Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Monday, March 18, 2019

What are the Six Steps for a Successful Employee Survey Process?

Employee engagement surveys are a very useful tool in an HR professionals toolkit.  If used properly it can be an excellent source of information, enhance employee engagement and improve the support for the vision and mission of the organization.  As business partners, Human Resources professionals play an important role by facilitating a successful employee survey by following this six step process.

1.    Establish the goals of your survey project through interviews with the leadership team.

2.    Create your employee survey by identifying the issues you wish to survey.

3.    Determine your sample (all employees, or selected demographics)

4.    Promote the survey through a coordinated communication plan.

5.    Analyze and evaluate the survey data.

6.    Create four to six action items and share the survey results and action plans with the employees.

This article discusses these six areas of survey design which can have a positive impact on the organization and are as follows:

Establish the Goals of the Project

Knowing what your leadership team wants in an employee survey is a key factor to the surveys success.  As a result, the first step in any survey is deciding what you want to learn.  The goals of the project must be clear, measurable and actionable.  If your goals are unclear, the results will lack clarity and the project will not be as successful.

Create the Survey

Identifying key areas to obtain data will assist the organization in taking the necessary changes to identify challenges and successes.  The survey statements should be concise, targeted and phrased in a positive format.  This will assist in creating a consistent methodology and process to the survey tool  It is important to only survey those areas where management is willing to act.  If the company is not in a position to change its benefit plans or increase compensation, then the survey statements should not focus on these areas.  Employee surveys can create an expectation that if the question is asked management will act.  Human Resources should only survey those areas where the leadership team is supportive and where action can be taken.

Who is Going to be Surveyed

There are two main decisions that need to be made in determining who you will survey.  The first is deciding how many employees do you want to survey.  Researchers will often call this group the target population.  The next decision is to determine if you will survey all employees or a statistical sample.  Researches will often call this the sample size.  Most employers will decide to survey all eligible employees; however, some company’s due to their size may want to survey a smaller sample of the total employee population.  Organizations today will often decide how many employees to survey based upon their budget and the necessary degree of precision.  If a statistical sample is utilized Human Resources will need to make every effort to avoid a biased sample.

Promote the Survey

A successful surveys starts with communicating the reason behind the initiative, the process and the timing of the survey.  Human Resources should also let employees know if an incentive to participate will be as part of the process.  Survey participation is very important to secure employee buy-in for the tool and support for the outcomes following the closure of the survey.  Failure to promote the survey will impact participation and the credibility of the survey results.

Analyze the Survey Results

Successful change starts with data analysis and providing the leadership team with reports that are meaningful and provide a path to process improvements.  Human Resources plays a very important role by determining what reports are generated and the interpretation of the data.  Sharing the facts with the leadership team will empower them to be more effective leaders.

Share the Results

Successfully identifying the challenges and successes following an employee survey is very important to the process and the continued engagement of the employees.   It is important for HR to share the results in a consistent, factual and non-biased approach.  Key to the sharing of the survey results is the commitment of the leadership team to follow-thru on commitments made to the staff.

To learn more about the survey process please go to our website at:

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