In the pre-pandemic world, employee surveys were helpful tools in evaluating engagement and gathering input. Now, as employers continue to soldier on through the COVID-19 crisis, conducting a survey could be a mission critical move to assess the impact of this year’s unprecedented events.
For many organizations, the very nature of work has changed. More and more employees are working remotely; meetings are taking place virtually; and social distancing and new on-site safety measures have become the norm. You need to determine how your employees are doing and whether they’re satisfied with your response to the crisis.
Gather useful data
With an employee survey, you can gather open and honest input from those who have lived and worked through it. This input is the link between your employees and your organization’s productivity, morale and success. Employee surveys help you identify weaknesses, clarify concerns, and enhance communication and cooperation — all in a confidential, nonthreatening way.
When done properly, surveys are both time- and cost-efficient because they gather vast amounts of data in a short period. Survey data can cover a wide variety of topics, from HR and benefits concerns to organizational communication issues to quality control, customer interaction and safety matters.
Act on the results
A survey demonstrates your commitment to open communication and your respect for your employees’ opinions and well-being. Undertaking this effort can improve morale — so long as you subsequently take appropriate actions regarding the expressed concerns.
And therein lies the double-edged sword of employee surveys. If you conduct your survey incorrectly or halfheartedly, the results might not accurately reflect what your employees are thinking. For example, poorly worded questions or a low response rate could lead to misinformation and misconceptions about your workforce and ineffective follow-up actions.
What’s more, even a thoroughly conducted survey can be harmful if you don’t appear willing to act on the information or you say nothing further about it after gathering the data. If you’re not willing to hear bad news or not seriously committed to putting employee input to use, don’t do it. A survey without follow-up communication and action will only increase employee cynicism or reinforce negative perceptions of management.
Gain important insights
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers are struggling with work-life balance as they cope with children learning from home or older loved ones needing special care. A survey can give you the insights you need to help employees feel more engaged and be more productive.