Employee surveys are one of the most valuable yet underutilized market research methodologies available.
With so many benefits of employee surveys, organizations can take a step in the right direction by understanding the needs of their team.
- What's on your employees' minds?
- What do they like most about your organization?
- What needs to be improved?
- What do they think about leadership?
Conducting this type of market research is a very effective tool in driving real change for an organization and improving job satisfaction.
In this blog post, our employee survey company discusses 12 benefits of this methodology.
Interested in seeing the advantages of conducting employee surveys for yourself? Get a quote for a third-party employee survey from Drive Research. Complete an online contact form or send us an email at [email protected].
Benefits of Employee Surveys
Third-party employee surveys are a valuable tool for organizations to gather objective feedback from their employees and make data-driven decisions to improve their workplace culture and employee satisfaction.
More specifically, the benefits of employee surveys include:
- A cost-effective portal for feedback
- Opportunity for follow-up and discussion
- See how satisfaction changes over time
- Understand key areas of improvement
- Quantify drivers to employee retention
- See how feedback varies across departments
- Assess satisfaction with management
- Improves internal communication
- Shows employees you care
- A driver for cultural change
- Feature positive results in recruitment materials
- Improves mental health in the workplace
Each of these employee satisfaction survey advantages is discussed below. But, if you're looking for a shorter recap, watch the video below.
Benefit #1: A cost-effective portal for feedback
Employee surveys provide a vehicle to collect feedback. The most cost-efficient methodology for conducting these surveys is done online through email.
This is done through a simple list exchange of employee email contacts after an NDA is signed.
Invitations are scheduled as well as reminders to boost response rates as high as possible. Among all the types of surveys in market research, employee surveys often produce some of the highest response rates.
You will not find a more engaged audience than the employees of your brand.
Benefit #2: Opportunity for follow-up and discussion
Another benefit of employee surveys is that they provide the management team with an opportunity to create follow-up meetings and dialogue with teams.
Although this is not as confidential as an online study it serves as a follow-up action item to take the next steps with the data.
Here are some tips our market research firm recommends for follow-up meetings:
- These meetings should give management more time to dig a little deeper into the survey findings.
- The follow-up meetings are not intended to single out specific employees.
- The work sessions center around generalized feedback and themes that all/most employees shared as part of the survey responses.
For example, let's say the survey identified three key themes that need improvement: employee benefits, communication with managers, and better evaluations.
The follow-up work sessions would be centered around these topics using an independent moderator to gather more detail and context.
Benefit #3: See how satisfaction changes over time
This is an obvious benefit of employee surveys but also crucial. By measuring satisfaction levels you'll understand where your scores compare relative to other like-companies.
Overall, measuring employee satisfaction is important to understand whether your team is happy with areas such as company culture, benefits, morale, and so on.
This is a key metric within an employee survey to review year over year as it will determine if changes made to the company helped improve employee satisfaction or not.
Even more so, it is important to compare the level of employee satisfaction with those who are competitors or in the same industry as you.
You can work with a market research company like Drive Research to purchase other employee survey data for similar companies in your industry to see how your organization stacks up.
It also serves as a great metric to track year-over-year to see what improved and what did not.
Types of market research benchmarks include:
- Comparing scores to your brand from years past
- Comparing scores to best-in-class organizations
- Comparing scores to local, regional, or national competition
- Comparing scores to industry peers
All of these employee survey benchmarks are beneficial to measure. Each shed new light on comparisons.
Benefit #4: Understand key improvement areas
Rome wasn't built in a day, much like making major company changes will not happen overnight.
One of the key benefits of an employee survey is that it can identify the most pertinent areas of improvement for human resources or leadership teams to focus on.
This vital advantage identifies those core areas and factors that are important to employees but also the ones they are less than satisfied with.
The areas that are of high importance and low satisfaction become priority action items for your management and human resources teams.
It ensures that post-survey, you'll be spending your time on the items that matter most to employees.
For instance, perhaps the employee survey reflects your team is least satisfied with the lack of proper training available.
Use this as an action item to offer free training classes, webinars, or lunch and learns as a step in the right direction of meeting employee needs.
Benefit 5: Quantify drivers to employee retention
It is not likely the results of an employee engagement survey will only show positive reviews from your team. Do not be discouraged.
While most managers and HR professionals hope their employees are 100% satisfied, this is typically not the case.
An employee survey company will pay close attention to low ratings through regression analysis. This type of analysis determines the relationship between independent variables on dependent variables. In other words, what are the key drivers which impact overall satisfaction?
For instance, if loyalty is your main objective, your organization can determine which factors most impact loyalty.
Essentially, regression helps an organization stake a claim like if we improve A, B, and C we'll improve loyalty by 10%. Doing so often identifies hidden drivers of satisfaction.
An example of using regressional analysis for employee surveys would be...
Employees state that salary is not important to them. But based on the regression analysis that looks at correlation, satisfaction with their job and satisfaction with salary are highly related to one another.
As one goes up, the other goes up, and vice-versa.
Benefit #6: Break down results by department
In addition to overall results, another great benefit of employee surveys is that you can use back-end segmentation.
If the feedback of your employee survey shows employees overall are not satisfied with your company, take a look at the individual factors bringing the satisfaction score down.
A market research company specializing in employee surveys will use segmentation to slice and dice the survey data by categories such as departments, the employee's manager, how long the employee has worked with the company, and more.
Additionally, Drive Research partners with some of the best executive coaching and training companies that can assist your organization in taking some of these next steps for your efforts.
Benefit #7: Assess satisfaction with management
Employee surveys also allow management teams to dig deeper into specific factors affecting employee satisfaction.
Exposure to these key elements is a major benefit of employee surveys.
This helps identify which managers are doing well and which are not, from the perspective of their subordinates. It is one of the most common primary objectives of an employee survey.
So many of our surveys focus on leadership effectiveness and management principles.
This type of data can also provide your organization with unique training items and follow-up criteria which is manager-specific.
As an HR team, it gives you objective data to push back to management and leaders to create change.
Benefit #8: Improves communication
Another employee survey advantage is that they are a great step in opening the lines of communication with employees. Since everyone has a chance to reply, employees can share all of the good and bad feedback about the company.
All in all, it's better to be aware of what employees think and need, rather than assume. If you don't ask you'll never know.
There are also types of employee surveys that focus on unique objectives such as diversity and inclusion.
Benefit #9: Show your employees you care
The simple act of reaching out and listening carries a lot of weight. It's a proactive approach to show you care, and it’s natural for staff to feel cared for when they’re offered an employee morale survey.
The tone is much different from reacting to employee complaints on a daily or monthly basis. All of these anecdotal comments can be quantified through an online survey.
You may hear only the extremes through a comment box (i.e., those who really love or hate you). A survey provides you with a representative view of your entire employee base.
Benefit #10: A driver for change
With any time of market research project, it is important to use the data and results to implement change. This is extremely crucial when conducting employee survey research.
Employee surveys are an excellent first step to changing the culture in an organization.
Because the responses are anonymous, employees can freely share their thoughts. Not only is this a great benefit of employee surveys, but this is great for boosting employee mental wellness (more on that in a bit).
Oftentimes disgruntled employees do not share negative feedback with management. Before you know it they've left the organization, taking another role elsewhere.
While it is great you are asking for employee feedback, it is important to listen to this feedback and make necessary changes for employees to really feel as if their opinions matter.
These surveys help you proactively identify and address common problems in an anonymous forum.
Benefit #11: Feature results in recruitment
Drive Research recommends featuring some of the key highest-scoring criteria in your recruitment campaigns and marketing.
For example, let's say you learn from the survey that there was overwhelmingly positive feedback for Friday lunches, flexible work schedules, and team attitude.
These are all data points the company can feature in their recruitment strategies, all from the voice of your employees.
Benefit #12: Improve Employee Mental Health
And now, for our final benefit of employee surveys – improved mental health.
Not surprisingly, all of the other advantages we’ve listed come together to create a space where staff can openly share their thoughts.
As a result, this automatically boosts mental health in the workplace.
And we think that’s more important than ever.
Roughly 19% of current employees have stated that their mental health is poor, or fair at best. And when employees are not at their mental “best,” their work suffers.
So with that information in mind, how can you cultivate a stable work environment with your survey results? Let's discuss this.
- Find ways to lighten the mood. Get thinking about how to make the office fun. Consider hosting holiday parties, monthly happy hours, and other non-work events. You don’t have to go crazy–simply allowing your staff to unwind for a bit and laugh will have big benefits.
- Offer wellness sessions. This, of course, depends on your budget–but providing communication sessions for employees can also gave a positive impact on their mental health. Wellness initiatives like this can be done in many different ways, but ensuring they have a space to unwind and unload concerns is key.
- Promote workplace flexibility. This is a big one. Employees will put out their best work when they’re happiest and most comfortable. Maybe this is in their home office. Maybe it’s in the actual office. Or maybe, it’s at a coffee shop. We know that different workplaces require different levels of in-person availability–but if your workplace can allow remote or hybrid work, put it into action!
- Training sessions. Employees will feel valued when they feel leadership believes in their growth. Implementing training sessions–be it in-person or virtual–is a good way to create solid bonds with staff. However, no matter the way in which you choose to do these sessions–ensure it’s customized to the needs of the company.
In short, employees thrive when they feel their needs are being covered. More importantly, their mental health can improve by feeling at ease in the workplace.
Importance of Using Third-Party Employee Surveys
While the benefits of employee surveys are plenty, many can be missed if the survey is conducted in-house.
It's vitally important to use a third-party firm for employee engagement surveys because:
- Using a third party tells your employees there is an independent company receiving the results.
- It adds a very important layer in-between your employees and their managers.
- A third-party employee survey company managing the survey ensures confidentiality and protects employee feedback.
If employees feel as though they cannot trust the responses being kept anonymous they will not be upfront or truthful, and they may not even respond at all which will hurt your response rate and margin of error for statistical reliability.
However, outsourcing the study to an employee survey company, like Drive Research, assures your team's comments and feedback can be shared openly and honestly with no repercussions.
To learn more, read our Ultimate Guide to Using a Third-Party for Employee Surveys.
How are Third-Party Employee Surveys Conducted?
These surveys can be conducted through a variety of methodologies from online surveys to traditional paper surveys. Though, if you are looking for a cost-effective and quick way to gather employee feedback, I recommend utilizing online surveys.
For further context, below is a quick overview of the process our employee engagement survey company follows.
Pre-survey planning: Before the survey begins, the survey firm works with the client organization to identify the objectives, scope, and timeline of the survey. This may involve selecting a sample of employees to survey, deciding on the survey questions and response options, and determining the format and delivery method of the survey.
Survey administration: The survey firm sends out the survey to the selected employees using the chosen method, such as email or an online platform. The survey typically includes a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions that cover various aspects of the employee experience, such as job satisfaction, workplace culture, leadership effectiveness, and communication.
Data collection: The survey responses are collected and compiled by the survey firm, which may use various tools and techniques to ensure data accuracy and integrity. This may include data validation, cleaning, and analysis.
Data analysis: The survey firm analyzes the data using statistical techniques to identify trends, patterns, and insights related to employee engagement and satisfaction. The firm may prepare reports or dashboards that summarize the survey findings and provide recommendations for improving employee engagement.
Feedback and action planning: The survey firm presents the survey results to the client organization and facilitates discussions on the findings and recommendations. The client organization then develops an action plan to address the issues identified in the survey and improve employee engagement.
No matter what methodology you choose, initiating an employee survey at your organization is a step in the right direction to understanding your employee's needs.
The benefits of employee surveys are endless.
If changes need to happen with your culture, the change needs to happen from the inside out.
Figuring out what your employees need in terms of resources and how to address improvements is the first domino that needs to fall before you ask them to properly serve your customers.
Additionally, by partnering with a third-party employee survey company, employees are more likely to share their open and honest feedback.
All survey responses are anonymous and confidential to encourage full transparency. This is a major factor in reaping the benefits of employee surveys and driving real change in any organization.
Don't forget about the most important customers of all: your employees.
It is easy to place a large value of your business on your customers and their opinions or usage of your company, brand, products, and services.
However, by obtaining employee feedback with an online survey agency you can better understand your employee's needs so they can be better brand advocates and better performers.
Drive Research is a national employee survey company located in New York. We work coast-to-coast with organizations in a variety of industries on employee survey efforts.
We design custom surveys to address your unique needs and develop a report to help you understand the results and take action.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.
Learn more about George, here.