The Smarter Startup

Want to Know What Your Employees Want? Ask Them!

One of the best ways to get honest and open feedback from your team is through an anonymous survey.

I think we all can agree that good leaders are in tune with their teams and know what they want, what motivates them, and how to keep them happy and engaged. But how exactly do you do this? Well- you ask them, of course!

You may be wondering, “but how do you get honest, genuine answers from your employees?”. The answer is simple. One of the best ways to get honest and open feedback from your team is through an anonymous survey.

Benefits of Anonymous Surveys

An anonymous survey is a great way to get employees to open up about certain topics. You can often get more forthcoming answers from the team if they know their answers cannot be linked back to them.

For example, if you’re asking a question about future benefits programs, an employee who would like to see infertility benefits in the package is more likely to say this in an anonymous survey, instead of face-to-face due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

This benefits the company in such a way that just making decisions based on word of mouth wouldn’t. Perhaps you have a more vocal group of people in the company that want a certain thing done. Basing decisions on this could lead to decisions that aren’t benefiting the company as a whole, but rather a select group of people that just happen to be louder than the majority.

Luckily, putting together a survey is not difficult. A skilled HR professional typically knows how to build a survey and administer it in a fashion that gets the most responses, as well as higher quality ones.

Tips to Write a Great Survey

  • A good employee survey has a focus, stays on topic, and is not long.
  • Don’t deter employees from filling it out due to how many questions it has. I recommend staying in the 10 question range.
  • Stick to one theme. A survey about health benefits should not ask questions about how employees feel about their managers. Staying on topic helps to keep employees in the right mind frame for what the survey aims to discover.
  • A great employee survey question is unbiased, and gives you data you can do something with.

An example of a well-written benefits survey question looks like this:

Rate your agreement with the following statement:

  • I am happy with the health benefits (medical, vision, dental) currently offered.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Agree
    • Neutral
    • Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree

A question like this will allow you to gather key data. If you are anticipating making a big change to your benefits plan, then discover that the vast majority of employees are happy with the current plan, a survey question like this could save you time and energy in the long run.

The last, and most important piece of advice I could give to someone looking to implement a survey, is to do something with the information you gather. The fastest way to lose trust in your team is to solicit their feedback and then do nothing with it. I truly believe that you are better off not doing a survey at all than doing one and sitting on the information.