Why you can’t ignore the benefits of an employee engagement survey

Employee engagement is a big deal—it increases productivity, employee happiness, and profitability. What’s not to love about that?

But with only 21% of employees across the globe feeling engaged in their workplace, it’s time to find a way to get your employees engaged at work. That’s where the employee engagement survey comes in. 

The benefits of employee engagement surveys are far-reaching. They help your business and employees, so running an employee survey is a real win-win. 

If this is the first time you’ve heard the term “employee engagement survey,” don’t worry. We’re going to break it all down. 

Let’s get started.

What is employee engagement? 

Employee engagement is a concept that helps us understand and describe the relationships between a business and its employees. Employee engagement is defined as an employee’s involvement and enthusiasm while at work. It can help you get a read on how your employees feel about your workplace culture.

Understanding employee engagement can tell you if your employees are actively involved with their work or are simply going through the motions. 

Why is employee engagement important for your small business? 

As a business owner, employee engagement is extremely important. It’s not only something you should keep tabs on, but also something you should actively try to foster. A company with widespread employee engagement will benefit from a better workplace culture, reduced turnover, and happier employees. 

And it doesn’t end there. Companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive than those with disengaged employees. Investing in employee engagement pays.

Employees become more energized and efficient when they’re engaged with their work. They’re more willing to go above and beyond to help the company and their colleagues. This mentality also positively impacts their mental health and well-being at work.

While employee engagement greatly influences how individual employees feel and act, the real magic is seen at the company level. Its positive impact on productivity and profitability makes investing in employee engagement a no-brainer.  

What is an employee engagement survey? 

An employee engagement survey is a questionnaire designed to help you measure how engaged, motivated, and satisfied employees feel toward the company and their roles within it. Employee engagement surveys can be anonymous to help you get honest employee feedback.

As a business owner, you can use employee engagement surveys to learn everything from what’s driving engagement in your business to what factors hinder engagement. 

What are the benefits of employee engagement surveys that help your business?

Surveys and questionnaires encouraging your employees to express their feelings about work can help you create a work environment that attracts top talent. You can learn what works and what doesn’t work in your organization, and get honest input on how to improve from your employees. The benefits of employee engagement are far-reaching. 

1. Increase employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction and employee engagement are very closely related. Employees who are satisfied with their job are more likely to be engaged. And those who are dissatisfied are more likely to be disengaged. 

Employees are 31% more productive when they’re satisfied with their job. When employees are dissatisfied, they feel unproductive, unmotivated, and their performance suffers. And dissatisfied employees open up a whole trove of other issues—they’re more likely to deliver poor customer service, butt heads with their colleagues, and actively look for a new role which can result in a poor retention rate. 

There are a lot of things that can cause employees to be dissatisfied at work. The most common causes include being paid below market standards, lack of appreciation, issues with colleagues, and poor work-life balance

So, increasing employee satisfaction should be on your radar, but how can you do that if you don’t know your employees are dissatisfied?

The short answer is: you can’t. That’s where employee engagement surveys come in. 

Employee engagement surveys can help you understand how many employees are unhappy. With the right questions, you can even find out what factors are causing dissatisfaction in the workplace, giving you the information you need to make meaningful improvements.

2. Reduce your turnover rate

While we keep hearing about a recession, we also hear a lot about the Great Resignation. And with 56% of Americans saying they plan to look for a new job in 2023, it’s clear that the impending potential recession isn’t curbing the Great Resignation.

One of the main reasons employees start looking for a new role is that they feel disengaged in their position. Remember, disengaged employees are less productive, unhappy, and tend to experience more issues in the workplace. It makes sense that they would look elsewhere for a position they feel more passionate about. 

As a business owner, losing talented team members is a big problem. Not only will it impact your company culture and morale, but it will also impact your bottom line. Replacing an employee can cost up to two times the team member’s annual salary. For example, if a store clerk at a toy store makes $18/hour and works 40 hours per week, it could cost as much as $74,880 to replace them if they quit. 

Because low engagement can encourage people to look for new opportunities, surveys can help you determine if—and why—your employees are disengaged. Then you can explore how to fix those issues and retain your top employees.

It’s all about asking the right questions and ensuring employees aren’t afraid of repercussions for their answers. Using an anonymous survey can ensure employees feel free to express themselves openly. You might ask: “Do you feel your current compensation is in line with your responsibilities?” or “In one year, do you see yourself working here?”.

Negative responses to these questions should be a red flag for business owners that require further exploration.

3. Build a culture of trust and empathy

Whether we’re aware of it or not, there’s a power dynamic involved in all employee-employer relationships. And while you can shout “I’m always here to chat!” and “I welcome all feedback!” from the mountain tops all day, it doesn’t change that some employees will never feel safe or confident enough to share everything they’re feeling.

In fact, 34% of employees would rather switch teams or quit their jobs altogether than voice their true concerns with management. Talk about creating a retention problem.

Did you know? 86% of employees feel people in their organization aren’t heard equally. Another 63% feel like their manager or employer has somehow ignored their voice. 

No matter what your employees are going through or who they’re willing to speak with, it’s essential to make sure they’re heard. They should walk away knowing that management cares about their problems.

While the end goal should be to have a team of employees who feel comfortable speaking directly to their manager, this isn’t always the case. If there isn’t another way to communicate beyond face-to-face conversations, people may keep their problems at work to themselves. Over time, this will result in disengaged employees. 

That’s the great thing about anonymous employee surveys. They let employees feel heard and help you gather genuine feedback from everyone on your team—without people having to own up to their feelings.

Listening and gathering information through an employee survey is a great start. But it’s just that: a start. You need to take it further and show them you’re acting on their feedback. To build trust with your employees, you need to refine your processes based on the answers you get from your employee engagement survey.

4. Improve employee safety

Disengaged workplaces are less productive and are also 64% more likely to experience safety incidents. They’re also often physically and mentally exhausted, increasing the chances of a workplace accident. 

Workplace accidents can happen in any industry, so you must take all required safety precautions into account. And employee engagement surveys are another tool you can use to prioritize safety in your workplace. 

Again, it’s all about what questions you’re asking. Consider including questions about whether employees feel overworked, as employees may feel more comfortable sharing this information in an anonymous survey. And if your business has specific safety concerns, include questions about it in regular employee surveys.

Open communication with employees and managers generally leads to fewer safety incidents and a more engaged workplace. Employee engagement surveys are key to creating open communication and an engaged workplace.

5. Better job performance and profitability

Like peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese, employee engagement and high performance is a perfect match. Employee engagement creates the ideal environment for high performance, and high performance makes employees feel more engaged.

Studies have shown that engaged employees are more reliable and get more work done. Engaged workplaces experience 81% less absenteeism and an 18% increase in productivity

Employee engagement surveys can help improve your employee’s on-the-job performance by giving employees a safe space to share their honest feedback. Ask questions like “What’s holding you back from performing your best work?” to dig into what barriers are affecting your team. 

Remember that asking the right questions is only half the battle. You need to take meaningful steps to improve work conditions based on the feedback you collect from your employee engagement surveys. 

6. Increase profitability

As mentioned above, an engaged workplace is a more profitable workplace. The same Gallup study found that engaged workplaces are 23% more profitable than their disengaged counterparts.  

Conducting employee engagement surveys regularly gives you the data you need to improve employee engagement in your workplace. Remember, simply sending out the survey isn’t going to cut it. You need to analyze the data and put a plan in place to act on your findings. 

That’s how you’ll start to see a meaningful impact on your employees’ engagement while at work.

How to create a successful employee engagement survey

Creating your employee engagement survey that gives you the data and information you need to make real change takes time and planning. You can’t just ask whatever questions are on your mind and send a mass email to your team.

You need to consider how the questions are written, how you’ll deliver your survey, and what topics you want to cover in your survey.

These six steps will help you develop your employee engagement survey.

1. Pick a topic for your employee engagement survey

We get it: there’s a ton of stuff you want to learn from your employees. And it can be tempting to word vomit every question you have into one survey. But this can confuse employees about the purpose of the survey and, in the end, leave you with unactionable results. 

Think about what’s important for your business to know right now that can help you make meaningful changes. From there, choose the focus and goal of your survey.

2. Determine the length and frequency of employee engagement surveys

There are a variety of different kinds of employee surveys you can use in your business. And while you don’t have to restrict yourself to using only one, you should plan to set a cadence of how often you’ll send surveys.

For example, if you decide to send an annual review survey, you won’t likely get the information you need. In contrast, weekly satisfaction surveys can lead to survey fatigue and disengaged answers.

Find the right balance of when to send surveys and how long each should take. 

You know your business and employees better than anyone else, so you’ll know best the appropriate cadence for your business. A great place to start is a quarterly survey that won’t take employees more than ten minutes to complete. Remember, under federal labor laws, employees should be on the clock when completing work-related surveys. 

3. Select the right employee survey questions to match your goals

The most important part of creating your employee engagement survey is choosing the right questions. You want to ask questions that will result in answers that translate to actionable feedback. 

 Make sure to avoid these five common question mistakes:

  • Leading questions that encourage a specific response. For example, don’t ask, “Do you prefer working night shifts?” Instead, ask, “How do you rate working night shifts” and give them a sliding scale from 1-5. 
  • Missing options in closed questions can affect responses. If you have a multiple-choice question, it’s always prudent to include an “other” option where employees can add their answers.
  • Vague questions leave too much room for interpretation and require a lot of effort for employees to understand and answer.
  • Double barrel questions that use “and” to bridge two different topics that employees may have different opinions on. For example, “How do you rate our PTO policy and sick leave?” Employees may have one answer for PTO policy but a completely different answer for sick leave.

Are you looking for easy-to-use employee engagement survey questions? Check out these 30 team survey questions to gauge employee engagement. 

4. Decide how you’ll share your survey

There are a lot of great tools on the market that can help you make an easy-to-use survey that you can deliver to your team with a simple link. And while there are a lot of paid tools available, we’ve got a soft spot for the free survey sites that help make your employee engagement survey in just a few clicks.

  • Google Forms: A free, basic tool that gives everything you need to create a survey customized with photos and logos. All the data collected can be easily transferred to a Google Sheet.
  • SurveyMonkey: The free option allows you to conduct unlimited surveys with up to ten questions a piece and 40 responses.
  • Typeform: Typeform’s platform has a minimalistic design that works on virtually every device. The free version has some restrictions, but it has everything you need for a basic survey.
  • SurveyPlanet: The free version comes with ten customizable themes and allows unlimited questions and responses.

5. Launch your survey

Now that you’ve picked your topic and questions and built your survey in your tool of choice, it’s time to get it into the hands of your team.

If you’ve used an online tool to create your survey, sending the link via your team communication app is a great way to ensure your team gets it in a place they’re familiar with. 

With the employee communication tool from Homebase, you can send the link to your team along with instructions. And you can automate reminder messages to make sure everyone has a chance to share their feedback. Homebase also stores internal documents, so you can refer to them as you create your survey and read your employees’ responses.

6. Analyze and share your results

Once you’ve completed your survey, you’ll find yourself with a ton of great information. But what do you do with it?

This is where the real magic happens. You need to analyze those results to find where you can improve your business to improve your employee engagement. Once you’ve identified where you can improve, it’s time to create an action plan to enact the changes in your business.

Okay: now your action plan is complete, it’s game time. But how do you share the results? After all, transparency in this step is crucial—it’ll help build trust with your team. 

Consider using a team-based communication app to share the results with people and give them time to digest the info. Then, follow-up quickly with a group meeting to talk through the results and what you’re going to do about them.

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to collect helpful information from your team and help you increase engagement, reduce turnover, and increase profitability. And with Homebase on your team, it’s easy to make employee engagement surveys successful.

Increasing engagement and profits—what more could you want?

From engagement surveys to daily updates, the free Homebase messenger app is the smarter way to communicate with your team. Get started today for free and open the communication doors for you and your team.

Employee engagement survey FAQs 

What is an employee engagement survey?

An employee engagement survey is a questionnaire that helps employers measure how engaged, motivated, and satisfied their employees are with the company and their roles. They’re often anonymous, so employees can be open and honest without fear of reprisal. Business owners can use employee engagement surveys to learn about:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Intention to stay 
  • Key engagement drivers
  • Challenges faced by employees
  • Motivation to perform
  • Commitment to company 
  • Sense of belonging 

What is the purpose of an employee engagement survey?

The purpose of an employee engagement survey is to get a measure of how engaged your employees are when they’re at work. Employee engagement surveys also give you insight into what works and what doesn’t in your workplace. Additionally, they should provide you with actionable feedback that you can use to increase employee engagement in your organization.

How can an employee engagement survey help your business with communication?

An employee engagement survey can help your business with communication because it gives employees a safe space to share their genuine feedback. As most employee surveys are conducted anonymously, employees can be honest without fear of reprisal. Employee engagement surveys also help establish a culture of trust, hopefully creating a trickle-down effect. As employees see their honest feedback resulting in actual changes in the workplace, they’re more likely to give that feedback to their manager face-to-face.

Related posts

8 strategies to create a positive company culture in your restaurant

Company culture in the restaurant industry has gotten a nasty rap lately. Whether it’s a celebrity chef screaming profanities in…

Read article

Employee retention strategies: how to keep your best employees

The “Great Resignation” is upon us and you can’t ignore it. At least, not if you’re hoping for a thriving…

Read article

Employee engagement strategies that will boost employee retention

Want to hear something scary? Only 36% of the world’s working population is actively engaged in their jobs.  Having employee…

Read article
Effortlessly schedule and track your team's time with Homebase.
Try our basic plan free, forever.
Try Homebase for free