Employee Engagement

The Inside Scoop: How to Find Out What Your Employees Aren’t Telling You

By

Jason Bodin

| Oct 6, 2016

We talk a lot about employee engagement on this blog, and for good reason: Companies with an engaged workforce outperform those without by nearly 202 percent. Today, we’re not here to drill such stats into your head – besides, that one makes a pretty solid case on its own – but to discuss how businesses can engage their employees by surveying each and every one of them.

Why is that important? Glad you asked!

Many employers often assume their employees are happy and engaged at work, but if this were reality, then $11 billion wouldn’t be lost on turnover every year. At one point or another, every organization can benefit from surveying their employees, if for no other reason than to gauge morale. Improving morale translates into having a more efficient and effective team.

There are other benefits gained from surveying your employees, too; here are eight essential ones:

  1. Ensures employees are satisfied.
    It’s easy to become blinded by our own assumptions, but be careful, because that’s when you miss the truth. Employees hold the key to how they are feeling and only they can tell you. Rather than assume you know, just ask them. (For more on what you should be asking, see part 2 in this three-part series.)
  2. Identifies reasons for turnover. A business continued to lose top talent to a competitor down the street. The organization knew that the reason employees were leaving wasn’t because of pay, perks and benefits, because those were comparable to others within the region and industry. But what was? It initiated an exit survey to determine the root of the problem, and lo and behold, the real reason for turnover surfaced: a few bad managers. Getting this feedback helped the organization correct the issue, stemming the tide of lost top talent.
  3. Increases loyalty and communication. Talking to the boss can be intimidating, especially when the employee has less-than-complimentary things to say. The anonymity of surveys opens a line of communication that otherwise might be neglected. Employees can share their thoughts, feelings and even ideas for improvement freely without the obstacle of anxiety.
  4. Identifies problems before they escalate. At first glance, everything may seem fine, but as you begin to peel back the layers, you discover problems you never knew existed. Surveys reveal these unknowns, and oftentimes can identify potential problems so they can be stopped before they even come to fruition.
  5. Monitors morale effectively. Is employee morale high or low? You won’t know until you ask. You can increase it by soliciting their opinions, even simply by asking what items they’d prefer to see on the lunch menu.
  6. Sets benchmarks. Survey results reveal where you are today so that you have opportunity to improve moving forward. How can you appreciate where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been?
  7. Measures and monitors the extent to which personnel align with organizational goals and objectives. Hopefully, the employees you hired share in the organization’s vision and values. However, as your business grows, so do expectations, so it is important to re-evaluate regularly where employees stand on your company’s goals and objectives. This ensures everyone is working toward the same thing. Any slight deviance may mean you need to make adjustments.
  8. Communicates cost-effectively. Surveys are quick and convenient tools for evaluation. Utilizing today’s technology, managers can create a survey that is administered and answered right through each employee’s self-service portal, and you can receive the results on the back end. This eliminates costs for paper, printing, filing and storage.

This is the first in a three-part series, so stay tuned for more tips on engaging employees through surveys. Next up, we will feature the top 10 questions you should be asking your employees.

About the Author

Jason Bodin

Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and Fox Sports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthening his business acumen.

See more posts by Jason Bodin