Considering all of the change and uncertainty of the past few years, there's never been a better time to use employee surveys to understand how your employees are doing. But have you ever gone to write up a pulse survey or employee poll and just went blank?
Employee survey tools can give you great insight into engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and your company's overall employer brand, but only if you're asking the right questions. Here are three question topics every company should start with when they first start to collect data about employee sentiment:
1. Questions about remote work
While it may be that many (if not all) of your employees have been working from home for the past year, you may be surprised to learn that not all of your current remote workers wish to remain that way. In fact, in a recent survey of Glassdoor employees, 70% reported they prefer a hybrid arrangement that allows them to split time between working from home and in the office, whereas just 26% percent preferred an exclusive remote work arrangement.
In addition to questions about where your employees prefer to work, it's also a good idea to ask questions about their preference about when they prefer to work. This information can provide valuable insight into what type of work schedules would enable your employees to be more efficient and effective. And, as flexibility in where work is performed has now become much more commonplace, employees will likely be seeking flexibility in terms of when their work is accomplished in the post-pandemic era.
Just consider that organizations that offer employees flexibility over when, where, and how much they work, make up 55% of their workforce as high performers, compared to the 36% identified in companies operating at a standard 40-hour week. Offering flexibility that goes beyond location is something that can benefit both employees and their employers alike.
2. Questions about management
Adapting to remote work meant that managers had to adjust the way in which they stayed connected with their teams. And it's important for companies to know how their employees feel their managers navigated the pandemic when it comes to maintaining that connection.
With 63% of business leaders citing relationships between managers and employees as having a significant impact on engagement, asking employees questions relating to the following aspects of their relationship with the managers will provide you with valuable information:
- Communication: Communication is the foundation of the manager-employee relationship, so good employee surveys will ask about both the frequency and quality of it.
- Trust: It's important for managers to foster an environment of trust and mutual respect within their teams. Ask your employees whether they feel trusted by their manager? In turn, do they trust their manager?
- Development: A key driver in engagement, ask your employees whether their manager prioritizes their growth and development and if they receive encouragement and motivation.
3. Questions about mental health and wellbeing
There's no question that the pandemic was a significant source of stress. And in a recent Oracle survey, 78% of respondents said the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. With wellbeing now a top priority for many companies, it makes sense to include questions about mental and emotional health on your employee surveys.
However, mental health can be a sensitive issue, so it is crucial to be proactive in ensuring the proper privacy measures are in place so that your employees are protected from both an anonymity and identifiability perspective. It is also important to pay attention to the nature of the questions you ask.
Start with broad, high-level topics such as whether your employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health at work, and if they have an understanding of the resources available to them through the company. These questions can serve as a starting point to help you identify ways your organization can do more to support your employees' mental health and prioritize their wellbeing.
Keep Reading: 3 Corporate Wellness Trends You Need To Know About
Employee surveys give you insight into what your employees are thinking about post-pandemic, giving your company the opportunity to proactively address any concerns and point out available resources. But more than that, it shows your employees that you're invested in providing them with the tools, processes, and support they need in order to succeed. And this, in turn, helps to develop a productive and engaged workforce, and ultimately strengthens your employer brand.