There are many best practices in HR. From office safety to employee recognition, HR ensures that your team is functioning well on all levels. One of the most effective and efficient tools you can use to check in on your employees’ performance, wellbeing, and overall satisfaction, is employee surveys.

8 thought leaders share their best HR practice as it pertains to employee surveys.

Survey Management as Well

Google’s Performance Management Program has a component called the “Annual Upward Feedback Survey,” which is a 360-degree review of supervisors. Too often employees are the subject of feedback and performance critique. Management and supervisors need to be subjected to the same kind of feedback in order to learn and grow. Make sure that surveys include a section that enables employees to voice how they feel about leadership. 

Michael Bratta, Interim HR

Review the Insights

Some business owners issue an employee survey because it is considered a “best practice.” However, it is important to remember that employees are taking the time to share their insights with you. As a business owner, these insights need to be reviewed and acted upon by you. A survey can actually work against you if people make their voices heard, only to see nothing come as a result.

Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority

Take Action

Rule of thumb that I would encourage companies to live by is if you aren’t going to take action on the results and you aren’t going to be transparent with the results, scrap the idea of doing an employee survey.

Nothing will harm the engagement of your employees more than not acting on the feedback they give you.

Terra Carbert, The Career Mindset Coach

Empower Employees to Help With Solutions

If the organization is going to take the time to ask employees for their feedback in a survey, the best thing you can do is 1) make sure to take the time to read their concerns, 2) address their concerns by letting them know which ones you can work on, and the ones you can’t while sharing why, and 3) get them involved by implementing task forces and empowering them to help come up with solutions.

Lizeth Santamaria, Discover Your Power

Look out for Biases

I have had mixed results with employee surveys. Often, those employees who are very satisfied are the ones who tend not to respond so the survey results are skewed toward what may be a small percentage of unhappy employees. Small focus groups led by an outside, unbiased professional is a good method to obtain true employee attitudes. The results can be anonymous but more detailed as the facilitator can delve into specific issues that are presented.

Laura Ingegneri, HR ExecPro, LLC

Explain the Importance

Explain the importance of the survey to your employees and ensure they know that you will review them and take their ideas into consideration. Too many people don’t take them seriously because they assume their bosses won’t take their feedback seriously!

Nikitha Lokareddy, Digital Marketing Company

Two-Way Communication

Employee surveys are an amazing tool to gain a pulse of the organization. I like to integrate an opportunity for open-ended questions back to leadership, and then have town halls/video chats/etc… where those questions can be answered with transparency. My favorite questions are around asking for one product enhancement or addition, and if there was one thing they could ask the CEO, what would it be. The goal is to create an environment that supports two-way communication and creativity.

Nicole Spracale, vCandidates

Keep It Anonymous

Make employee surveys anonymous. I was really surprised at the participation rate of employee surveys when we began deploying them anonymously. Every employee – from interns to executives – have key insights and perspectives that should be shared. Making surveys anonymous removes the repercussions. By adding a safe element into a survey, the insights become that much better.
Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Company