world)?”
…find out whether we need more satisfied, or more engaged employees?”
…select two or three things that could have the biggest impacts?”
.. find employee groups that are most at risk (e.g., stress, burnout)?”
…know if employees connect their jobs to the big picture?”
…determine which departments need the most attention?”
…understand both younger and older workers?”
…find critical things that are invisible in bar charts and percentages?”
…know if we have a culture of diversity and inclusion?”
…help our people to deal with job stress?”
…determine if people’s strengths are being fully leveraged?”
…find out what concrete ideas employees have for change?”
…know what our employees really want, as people?”
…understand why some managers are high performers (and how to leverage that)?”
…identify what our people need to do their best work?”
…foster creativity and innovation among our people?”
…get through this article before our next team meeting (just checking to see if you’re still with us)?”
If you’re asking any of these questions, it’s time to consider an employee survey and get some answers!
This article was also a blog published by my associates at