One of the mistakes too many business leaders make is in considering employees as tools. This approach considers your workers to have a function that they must perform in exchange for their salary. This way of thinking is not conducive to gaining the most engagement from workers. When you put time, energy, and investment into making sure your employees find their time with your company holistically beneficial, there are mutual advantages.
This isn’t always easy to achieve, though. As a leader, you might think that you’re giving your workers the attention and resources they need to thrive. However, your perspective isn’t always going to match theirs. Indeed, they have better insights into their needs and drivers than you are likely to have. As such, it’s wise to seek their input.
Let’s take a closer look at why you need to measure employee experience and how well-designed employee experience surveys can play a role.
What is Employee Experience?
Simply put, employee experience focuses on each worker’s relationship with your company throughout their lifespan as part of your organization. Your workers are not likely to have a consistent experience throughout their time at the company. There may be changes in their role that might influence their sense of place within your business. Leadership alterations can impact company culture which, in turn, could change your workers’ previous good opinions of the business. The journey from onboarding to resignation will feature various elements that influence their productivity, loyalty, and satisfaction.
So, why is it important to learn about employee experience? The more you can understand about the lifespan of your workforce, the better decisions you can make to retain them and encourage them to innovate on your behalf. The more high-quality data you can gain regarding various aspects of employee experience, the greater ability you have to make both overall improvements and finely-tuned changes.
When Should You Use an Employee Experience Survey?
If you’re issuing surveys all the time, your employees may start to consider them inconsequential or overly burdensome, leading to them being less likely to commit their full attention to them. At the same time, too few surveys can mean you miss opportunities to gather vital intelligence about the holistic journey from onboarding to exit.
As such, Workify has designed Employee Experience Survey templates to capture information at the most important intervals. These are:
- New Hire Surveys
An employee’s initial experiences with your company are among the most important to their lifecycle with you. It’s during this time that they form some of their core impressions of your culture and operations and start to forge key relationships. These early elements can influence each worker’s ongoing path and the decisions they make. Effective new hire surveys aren’t performed at the time of onboarding, as your workers don’t have any real insights at this point. Rather, you should issue the new hire surveys at 7 days, 30 days, and on the 90-day mark.
- Stay Surveys
Stay surveys help you to understand why your workers are choosing to maintain their employment with your business. This is important for establishing your employees’ ongoing perspectives on your organization, their career, and the relationships they’re building along the way. It also means you can identify consistent issues that aren’t simply related to new employment teething problems. You shouldn’t wait to issue these stay surveys until you already start to see problems with retention. In general, it’s best to perform stay surveys at least once a year, but no more frequently than every 6 months.
- Exit Surveys
Exit surveys help you to understand the common motivations for leaving and what aspects of workers’ experience contributed to their decision to move on. The data you gather here can also help you to spot the departments that are particularly rife with employee disengagement. You can then start to establish where you can direct your investments to have the most impact on retention and turnover. Don’t wait until after they’ve left the business to issue the survey; you’re unlikely to get a response. Rather, arrange for them to return your survey at some point during their notice period.
What Types of Questions Should You Ask?
Your focus with employee experience surveys should be on asking questions that are most relevant to the phase of the life cycle. This doesn’t just mean you gain the most appropriate data for the circumstances. It also means your workers don’t feel as though each survey is needlessly repetitive.
Workify’s Employee Experience Surveys have been designed by i/o psychologists with questions that capture the data that can give you the most relevant and actionable insights. Some examples of these for surveys in each phase of the employee lifecycle include:
7 Day New Hire Surveys
1. My onboarding has given me a good overview of what I need to be successful in my role.
2. I felt confident in what to expect before my first day.
3. My manager has explained my role and responsibilities to me.
4. I am feeling welcome here.
30 Day New hire Surveys
1. How likely are you to recommend [Company Name] as a place to work?
2. I have a good understanding of the values/culture of [Company Name].
3. I have ongoing, high-quality 1x1s with my manager.
4. I understand the reward and benefits that are available to me at [Company Name].
90 Day New Hire Surveys
1. How has your time so far at [Company Name] compared to your expectations?
2. I see myself working at [Company Name] in two years.
3. What one thing would have improved your experience so far at [Company Name]?
4. What skills do you need to develop to be successful at [Company Name] in the long term?
1. I had a career conversation with my manager within the last year.
2. I enjoy the professional development opportunities available to me.
3. I am pleased with my overall experience at [Company Name].
4. There are factors tempting me to leave [Company Name].
1. I would consider returning to work at [Company Name] in the future.
2. Rank the following factors in order of how strongly they contributed to your decision to leave [Company Name]: Role & Responsibilities, Leadership / Direction, Management, Career Opportunities, Company Culture, Compensation & Benefits, Personal Circumstances
3. What one thing about our culture at [Company Name] should we strive to protect?
4. What one thing could we have changed to make you want to stay with [Company Name]?
How Can You Act on Your Insights?
You can access the results of Workify’s Employee Engagement Surveys via our Advanced Analytics platform. This empowers you to gain an immediate understanding of where correlating areas of concern are and what you’re doing particularly well. However, once you have this information, it’s important that you respond in a meaningful and visible way.
Be open with your workforce when surveys provide insights into areas in which clear improvement is needed. Let them know that their engagement and input has been valuable in helping company leadership to understand that changes need to be made. One of the mistakes businesses too frequently make is to deal with such issues quietly and only inform management about plans for improvement. However, transparency is one of the cornerstones of employee engagement. If they can see your company leadership is treating its commitment to improvement in an honest and authentic way, they tend to be more willing to be a part of the solution.
Then, be clear with staff about how you intend to proceed. Provide time scales they can expect updates on progress or rollout of changes. Wherever possible, include a diverse range of staff from all departments and levels of seniority in designing solutions to issues. Just as you rely on staff to provide you with valuable insights in surveys, they can be key to helping you improve employee experience for everyone.
Employee experience is a key contributor to your business’ ability to retain staff in the long-term. At a time in which there is fierce competition for talent, you need to gain insights into your workforce’s experience across their entire lifespan. Workify’s Employee Experience Surveys are a scientifically grounded way to gain the most relevant and actionable data in this regard.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can implement Employee Experience Surveys to better understand the needs and hurdles of your workforce, you can download our PDF or book a free 30 minute employee engagement consultation.