A Small Business Owner’s Guide To Employee Surveys

Feedback is crucial to a businesses success. Whilst many business owners regularly ask their customers for feedback, employee surveys often go overlooked. There are many benefits to conducting them and this short blog is going to be a small business owner’s guide to running and managing successful employee surveys… 


A Small Business Owner’s Guide To Employee Surveys


Why should you conduct employee surveys?

The workforce of a company is what drives it forward. By asking your staff for feedback, you can ensure that your company is a great place to work and address any issues when they first arise. Not only that, your team is likely to have great ideas for the future that you may not have thought of. Giving your people a platform to share their thoughts and ideas can lead to great innovation (and retention). 


What should you ask?

There are many different types of employee surveys. In order to be effective, you need to know what the goal of each survey is. It’s important to note that employee surveys also shouldn’t just focus on areas of improvement, but the positives of a company and employee’s goals too. 


Commonly asked questions are: 

  • Would you recommend this company as a great place to work?
  • How could we better serve our customers?
  • Do you have clear career progression at this company?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Do you believe you have all the tools to do your job well?
  • How would you rate your work life balance?
  • Do you feel supported by your manager?
  • Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
  • What motivates you to go above and beyond at work?
  • If you were to leave tomorrow, what would be the reason?
  • What do you think is this business’ biggest strength?
  • Do you feel that your good work gets noticed?
  • What do you think is this business’ biggest weakness?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how enjoyable is your job?
  • How could we make your role more enjoyable?


How often should you conduct surveys?

It’s important to survey your employees annually at the bare minimum. That said, the length of your survey is a crucial factor when considering frequency. Lengthy surveys should be less frequent, but shorter pulse surveys can be sent more often. There’s a fine line between information gathering and bombarding. If you think you might be asking for feedback too often, check your response rates and look for any significant drop offs. 


It’s also useful to survey new staff as they enter the business as well as those who are leaving. These surveys will then tell you both what attracts people to your business as well as what ultimately drives them away. 


What platforms can you use for employee surveys?

There are many different platforms available but some of the more popular ones are Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, Typeform and Zoho Survey. A lot of the platforms offer a free version which for many small business owners is more than enough for their needs. Each platform has its own pros and cons, but broadly speaking they’re all capable of helping you conduct employee surveys.  


How should you follow up?

Almost the most important part of the whole process is the follow up. Be sure to share some of the common results with your team and what general information you have gathered. Don’t share any personal answers, just broad themes that came up across the company. Not only that, if areas where you can improve did arise, act on them immediately and show your company that you are listening and improving. 


Surveys are a great tool in a business owner’s toolkit. By asking for feedback you can ensure that your business is always evolving and improving. Employee surveys are just one way to ensure that your company maintains a great culture. If you’re interested in other ways to enhance your culture, check out our company culture practices to improve staff wellbeing and why being charitable is great for company culture.

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