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All employee
surveys: how to undertake an effective assessment of benefits engagement

Our viewpoint

Many organisations focus on understanding customer sentiment by using surveys and Net Promoter Scores, but many also recognise the importance of using similar methods for understanding employee engagement.

All employee surveys are an effective way of gathering feedback from your workforce – and can be more important than ever during times of stress and remote working like we are currently experiencing.

Although all employee surveys are used to understand sentiment around culture, career development and more, they can also be used to assess engagement with benefits. By adding in a few simple questions to existing employee surveys, organisations can better understand the value given to employee benefits.

A survey can also enable better understanding on which potential future benefits would be most valued by employees, as well as giving the opportunity to dive deeper into why greater value is placed on some benefits over others.

Key factors to consider for an effective survey on employee benefits:

What is the overall level of engagement in the organisation?

Poor engagement in an organisation can often lead to poor engagement with a survey itself. To combat this, the survey should be completely anonymous, so that employees are not worried about the repercussions of honestly completing it. Using a third party to administer the survey is a good way of clearly demonstrating this in a way that employees can trust.

The survey must also be as easy and convenient as possible to complete (so ensuring that the survey is online and mobile-optimised is key). There should also be time allocated within working hours for employees to complete it, rather than promoting it as something to be done on breaks or after work. Incentives can also be used to motivate completion – whether this is individual spot prizes, or mass gestures like providing treats with the survey link on them.

Who is the senior leader championing this survey project?

Senior leadership endorsement of the survey shows the importance that an organisation is placing on this survey. This can motivate employees to complete the survey if they perceive that there is greater accountability for action being taken off the back of the survey results.

Do you know the right questions to ask?

You could get wildly different responses from asking ‘Have you heard of X benefit?’, compared with ‘Name the employee benefits this organisation offers’. It is important to think critically about the objective of the questions that you are asking.

Do you want to understand the awareness or take up of existing benefits, or about potential future benefits? A third-party company can supply some of these best practice questions, as well as provide benchmarking of your employees’ perception of their benefits against national or industry results.

What is the plan for utilising the results?

There is no point gathering data and feedback if a concrete plan is not available for utilising this information to make improvements. The perception of employees about what you will do with this data is equally important and can even be included as a question in the survey itself.

If this isn’t the first year that the employee survey has been run, then it is critical to highlight action that has been taken from previous results, to show employees that there is value in them completing the survey.

Results from the survey should be shared as soon as possible – even the negative feedback. Being honest about the results and about which areas need to be addressed can help build confidence in senior leadership.

So, whether you’re a seasoned professional in employee surveys, or a rookie thinking about whether to start your first project in this area, there’s no better time or reason than right now. There has been so much uncertainty and anxiety for everyone in the last few months so now is the time to show that you care and that you are there to support your workforce.

Employee wellbeing - the state of the nation's financial health

Employee wellbeing - the state of the nation's financial health

Read our latest report, from a survey of over 10,000 employees, which gives a real snapshot of their financial wellbeing to help employers to understand the main issues, and how they can support their workforce.

Download the report