Why you should be running an employee survey

Acting on employee survey results enables better EX. Here are 10 questions to consider before running one at your organisation.

Why you should be running an employee survey

Acting on employee survey results enables better EX. Here are 10 questions to consider before running one at your organisation.


Meet the author

Sanderijn Weulen Kranenberg

Managing Consultant

Any business that is looking to get a genuine view of what their employees think want and need can best do so by introducing a regular employee survey. Using data to confirm whether the point of view of employees is aligned with how the company is being run is key to driving changes to continuously improve the employee experience, something we pride ourselves on at Clarasys. 

If you are thinking of running an employee survey, here are some key things to consider:

What questions should be included in an employee survey?

Limit the questions to those that will ultimately enable the company to obtain actionable insights and make data-informed decisions. 

The questions should be as succinct as possible and ask yourself – if this question performs poorly, what changes can I make as a result of it? Similarly, if the question performs very well, can I tie it back to something I am already doing that I should continue with?

When our Sustainability lead joined, we posed the question of whether respondents thought we were doing everything we could to limit our impact on the environment. This question initially performed relatively poorly – but when asked again 6 months later, once we had developed our proposition and made sustainable changes to the company, the number of positive responses had more than doubled! This was a great way to identify the point of view of our employees on our progress in the sustainability area

What other factors should be considered?

Make the survey as easy as possible to fill out by splitting the questions into their own distinct categories to provide a logical structure and flow. Introducing demographic questions will enable you to make more targeted changes and improvements following the analysis. 

How can you encourage employees to fill out an employee survey?

As with any survey, if the respondent is able to see the value in filling it out then this will make it more likely that they will do so! Providing examples of how employee feedback has resulted in new changes and improvements previously is a good way to do this. 

Ensuring the responses remain anonymous may also make your employees more likely to fill it out. 

Should employee surveys be mandatory?

Making a survey mandatory does not promote a positive employee experience – instead you should focus your efforts on highlighting all the benefits of filling it out! 

How many questions should employee surveys have?

There is no right or wrong answer here, but make sure you find the balance between enough to provide valuable data, without also being a drain on employee time. It helps to conduct an exercise beforehand to review the value of every single question and compare them against each other to double-check for duplicate or similar questions. 

How often should employee surveys be conducted?

Again, there is no right answer here! However, take care to ensure that improvements and decisions are made based on accurate and up-to-date data, whilst also allowing yourself sufficient time to actually incorporate the feedback. At Clarasys we run the survey biannually with both of these factors in mind. 

How should employee survey results be analysed? 

This depends on the kinds of questions you are asking – for example, if you include questions in the Likert scale format, then you could analyse the number of ‘positive’ versus ‘negative’ responses to understand employee sentiment. Take care to then format the statements themselves as straightforward and factually as possible. 

Additionally, you may want to focus on the difference between how different demographics answered. This will help to tailor any actions you can take. For qualitative questions, categorising responses into Start/Stop/Continue and identifying any common themes will make it easier to pull out what employees are saying. 

It is also helpful to take a step back and look at the survey in its entirety to identify which areas have performed well overall, and which ones would benefit from some additional focus. 

What next steps should be taken following the analysis of the employee survey results?

Firstly take time to genuinely thank employees for filling it out – after all, you need as many people as possible to do so to make it useful! 

Share the results as soon as the analysis has been completed to demonstrate the importance the company places on receiving feedback. Use the data to confirm that you are focussing on the right initiatives that really matter to your employees or if necessary, to pivot your focus into an area that they place a lot of importance on but is currently not receiving enough attention. 

At Clarasys we provide a quarterly update at the midpoint between surveys so that employees can see a consolidated view of progress that has been made. It also acts as a reminder to them of the value that the survey provides and is something they can refer back to. 

Is it better to have quantitative or qualitative questions in an employee survey?

A combination of quantitative and qualitative questions in an employee survey works best so that the analysis contains both types of data; the case to make a change is particularly strong when they reflect on what each other is saying.  

What is a good employee survey response rate?

The higher the response rate, the more accurate a representation you are receiving of not only the company as a whole but also of each demographic. At Clarasys we aim for an engagement rate of 85%+ to ensure we hear from as much of the company as possible!

To find out more about how we can help you with your employee experience, get in touch!

Want more? 

READ: Employee Experience 101: What is EX and why is it important?
LISTEN: How to use employee feedback to drive CX improvements?
READ: How does building quality employee experiences (EX) improve CX?

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