Employee Spot Surveys: Definition, Benefits, & Sample Questions

employees holding wooden gears - employee spot surveys

Employee spot surveys make it simple to assess and address the overall sentiment and satisfaction of team members in your organization.

When you take the results of a survey and readjust your processes, it becomes possible to improve the employee satisfaction of your company.

Even better, a positive work environment can lead to stellar customer service and higher revenue levels.

It‚Äôs a win-win. ūüéČūüéČ

For now, let's take a look at employee spot surveys, including how they work, their benefits, and a few sample questions you can include during your next team check-in.

Looking to conduct employee spot surveys with a third party? Contact our employee survey company by completing an online form or emailing [email protected].


What Are Employee Spot Surveys?

An employee spot survey is a brief and targeted survey conducted within an organization to gather feedback and insights from employees on specific topics or issues.

The term "spot survey" suggests that it is a concise and focused survey, often consisting of a limited number of questions, which can be completed quickly by employees.

Common topics covered in an employee spot survey include:

  • Gather general staff opinions, perceptions, and experiences
  • Understanding various aspects of their work environment
  • Measuring overall job satisfaction
  • Identifying satisfaction with organizational culture

Spot surveys are often administered periodically, allowing organizations to track progress over time and make data-driven adjustments to their strategies and practices.


What are the Differences Between Pulse and Spot Surveys?

Employee pulse surveys are commonly referred to as spot surveys, but it is important to remember that the latter does have key differences.

Pulse surveys occur at planned intervals.

Spot surveys, on the other hand, occur randomly.

Additionally, spot surveys are not intended as a follow-up or supplemental method for surveys that have already been or are being conducted.

In other words, a spot survey should not replace the annual 10-minute employee survey that covers a wide variety of topics.

This is unlike pulse surveys, which are often utilized as supplemental to other surveys.


What is the Importance of an Employee Spot Survey?

Generally speaking, employee spot surveys provide valuable feedback to organizations, enabling them to identify areas of strength, areas for improvement, and areas where immediate action may be required.

This feedback can inform decision-making, help address issues, and guide initiatives aimed at enhancing the employee experience, increasing engagement, and fostering a positive work environment.

More specific benefits of employee spot surveys include:

  1. Gathering real-time feedback
  2. Increased employee engagement
  3. Improved employee retention 
  4. Smarter decision-making
  5. Lower cost and effort 
  6. Ongoing improvements

Let's dive into each of these benefits in more detail.

1. Real-time feedback

Staff spot surveys will give you timely feedback about how employees are feeling at the moment.

Because of this, you can feel secure knowing you're getting employee data that's actually useful and not outdated. It will also help you eliminate emerging issues sooner rather than later.

Additionally, it is great to look back at results and see how results vary based on work events or initiatives.

For example, did satisfaction decrease when moving employees back into the office after going remote for a few years? Perhaps it's worth considering a more flexible, hybrid work environment. 


2. Increased employee engagement

Another benefit of using employee spot surveys is increased engagement. Put simply, staff will want to work more when they feel cared for by their employer.

This, thankfully, is a great benefit that comes naturally when implementing surveys.

In the same sentiment, after the data is collected and changes have been used, employees will appreciate that you listened to their feedback. This naturally creates higher levels of employee engagement.


3. Improved retention

Running employee spot surveys also leads to increased employee retention.

It was recently found that 94% of employees are more likely to stay at a company they feel will help them. Surveys are one of the best ways to do this - and in turn, will encourage employees to stay at your company.


4. Better decision-making

Employee spot surveys can help leadership make data-driven decisions that will make effective changes within the company. In turn, this can help them focus on initiatives and resources.

Our employee survey company finds this to be a much better strategy than taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best.

By making decisions with data, you cut down on:

  • Bias
  • Inaccurate information
  • Excess spending

5. Lower cost and effort

Trust us, your staff will be more likely to take a survey if it's shorter. And that's the beauty of spot surveys - they're meant to be brief. 

Since they're shorter than average staff surveys, they're more likely to be taken.

And that's only part of it.

Spot surveys are also cheaper and simpler to analyze because of their length. Since there's not a massive load of data to interpret, clients can also expect to receive their feedback in a short amount of time.


6. Ongoing improvements 

Spot surveys support a culture of continuous improvement by regularly assessing employee satisfaction, engagement, and well-being.

This iterative feedback loop allows organizations to identify areas of success and areas that require further attention, facilitating ongoing development and growth.

For more benefits of employee surveys watch the video below.


Steps to Conducting Employee Spot Surveys

Employee spot surveys are typically conducted using online survey tools or internal communication platforms. It involves several steps to ensure effective implementation and meaningful results.

The process of conducting employee spot surveys includes:

  1. Project kickoff meeting
  2. Survey design
  3. Notifying employees
  4. Survey fieldwork 
  5. Analyze the findings 
  6. Monitor and repeat

Our employee survey company details each of these steps below.

1. Project kickoff meeting

During this step, the client will meet with the third-party research team or their in-house research team to discuss critical aspects of the study. 

It is a time to clearly define the purpose of the spot survey and the specific topic or issue you want to gather feedback on.

It could be related to employee satisfaction, communication, work-life balance, or any other relevant aspect.


2. Survey design

Next, develop a set of clear, concise, and focused questions that address the topic at hand.

It is best to keep the survey short, as spot surveys are meant to be quick and easy to complete.

Additionally, our market research company recommends using a mix of multiple-choice questions, rating scales, and open-ended questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative data.

The change in question formats also helps with respondent engagement from start to finish. 


3. Notify employees

Before launching the survey, it is best practice to notify employees about the survey and its purpose. This could be through a company-wide email, signage throughout the office, during team meetings, etc.

Whatever the outreach method, clearly communicate why employee feedback is important and how it will be used.

This is also a good time to provide instructions on how to access and complete the survey, including any login credentials or access links.


4. Survey fieldwork 

From there, fieldwork begins and employees can start taking the survey. The timeline for this depends on the project, but for spot surveys, it's fairly short.

It will also be helpful to send periodic reminders to employees to increase employee survey response rates.

Emphasize the importance of their input and the impact it will have on the organization. Reminders can be sent via email, internal communication channels, or even through team meetings.


5. Analyze the findings 

Fieldwork is now closed and the data is ready to be reviewed in the analysis phase. 

It's key that the employee survey results are carefully reviewed by the research team, as there can be sneaky errors hiding in the feedback. 

Once the data is cleaned and analyzed, it will be used in a final report for the client. 

The report includes:

  • Key findings
  • Main response themes
  • Recommendations for going forward

Additionally, a debrief meeting is held to discuss the responses in depth. This is ideal, as a face-to-face meeting will enhance the overall discussion.


6. Monitor and repeat

This should not be a one-and-done study. It is crucial to continuously monitor progress and evaluate the impact of actions taken based on the survey feedback.

Remember, the main advantage of spot surveys is to track changes and measure the effectiveness of interventions. This iterative process will help drive continuous improvement within the organization.


Example Employee Spot Survey Questions

When using a spot survey to assess various aspects of employee well-being, you must make sure you ask the right questions.

Sample employee spot survey questions include:  

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your current role and responsibilities?
  2. How would you rate the effectiveness of communication within our organization?
  3. How frequently do you receive feedback and recognition for your work?
  4. How well does our organization support your professional growth and development?
  5. Are you provided with the necessary resources and tools to perform your job effectively?
  6. How would you rate the work-life balance in our organization?
  7. Do you feel that your contributions and opinions are valued and respected?
  8. How satisfied are you with the overall benefits and perks provided by the company?
  9. On a scale of 1-5, how well do your immediate supervisors or managers support your success and well-being?
  10. How likely are you to recommend our organization as a great place to work?
  11. Is there any specific area or aspect you think the organization should focus on for improvement?

Remember to adapt and customize these questions to fit your organization's specific needs and context. Additionally, consider adding demographic questions (e.g., department, job level, tenure) to analyze the data from different employee segments.


When is the Best Time to Send Employee Spot Surveys?

The best time to send employee spot surveys may vary depending on factors such as your organization's culture, work environment, and the specific purpose of the survey.

However, here are some general guidelines to consider when determining the timing:

1. Choose convenient times

Select a time when employees are likely to be available and have the opportunity to focus on the survey.

For example, sending surveys during regular work hours rather than at the end of the day or during weekends can increase response rates.

2. Align with events or milestones

Consider aligning spot surveys with relevant events or milestones within the organization.

For instance, after a major project completion, a company-wide event, a company merger, when a new leadership member is hired, or the implementation of a new policy or program.

This can help gather feedback related to specific initiatives and their impact.

3. Regular intervals

Depending on the frequency of spot surveys you plan to conduct, establish a regular interval for sending them.

It could be monthly, quarterly, or at any other interval that suits your organization's needs. Consistency in timing helps create expectations and allows employees to anticipate and plan for participation.


Final Thoughts

Employee spot surveys, also known as pulse surveys or quick check-ins, are short and frequent surveys conducted within organizations to gather feedback from employees on specific topics or issues.

By implementing these regularly or semi-regularly, you'll become more in tune with what staff really need from you. 

To quickly review, the main benefits of running these surveys include:

  • Timely feedback
  • Employee engagement
  • Increased employee retention¬†
  • Accurate decision-making
  • Low cost
  • Easy to run frequently¬†

By incorporating these surveys into your business routine, you'll not only see happier staff but increased profits as a result.


Contact Our Employee Spot Survey Company

Drive Research is here to help answer any questions you may have about putting together employee spot surveys. As a leader in the survey industry, we have helped many companies measure critical employee KPIs to improve engagement, satisfaction, and attrition.

Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of employee spot surveys and how to best conduct them.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at¬†[email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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