TSI Blog

Defining your aims and objectives when conducting employee research and employee surveys

September 1st, 2011 by Alison McKinney

Welcome to the third in our summer series of blogs about how to get the most from your employee survey.  You can read the previous blogs in this series here.

Before embarking on your survey, define your objectives. Clear objectives linked to the business and its strategy should help to raise enthusiasm for the survey among your key influencers and decision-makers. Improvements resulting from the research will improve customer service and business performance.

Setting up a project steering group including members of the senior management team, managers and employees from across the organisation will help employees to see the survey as a company-wide initiative. Steering group members can advise on aims and objectives, topic list, sample size, questionnaire design, communication and many other matters. They can help work out how best to follow up the survey, disseminate the feedback and devise an action plan.

Top tips for conducting employee surveys

  • Ask yourself why you are running the survey. What you are trying to achieve?
  • Communicate the purpose of the survey; an effective communication strategy will help boost employee participation.
  • Collect meaningful demographic data while ensuring anonymity to give insight and context.
  • Ensure each question relates directly to the survey objectives.
  • Consult a variety of staff about the topics the survey is going to cover, perhaps by forming a steering group that includes a cross section of employees.
  • Keep the time required to complete the survey to a minimum (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Be open and honest with the results and commit to feeding them back.
  • Don’t try to act on everything that the survey throws up; pick two or three key items.
  • Set targets for improvement and periodically revisit them to ensure that any remedial work has the desired effect.

Find out more about how we can work with you to maximise the potential of your employee survey.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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