As any business owner or manager knows, evaluation and feedback given to your team is an important part of managing it effectively. But asking for feedback from the lower employee tiers upwards is a less common practice, and one which can be hugely beneficial, if done right.
Creating an employee feedback survey will help your organization in immediate ways, such as these:
- It will make employees feel valued and that their voices are heard.
- Every employee can bring to you a unique perspective which isn’t to be ignored. The view from the top can suffer from significant tunnel vision.
- A well filled out questionnaire can give managers insight on the styles of management preferred by each member of their team. Not everyone is motivated in the same way and knowing how to adapt your style is one of the requirements of being a good manager.
- Participating in an employee feedback survey can drive up employee engagement, which in turn is the key for boosting productivity and innovation.
How to Create an Employee Feedback Survey
First of all, note that using an online survey creation tool is recommended. It will help your survey look professional and provide you with truly accurate insight. There are several such free tools online, as well as multiple templates you can use for inspiration. Creating the questionnaire per se will not be difficult, but you need to know exactly what you want from it. Otherwise, if you just take a pre-made template and minimally adapt it to your organization, the whole exercise will feel hard to relate to.
To make sure you get the most authenticity from your employee feedback survey, here are a few tips to follow before and after the questionnaire stage:
Before creating the survey:
- Talk with each team manager in your organization and ask them for some key issues their team has experienced. These can include problematic members, or organizing blockages and so on. Whatever comes to their mind.
- Find a way to include these issues in the questionnaire without naming the issue directly. It’s less about naming names or referring to already known organizing issues in order to confirm them, and more about giving employees an opportunity to speak up. Also allow room for them to propose solutions.
- Anonymity is considered important by survey creators, but it’s a two-way street. It’s better to treat the cause than the symptom. Instead of making employees feel safe with the help of anonymity, it would be best to make them feel safe to speak up anyway. Make sure everyone understands that this survey is truly intended to be a tool managers will learn from. Also, give assurances that no negative consequences will befall anyone.
- Think about a free-form answer to be required in the survey. There, each employee should include whatever words and concepts come to mind about your organization. This will give you direct feedback on your company culture. You’ll be able to see if the one defined by upper management is the same with the culture and environment reflected below. Also, you’ll maybe get some cool ideas for updating your company mission statement and culture.
After applying the survey:
- Thank everyone for their participation and honesty. You can even think of a small personalized gift or a bonus to give participants.
- Follow up a month or two later in a letter or email to each employee who signaled an issue. Let them know of exactly how the upper management team is striving to solve that problem.
- Use the insight received for long term company culture plans.
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