This is the first in a short series of blogs looking at how to approach different areas of research. This month I’ll be looking at something which everyone is talking about at the moment – employee engagement.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a huge shift in working practices, many of us left our offices and started to work from home. Some have now returned to office based work, but many are still redefining their week. And, as The Great Resignation shows, some are looking to change jobs completely.
I’ve been asked to help with an increasing number of online questionnaires, all being distributed in an attempt to gauge how employees are feeling about the return to work and what their preferences are in terms of hybrid working. Some are also being used as a wellbeing check-in, an anonymous way of getting a feel for how your teams are feeling right now.
I do wonder whether this feedback will continue in an integrated way with annual employee engagement research – it certainly feels like hybrid working will be an important consideration for a long time to come and the fit between employee and employer will of course have an impact on how valued an employee feels. It’s also going to be really interesting to see how organisations are perceived in terms of whether they have lived their company values during COVID or whether employees feel that there has been a mismatch between values and behaviour.
So what are the key things to consider when running your employee engagement questionnaire?
- Guarantee anonymity – this is sooo important. To ensure people feel able to answer truthfully, it’s essential that all questionnaires remain anonymous. An easy way to ensure this is to use an independent research company – so that employees are reassured that the results aren’t going to be immediately read by their line manager.
- Make it relevant – everyone is busy, no-one wants to have to complete a 20 page questionnaire with questions asking about initiatives that were rolled about 3 years ago and have been forgotten about ever since.
- Deploy across whole organisation – make sure that everyone from CEO to office junior is invited to take part. If one particular department, or job role are singled out then they will feel negatively targeted. Similarly, if the research is only asked of those without managerial responsibility then it will contribute towards an “us and them” situation.
- Share and act on the findings – there is nothing more annoying than being badgered to complete a questionnaire and then hearing nothing more about it. It’s essential that you share the results and then act on the findings. If you don’t then why bother doing it in the first place?
I hope you find these useful. Once your employee engagement survey is up and running you’ll be amazed at the insight and value it brings.