How To Create Surveys To Measure (Real) Employee Happiness


Are employee surveys powerful workplace tools?

Generally, they tell you how strong the driving force behind your business is—that force is your employee’s work satisfaction, by the way.

A high mark on this area is a good thing. A study by the University of Warwick economists concluded that happy workers are 12% more productive. The unhappy ones? They’re 10% less productive.

If this is the case, then the results from employee surveys can be key indicators whether your business can achieve your goals in the following quarters or not.

True, the idea of having employee surveys seem like an excellent idea, but to be honest, your employees hate them. Most of the time, they either mindlessly answer the questions or worse, lie on their answers. This gets you false results, which invalidates the whole point of the survey.

So how do you create employee surveys that unveil the real workplace issues and measure real employee happiness?

Read on to harness the true power of employee surveys.

1.  Create A Survey Strategy

As business projects start with a feasibility plan, employee surveys demand a survey strategy too. There should be a defined method behind that survey.

Employee surveys take time and resources. Plus, they have a potential to positively impact the business, so a careful planning should be allotted to it.

In the strategy, you should think about:

● Why Are You Running The Survey?

Is it only to measure employee happiness? But why do you want to know that? Will it be to see how engaged your employees are and how they drive business growth?

● What Will You Do With The Survey Data?

After knowing the why, answering this will be easier. If, for example, you want to know how your engaged employees drive revenues, you will use the data to understand what makes them engaged.

● How Will You Roll Out The Survey?

Before execution, your implementation plan should include the key roles and who will fill each, the survey schedule, and of course, your survey tool. Structure questions that are easy to answer by using survey-specific fields like scale ratings, likerts, and checkbox grids.


2. Capture Employee’s True Answers With Strategic Questions

It’s pretty hard to make the truth come out from employee surveys.

For instance, United Parcel Service got hit by a costly strike because they failed to discover bitter employee complaints even when their employee satisfaction score was very high 10 months before it happened.

Putting this in mind, you need to ask the right questions. In thinking of the questions, don’t lose sight of your why. Build up around that. Harvard Business Review has created a thorough guideline for creating these questions.

To share a few:

● Create questions around behaviors that have a recognized link to performance

● Ask questions about observable behaviors

● Avoid strong terms that can introduce biases

It’s also wise to frame your survey questions in such a way that you can get actionable data.

You can take a different route and go for the untypical, fun surveys. This is a fresh take on boring office surveys and your employees might feel the zest and enjoy themselves while answering the questions.

Who knows? This could help them open up their real thoughts to you.

3. Share And Do Something About The Feedback

One reason why employees find employee surveys futile is because nothing ever changes in the office after the survey.

Did the administration listen to the employees’ concerns? Do they do something to fix it, or just even acknowledge it?

For employees to take your survey seriously and answer honestly, you should show them that you will do something about it.

At Google, the bosses know how to keep 5% of their top employees from leaving and how to help the bottom 5% improve because of the survey insights.

When employees see that you’re doing something about it, they will be encouraged to share what they really feel the next time you send out that survey.

Over to you

If you have been mindlessly throwing out employee surveys and blindly reading the data, then it’s to rethink the whole thing.

It’s time to get real value from the enormous efforts that you put in pulling off those surveys to actually get truthful results. And translate those insights into actionable data that drives your business to the next level of success.


Aiza is a SaaS copywriter and marketer for EmailMeForm, an online form and survey builder for businesses. She’s obsessed with decoding their clients’ consumer behavior through user surveys and web analytics data—it’s what directs her copy and customer onboarding initiatives after all. Connect with Aiza on Twitter.


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