How To Ask Survey Questions to Improve Employee Retention
What is your organization doing right and well when it comes to employee retention? And how can you improve? To answer these questions, we take some inspiration from questions and best practice used in client surveys. Why? Because your employees should, ideally, be your biggest fans – they are the ones who should be most proud to be associated with your business since they are its direct representatives. And if they don’t want to work for you, what reasons do your clients have to stay loyal to you?
Let’s delve into some survey best practice to help you get the best possible feedback when sending out employee surveys.
1. Do it online and keep it anonymous
Online surveys are often more convenient and less intrusive than asking for feedback in person – and making responses anonymous is even better, especially if you want to have truthful input from staff. Employee apps are becoming increasingly sophisticated and often include a survey function (like the awesome one found on Ezzely) that makes the distribution and response to surveys even easier; employees can complete them wherever they are, whenever they have a moment to spare. And what’s more, it simplifies (or automates) data analysis. Win-win.
2. Avoid leading questions
Don’t ask questions that will merely give you the answers you want to hear. If you want useful feedback that will make a meaningful difference to your business in the long run, it’s far better to encourage honest answers. And besides, if employees who respond to your retention survey sense that you’re steering them into a particular direction, the chances that they will take it seriously are slim.
3. Use a logical question sequence
Logical sequencing allows survey respondents to make sense of and respond appropriately to questions. When determining employee engagement levels and whether there’s anything you can do to improve employee retention, you have to do everything you can to obtain useful, relevant, and appropriate feedback.
4. Avoid double-barreled questions
Keep your questions straight-forward by asking one question at a time – double-barreled questions might unintentionally muddle the responses you’ll receive. Simplify double-barreled questions by separating them into the key things you wish to elicit. Here’s an example: “Do you enjoy your work and your working environment?” can be split into “Do you enjoy your work?” and “Do you enjoy your working environment?”; each question requires of the respondent to provide separate feedback, irrespective of whether their answers to both questions might be the same.
5. Do not make assumptions about participants’ responses, and ask for clarification
Instead of assuming that a particular scenario or question applies to all employees, consider creating questions that allow people to answer relevantly; for example, the question “Name the positive effects the new employee engagement app has had on your work experience” assumes that all employees have had only positive experiences with the app in question. Instead, consider rephrasing to include many possibilities:
“Have you experienced any positive outcomes since using the new employee survey app?”
Then, lead into the next question: “If you answered Yes to the previous question, please list the positive outcomes you have experienced.”
And “If you answered No to the previous question, please list how you believe the app can be amended to improve your experience of it.”
Retention surveys that make provision for multiple opinions are likely to yield more comprehensive, trustworthy data. And asking for clarification for particular answers, especially ones indicated on a scale, may give you unexpected insights into the efficacy of your retention strategies.
6. Use simple language
Avoid jargon, keep sentences short and use common phrases, words and expressions. As simple as that.
Don’t wait until you experience some organizational turbulence before you start sending out well-crafted employee surveys. It’s useful to be pre-emptive and discover potential barriers to retention and engagement before they become a real problem. The primary output of any employee survey should be the development of an action plan informed by the data you obtain. Make employees feel heard and valued by acting on the concerns they raise, and you’ll surely improve employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.
Ezzely provides an entire suite of retention solutions, of which the survey function is one of the best to keep in mind when wanting to determine whether you’re on the right track or veering off-course.
Ezzely. Work beyond the workplace.