The problem of retaining good employees, creating the right motivation, and a favourable atmosphere for their work in the organisation has now come to the fore. An employee questionnaire is one of the HR tools that can help.
Regular employee questionnaires are an efficient tool to find out your employees’ opinions and timely detect possible problems to improve business processes, prevent losing valuable staff, and grow resilience.
Try your hand at creating a compelling employee questionnaire using our comprehensive guide.
Top priority: high performing employee retention
Businesses across all industries are now making more and more efforts to find highly qualified specialists. According to a 2021 Deloitte study, seven out of ten employers worldwide struggle to find staff with the right qualifications, which include both professional and communication skills.
Replacing an employee is costly and, in many ways, disadvantageous. Companies risk losing an amount equal to an average employee’s two annual salaries. If we consider that the work efficiency of a high-class specialist is a lot more than the “average,” the loss of even a few professionals can hit the company’s profits hard.
That’s why talent retention has become one of the top HR priorities these days, and an employee engagement questionnaire should become the core part of the entire HR process. The survey, if conducted properly, will be a marker of the current employee sentiment and will help you fix your talent retention issues.
How to create an efficient employee questionnaire?
We won’t sugarcoat it – designing an excellent employee questionnaire isn’t easy. Unfortunately, the chances of your Email going unnoticed or flying to the trash box are pretty high.
Here are some of the ideas that should be on your radar when compiling an engaging questionnaire for your workers. And, there’s no need to remind you that the questionnaire should be anonymous if you want to get a realistic result.
We propose to split the questionnaire into modules that reflect the main factors of retaining valuable specialists in the company, namely:
- Competitive compensation;
- Comfortable working environment;
- Opportunities for growth and development;
- Recognition and praise;
- Relationships with the manager.
Fill the modules with the respective questions with the possibility to rate them on a scale of 0 to 10. All questions have to be presented logically and tactfully to build trust with the respondents and obtain an authentic and truthful employee feedback survey.
When surveying staff, ask subtle questions to understand common concerns, challenges, and possibly grievances that worry your employees. This will allow you to gain precious insights into the organisation’s current employee engagement levels, the team’s readiness to grow and develop at this stage, and then adjust company policies accordingly.
“What is a competitive salary? – It’s when the salary competes with the bills”, the popular office joke goes. But seriously speaking, there’s a place (and cost) in the labor market for each specialist.
A certain equilibrium level is obtained based on the average salary of a specific position in the market and demand for it from other employers. This is what a competitive salary is.
Naturally, the company expects effective work from the employee, and the employee expects a certain compensation for their work. Employee satisfaction directly depends on meeting these expectations.
Suppose your company offers a salary lower than most others available to the employee. In that case, the latter becomes an easy target for headhunters who lure by the higher compensation rates and other benefits.
Medical insurance for the employees and their family members, paid lunches and transportation fees for office workers, paid Internet and even utility bills for the remote workers are among them.
So, questions in this module aim to evaluate your company’s compensation and benefits package.
- To what extent does your current salary match your contribution to the company?
- How satisfied are you with the benefits and perks that are offered to all company employees?
- Please evaluate how the amount of bonuses you receive corresponds to your efforts to achieve the company goals.
- Do you think you are sufficiently appreciated for your work?
If most answers to these questions are below five on a scale from 0 to 10, you should take steps to change the situation. For example, you can introduce regular salary reviews based on the Performance review system (a comprehensive employee assessment every 6-12 months).
Comfortable working environment
One of the first signs that an employee is about to leave the company is the loss of engagement in the work process. This particular part of the employee questionnaire aims to identify the engagement levels of the staff and their inner comfort at their workplace.
- Would you recommend our company as a place of work to a relative or friend?
- Do you look forward to coming to work each morning?
- How healthy and constructive are the relationships inside your team?
- Do you feel empowered at work?
- Do you feel comfortable asking for help at your workplace if needed?
- Are you satisfied with your work’s basic amenities, equipment, and resources (e.g., lead generation tools, collaboration tools)?
- How often during a typical week do you feel overwhelmed or stressed?
- Is your working schedule flexible enough to meet your life-work balance expectations?
- Rate from 0 to 10 the likelihood of you looking for a job outside our company.
If the average satisfaction level in this area is below five on a scale from 0 to 10, you should not expect employees to be mainly involved in their work. At best, they patiently do their functions. At worst, they take out the accumulated negative attitude on their colleagues or clients, which may decrease overall performance.
Opportunities for growth and development
There are so many things in job descriptions when companies want to emphasise that they have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere: coffee/tea with cookies, fruit and healthy smoothies, table tennis, and free yoga classes almost without leaving the workplace, to name just a few.
Meanwhile, last year, less than a quarter of highly qualified employees surveyed by Deloitte noted the importance of these factors when looking for a job. On the contrary, opportunities for personal and professional growth were crucial for most of them.
This block of questions is designed to identify your employee satisfaction levels regarding carrier, study, professional development opportunities in your company.
- To what extent do you consider your job a challenge?
- Do you feel that your role correlates to the company’s success?
- To what extent do tasks at work help you develop professionally?
- Are you satisfied with the company’s training plan?
- Are you satisfied with the career prospects that are open for you in the company? To what extent does it meet your expectations?
- Do you think the company leadership shows enough interest in your career goals?
In the CareerAddict study, 74% of respondents answered that if they don’t have the opportunity to develop professionally, they are likely to change jobs. The employee questionnaire will help you prevent such a course of events in your organisation.
Recognition and praise
One of the reasons people change jobs is because they feel undervalued at their workplace.
Recent neurobiological studies prove that recognition of an employee’s achievements in the form of simple praise stimulates the production of dopamine, the most potent neurotransmitter in the human brain also called the hormone of joy.
Moreover, dopamine promotes memorisation of information, evokes pleasure and satisfaction, stimulates motivation and interest. An employee should experience all that and feel like a star if he does a job better than others. If such an employee exerts extra effort, it will create competition and motivate the whole team.
The questions in this module should give you a clear picture of whether, figuratively speaking, your employees are getting enough dopamine and whether it might be necessary to “increase the dose.”
- Do you think you’re fairly recognised for your contribution to team efforts?
- Are you often complimented for your achievements by your manager and peers?
- Do you feel recognised for your hard work to achieve company goals?
If, on a scale from 0 to 10, most of the answers are below five, then it’s time for you to think about some serious changes in the company in terms of employee recognition.
Developing a dedicated Rewards & Recognition Program and encouraging peer-to-peer recognition in your company might make sense before all the talents have gone to competitors.
Again, Deloitte research has shown that organisations using recognition programs significantly reduce employee turnover (by 31%) and increase employee engagement.
Healthy relationships with the manager
Employees don’t leave companies. They leave bad bosses, a famous proverb says. Indeed, the leader’s fair assessment and actions, their competent and comprehensive feedback give a powerful motivation to work, and vice versa.
When a manager doesn’t notice employees, doesn’t appreciate their contribution, and even takes their ideas and achievements, it makes you think about changing your job, even if you like it.
This particular block of questions will show you the level of safety your employees feel concerning their manager.
- To what extent does your boss’s management style positively affect your work?
- Do you feel your boss’s management style suits you?
- How realistic are your manager’s expectations?
- When your manager solves a problem, to what extent is your opinion taken into account?
- Does your manager care about you as a person?
- Do you feel your boss will have your back if you make a mistake?
- How satisfied are you with the way you monitor and the manager’s feedback on your work?
- Express your admiration for your manager’s professional competence from 0 to 10.
Employees seldom tell their bosses what they think they’re doing wrong, even in the most trusting work environments. An anonymous employee questionnaire is an excellent opportunity to do that. You as a manager may need to work harder to earn the respect, admiration, and loyalty of your team to inspire them to accomplish great things for your company.
How often should you conduct an employee questionnaire?
When your questionnaire is ready, you can conduct the full biannual employee survey using your company’s most common communication channel.
You can also use separate questions for conducting questionnaires more often. For example, once a quarter or once a month based on the problems in your organisation.
Timing is vital for surveying staff. Avoid high seasons and vacation periods to get reliable answers. At such moments, the workload on staff increases noticeably, which leads to stress and a temporary decrease in loyalty.
You can develop a schedule in online employee questionnaire platforms or your HRM system to collect data automatically and systematically. All answers will be anonymous, but this does not prevent you from segmenting them by department, position, gender, age, etc. to find the most unsatisfied segment and try to fix the situation.
An employee questionnaire is a sort of “checking the temperature” of your organisation, solving minor problems from the root before they turn into disasters.
The main reason for surveying staff is to measure the employee engagement levels and internal issues in the teams, which may lead to high turnover and associated costs. Employee questionnaires also help retain talented employees, which is essential to the success of any business.
About the Author
Maryana Kushnir is a copywriter at Snov.io. Leveraging techniques learned from journalism and public relations, she’s helping brands stand out by telling enchanting stories about their products.