11 steps to developing an effective employee survey

Deriving feedback from your staff is essential to bolstering engagement, quelling turnover and identifying systemic problems. Follow this guidance for getting the input you seek.

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An employee survey is as good as the questions it poses; you can act only on what you ask.

Here are 11 tips for how to craft an effective staff survey:

1. Have one key decision maker on question design. This person understands the survey strategy and purpose and is responsible for collecting feedback on the questions from relevant people within your company. Having a point person keeps the process concise.

2. Start with objectives. Each question must have a purpose defined by the objectives. Look at the systems and initiatives you have in place, and consider what you have in mind for the future.

3. Consider your company culture. Ask, “What has been crucial to our success?” If you’re using a survey template and find some questions aren’t relevant, rewrite them. Your company is unique, and your survey questions should reflect that. It might be changing “manager” to “coach” if that’s how your company functions.

4. Understand the cognitive model of question response. In other words, understand how someone answering your question processes it in their mind.

Consider the example: “I receive appropriate recognition for my work.”

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