How to Jumpstart Your Employee Experience Survey

September 9, 2022
Kahley Czupek
Timer  Read Time: 6 minutes
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Understanding your employee’s experience and satisfaction is more important than ever. Not only can these efforts reduce turnover, but as millennials and gen z make up more and more of the workforce population, it’s paramount that HR provides opportunities for them to share feedback.

But what type of survey should you employ? How often? What questions should you ask? We’ve poured over the latest research to compile all the employee experience survey information you need to know as you prepare for this year’s benefits season.

What is an Employee Experience Survey?

Simply put, employee engagement is the connection employees feel towards all things work: their projects, teammates, leadership and organization as whole. An employee engagement survey is a type of experience survey that measures the strength of this connection – whether an employee is engaged or disengaged.

Engagement levels impact other key business metrics including productivity, retention, profitability and more. Beyond that, showing that you care about what your employees think and have to say boosts morale and builds employee trust. Putting engagement in the forefront of your people strategy allows you to invest in your workforce as well as better business results.

Different Types of Surveys

There are a few different types of experience surveys HR teams can conduct throughout the year. Some should be done annually or quarterly, while others are monthly or at specific points in time related to the employee lifecycle. Some popular types include:

  • Engagement Surveys: As we mentioned before, engagement surveys measure the strength of connection an employee feels towards the overall organization including their work, teammates and leadership.
  • Lifecycle Surveys: Lifecycle surveys are conducted at key points within employee tenure such as when they are hired, promoted or when they terminate to understand what their experience was like and how it can be improved.
  • Pulse Surveys: Pulse surveys, or satisfaction surveys, garner quick employee feedback and opinions throughout the year. These should be shorter and more specific than engagement surveys.
  • Culture Surveys: A culture survey measures how an employee perceives the culture both on their team and within the larger organization to see if it aligns with HR goals.

When Should I Conduct an Employee Experience Survey?

Different surveys should be conducted at different frequencies throughout the year. For example, the employee lifecycle dictates when they should receive a lifecycle survey. Culture and engagement surveys are typically conducted annually, while the shorter pulse surveys are more frequent.

However, considering recent trends within the U.S. job market, annual experience surveys are no longer the gold standard timeline. According to research done by Quantum Workplace, employees that receive quarterly surveys are 10% more engaged than those who receive them annually. It’s important to also consider survey fatigue and avoid overwhelming your employees. Quantum Workplace recommends administering engagement surveys 4-5 times a year and supplementing with more frequent, shorter pulse surveys in between.

It’s also important to take the time of year into consideration. Avoid surveying during times that are busy either professionally or personally such as during peak sales season or around the holidays. When it’s a less busy time of year, HR emails are less likely to be buried in the employees’ inboxes and more likely to receive a thoughtful response.

What Questions Should I be Asking?

What questions you ask (and how you ask them) depend largely on your goals, people strategy and workforce. However, there are some key points that most engagement surveys should touch on including perception of organization, leadership, team interaction, communications and individual experiences and workload.

As you write your questions, think about the goal of each one – are you asking about satisfaction? Agreement (or disagreement)? The future? Or just trying to gauge general feedback and opinions? Here are some examples of the most common types of questions:

Satisfaction Questions: Gauging how satisfied and content your employees are with different areas of the organization.

  • Are you satisfied with your current compensation and benefits package?
  • Do you feel that your manager is a positive role model for you and your team?
  • Do you feel leaders at [organization] keep people well informed about the company?
  • How likely are you to recommend [organization] to a friend

Alignment Questions: Gauging if your employees agree with your organization’s direction, leadership values, company culture and personal job expectations.

  • Do you feel you have all the tools and resources necessary to be successful in your role?
  • Do you believe your manager provides proper recognition for your accomplishments?
  • Is leadership invested in and contributing to [organization’s] culture initiatives?
  • Do you agree with [organization’s] vision and values?

Future-Oriented Questions: Gauging employees’ future plans and likelihood of retention to shed light on areas that need additional HR or managerial support.

  • Do you see yourself working here in a year?
  • Has your manager explained a clear path for career advancement at [organization]?
  • Do you feel that [organization] provides ample professional development opportunities?
  • Have you recently thought about leaving [organization]?

Open-Ended Questions: Providing an opportunity for employees to elaborate on what’s working, what isn’t working and share any other feedback they may have.

  • How can we help improve your engagement at work?
  • Are there some things we are doing great at [organization]?
  • Are there some things we are not doing so great at [organization]?
  • Is there any other additional feedback, questions or concerns you would like to share?

This list of questions is just scratching the surface of all the possible things you could ask your workforce. It’s important to take into consideration what you already know about them, what you would like to learn and any other goals you would like to achieve.

Want to Learn More?

Surveys are a great way to kick off the pre-enrollment season! For more OE planning help, check out our free OE Planning Playbook to help you have a smooth enrollment season. 

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