Are employee engagement surveys worth it?

Have you recently noticed a lack of enthusiasm in your employees? Does your team feel disengaged at work?

This might leave you wondering: What’s causing the dip in energy?

While you can always ask your employees in person, this approach doesn’t always capture the full picture. After all, it’s challenging for employees to openly express their true feelings face-to-face.

That’s where employee engagement surveys can be useful. Or can they?

Do these surveys truly work or is it just a corporate bandwagon that every company jumps on?

This blog will clear your confusion and guide you through the nitty-gritty of employee engagement surveys. 

Let’s dig deeper and understand the real value of these surveys in the corporate world.

What are employee engagement surveys?

Nobody wants to work in a company they do not feel enthusiastic about. Can you really bring the best out of your employees if they are not motivated or engaged? I reckon not!

This is where employee engagement surveys play a crucial role. 

Employee engagement surveys are a form of questionnaire that companies use to measure and understand the level of engagement and commitment of their employees towards their workplace. 

These surveys typically include a range of questions designed to assess various aspects of an employee’s experience at work, such as:

  • Job Satisfaction: How content do employees feel with their roles and responsibilities?
  • Alignment with Company Goals: Whether employees feel their work contributes to the company’s vision and their personal growth.
  • Company Culture: How do the work setting and culture influence employee morale?
  • Motivation and Involvement: What drives employees and how actively do they participate in workplace initiatives?

An employee engagement survey provides valuable insights into the areas where the company is excelling and where it should improve, from an employee’s perspective. If done right, these surveys act as a roadmap for creating a more engaging and productive work environment.

But not everybody in the corporate world feels the same about these surveys. Let’s understand the counter-narrative.

Net promoter score survey

Net promoter score survey

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Employee satisfaction survey for Employee engagement surveys

Employee satisfaction survey

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Employee engagement surveys: A counter narrative

Are employee engagement surveys effective?

While companies worldwide conduct these surveys, some believe that it is no longer an effective way to measure engagement. This skepticism stems from a key issue: the gap between surveying and taking action.

Many companies, despite their best intentions, fall short in acting upon the data and insights collected through these surveys. As a result, these surveys do more harm than good in improving employee engagement.

A great example of this disconnect is evident from an online quiz taken by over 3,000 HR executives, titled “How Good Is Your Employee Engagement Survey?” 

When asked about their willingness to act on survey data, only 42% indicated a 100% commitment to addressing every issue highlighted by the survey. 

Employee engagement surveys: A counter narrative

At first, the number 42% may not look as bad but it actually implies that the majority, 58% of companies, fail to take meaningful action on their employee engagement survey data.

Now this lack of follow-through can be detrimental. It not only leads to stagnant or declining engagement levels. But it also undermines the credibility and purpose of the surveys themselves. 

And the worst part is that when employees see a consistent pattern of inaction, they start to lose their trust in the company. 

So are employee engagement surveys useful or do their cons outweigh their pros? Let’s not jump to conclusions yet. 

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of an employee engagement survey to fully understand their worth.

Benefits of employee engagement surveys

Provide insight into employee sentiment

One of the key benefits of employee engagement surveys is their ability to convey employee sentiment. They provide valuable insights into how employees feel about their:

  • Work Environment
  • Culture
  • Leadership

This is crucial to understand whether employees feel content with their current state of the job. With the help of such insights, companies can identify the areas that positively impact employee engagement and can capitalize on them and those that need improvement.

Improve communication

Conducting frequent employee engagement surveys makes employees feel that their opinions are valued. It conveys the message that the company is committed to listening to their concerns. 

This results in:

  • Open communication
  • Increased trust between employees and management
  • A culture of transparency where feedback is encouraged and acted upon

Enable data-driven decision making

These surveys offer quantitative and qualitative data that can enable companies to make better decisions. Instead of relying on assumptions or anecdotal evidence, managers can make informed choices based on actual employee feedback. 

This data-driven approach takes into account the specific needs and concerns of the employees, making sure that strategies are effective and targeted to improve engagement. 

Let’s also take a look at some of the disadvantages of employee engagement surveys.

Disadvantages of employee engagement surveys

Potential for inaction

Companies design employee engagement surveys with the intent to act upon the feedback. But we all know the action doesn’t happen as often as we all would like it to. This is the biggest con of employee engagement surveys.

Failure to act on survey findings can lead to employees feeling that their feedback is meaningless. This inaction can harm employee morale and trust in leadership, potentially leading to lower engagement levels than before the survey was conducted.

Low response rate and survey fatigue

Another challenge of an employee engagement survey is survey fatigue. Survey fatigue is when employees feel tired completing a form, especially if it takes a long time to fill. This also connects to the previous disadvantage we discussed which is inaction.

When employees believe these surveys are just a formality with no real impact, the response rates may decline. 

This is bad news for companies since the lack of data can lead to bad decisions. Or worse, you may end up thinking your employees are happy when in reality, they are not.

Anonymity issue

Are employee engagement surveys really anonymous? 

No matter how many times you make it clear, this question would be on the minds of some of the employees. This skepticism can stem from various factors, such as:

  • Bad company culture
  • Poor company track record of maintaining confidentiality
  • Lack of trust in leadership

Again this may lead to guarded responses which will skew the data, killing the very purpose of an employee engagement survey.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of employee engagement surveys, it’s time we tell you the final verdict: Are employee engagement surveys worth it? 

The verdict: Are employee engagement surveys worth it?

Imagine If you ask a friend “What should I wear at the party, outfit A or outfit B?” and your friend says “Outfit B”. Then, you go with outfit A anyway. Wouldn’t your friend wonder, “Why ask me then?”

This is exactly how employees feel when companies don’t act upon the survey data which leads to lower engagement levels.

So what does this tell us? It means that employee engagement surveys, in their essence, are worth it. The problem lies in the execution, especially if the issue revealed in the feedback is hard to cope with.

Moreover, the cons of employee engagement surveys we discussed earlier in the blog can easily be mitigated by paying them their due attention.

For example, if your survey response rate is low, you can design short, less time-consuming surveys. 

Remember, it’s not about just conducting employee engagement surveys. It’s about making decisions based on the survey data. 

That’s when you’ll see the true worth of employee engagement surveys. 

But one issue still remains: How to create an employee engagement survey effectively? Let’s find out.

How to create an employee engagement survey? 

Let’s be honest: traditional ways of creating an employee engagement survey are dull, boring, and time-consuming. 

And besides, no employee likes to fill out a half-hour-long survey that basically says “Are You Happy in Our Company?” unless you’re Sheldon Cooper from the Sitcom, Big Bang Theory.

The very term “Employee Engagement Survey,” means to measure the engagement level of your employees. So don’t you think that the survey form itself should be engaging?

This is where Formaloo can make a real difference. Formaloo is a no-code tool that lets you create highly engaging surveys in no time.

You can watch this video to learn how to create an employee engagement survey in Formaloo without any hassle. 

If you want to read the employee engagement survey best practices, head over to this article.

Turn insights into action!

The effectiveness of employee engagement surveys ultimately depends on how you use and act upon them.

Conducting surveys is only half the battle, the other half is to understand and respond to the insights they provide. 

So take these surveys as tools for growth and change. They will help you transform your workplace into a more engaged, responsive, and vibrant community.

We hope now you’ve got the answer to your question: ‘Are Employee Engagement Surveys Worth It?’

Here’s to having happy employees and healthy profits!

Sign up with Formaloo and start building better surveys today! Follow us on our YouTube channel for more useful tips and tricks.

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