When designing and setting up an employee engagement survey, the overriding consideration is to ensure the utilization of good science. But it’s not just about good science. Even more, it’s about the right science. To get the science right, you must include the right items.
Use our six powerful practices to ensure your employee engagement survey is designed with the right science and includes the right issues measured by the right items so that your organization can see the powerful outcomes of an employee engagement process done right.
1. Except for open-ended comments, rely on a five-point Likert agreement scale that always includes a midpoint. It is perfectly legitimate for employees to be “on the fence” with respect to critical, work related issues. Forcing them to select a response that does not represent their honest feelings results in the loss of distortion of critical data.
2. Use an Employee Engagement Index that includes at least three or four items that are broad, summary types of items to ensure reliability and eliminate items sharing meaning with other, much more specific and actionable items, on the survey. This is the single most important component of the survey—without this, your research and recommendations will be limited and possibly misleading. You have to get it right!
3. Always include the right mix of proven, specific, actionable items from the six most likely drivers of global employee engagement. If these six issues are not adequately represented in your survey, the odds of you missing something critically important increase significantly. The six are: Future Vision, Leadership Trust, Growth and Development, Recognition, Communication, and Involvement and Branding.
4. Ensure each item highlights an issue that is actionable and readily influenced by some level of management or leadership. If something can’t be changed or improved, don’t ask. If an item’s meaning is vague or overly broad, don’t use it. Keep it simple and understandable.
5. Understand your organization’s uniqueness and thoughtfully consider what other issues might be uniquely important in your particular culture, and therefore merit inclusion in the survey. Some examples that could, at times become factors in making engagement either better or worse, might include issues like diversity, change management, compensation and benefits, service quality, or work/life balance, to name a few.
6. Most successful engagement survey processes include a few items that are not likely to be drivers of engagement but are important for other reasons. They may not contribute much to engagement, but they equip employees to be successful. These factors could include things like availability of resources, emphasis on customer service, availability of appropriate training, service quality, and safety.
When planning and designing your next employee engagement survey, use these powerful practices as insights to drive the impact and success of your survey efforts. For more support and detail, please see the following articles.