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Conduct an Employee Survey to Energize Profit and Competitiveness

Why Your Company Should Conduct an Employee Survey Now

The recession has driven profit at most large, mid-sized and small companies well below peak levels. Companies that have had success in boosting profit have done so by making significant reductions in staff levels. Few companies have been able to generate significantly more sales. Productivity is up on a national level and many employees are working harder, producing more output in the hours they are working.
Many companies have reduced average work hours of the employees they have not laid off, and some companies have reduced compensation and benefits.
This has resulted in a larger than normal number of employees that are dissatisfied and less engaged in their job. Many of our employee surveys are finding that employees are happy to have a job while at the same time they are worried they may lose their job. Larger than usual numbers of employees are commenting that they are planning to leave their company as soon as the economy improves and the job market opens up.
Companies need to be aware that employee satisfaction, employee engagement and employee loyalty are down. This is impacting the performance of some employees. Without action, voluntary employee turnover will rise as the economy improves.
Conducting an employee satisfaction survey or an employee engagement survey is the best way to assess employee satisfaction and employee engagement levels and to gather first-hand information, perceptions, suggestions and insight from employees about what needs to be done to earn back employee loyalty, job satisfaction and engagement.

Tips for Conducting Effective Employee Satisfaction Surveys and Employee Engagement Surveys

Whether you call your survey an employee satisfaction survey or an employee engagement survey, your employee survey should include questions that determine employees' satisfaction with key drivers of satisfaction. The survey should also include questions that assess your employees' level of engagement in their job.
In addition to rating their level of satisfaction and engagement, every employee survey question should include a comments field that enables employees to include their perceptions, insight, suggestions and information that explains their rating answers. Comments will tell you why employees are satisfied or dissatisfied, and why they are engaged or disengaged in their job.
Your employee survey should include demographic questions such as department, location and years of service with your organization. You may also want to ask employees to identify their gender, ethnic background and age range in order to review survey results by these demographic criteria as well as for your company overall.
Ensure that all of your employee survey responses are kept anonymous. Employees are more likely to respond to employee surveys and to provide honest answers when they are confident that their answers will be anonymous.
Consider using a survey company rather than self-service online survey software. While self-service survey is less expensive, a survey company will provide considerable value. While some of the largest employee survey companies and HR consulting firms that conduct employee surveys can be quite costly, some of the smaller employee survey companies have extensive experience and expertise and considerably lower pricing.
Reasons to use a survey company include their expertise and experience designing survey questions that provide actionable information and insight, and their ability to provide extensive graphical, tabular and comments reports sorted by demographics and for your organization overall on a very timely basis, saving your organization many, many hours preparing survey reports using Excel. A good survey company will provide all of the survey reports within two to three days after the survey response period is closed. Additionally, many employees will be more confident that their survey answers will be anonymous if a survey company is used rather than self-service survey software.
Some survey companies have the ability to readily provide trend data and graphs comparing current survey results with results from your previous surveys, as long as the same questions are used. This is a highly effective way to track progress addressing opportunities and problems identified in employee surveys. Other reasons to use a survey company rather than self-service survey software is that some survey companies can provide benchmarking data, enabling a comparison of your company's survey results with results from other companies. Some survey companies also offer preparation of an optional executive summary report, including a summary of the survey findings and recommendations for taking action based on the survey findings.

The Importance of Employee Engagement

Employees at all levels of your organization are engaged when they are fully committed, involved and enthusiastic about their jobs and your company. Engaged employees are willing, able and significantly do contribute to your company's success. Engaged employees regularly go the extra mile, putting effort into their work above and beyond what is expected of them. They eagerly and willingly work longer hours and focus their energy, inspiration, skills, intelligence and experience to achieve success for themselves and your organization. Engaged employees thrive when they are working in a supportive organizational culture. Their visible enthusiasm, energy and inspiration in turn enhance the organizational culture and encourage other employees to become more engaged in their jobs.
A final thought
If your company needs to increase its performance, competitiveness and profit, and guard against employee turnover as the economy improves, conducting employee satisfaction surveys/employee engagement surveys will provide important actionable information and insight for making better decisions, increasing employee engagement and loyalty, and becoming more competitive and profitable.
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