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Ask the questions, act on the answers

Q: I have heard that undertaking a staff satisfaction survey can help improve employee engagement. Is this the case, and how do you recommend we should implement this?

A: Just the act of introducing a employee satisfaction survey within your business can boost staff morale. However, in order for the exercise to be worthwhile you need to carefully plan the logistics of issuing a survey, including the questions that you wish to ask. It is a good idea to issue the survey at least annually, but what is more important is that you intend to follow through on the answers. Your questions should encourage employees to provide fair and accurate responses, and it would be useful to allow employees the option of remaining anonymous, which may help to encourage more honest responses.

You also need to ask yourself why you wish to survey your employees in the first place, what you will do with the answers, and whether the opinions and views of your employees will make a difference to what you do. Allow for comments by asking open-ended questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. Also provide the option at the end of the survey for further thoughts or comments, to cover issues that have not been raised in the questionnaire.

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If people are unhappy at work, this can damage performance and morale. Employees need to feel valued, and if you fail to provide feedback then morale may be impaired. In addition, if you do not know why employees are unhappy, then there is very little you can do to resolve any concerns or problems. So for the sake of your employees and the business it is best that, through the answers of the survey, you understand what the issues are so that you can make appropriate changes.

There are various online survey platforms you can use that will help collect your employees’ answers and collate the results, making it easier for you to analyse the data. Ensure that you review all the responses and whenever possible act on comments and suggestions. It may also be wise to publish the results to your management so they can sense the mood and general consensus in the workplace. By distributing on an annual basis, you will be able to compare results and see whether anything you have implemented previously has made a difference to your workplace.

You should also communicate the findings from the survey to your employees, explaining to them the changes you wish to implement. Employees will greatly appreciate the fact that you are taking their well-being seriously and that you are prepared to act on any concerns raised.

David Price is managing director of Health Assured