Running a business successfully is about more than crunching numbers, making profits, and increasing the bottom line. There are so many integral factors that go into a successful organization that sometimes managers forget their most valuable asset: the human element.

Satisfying customers and clients is crucial, of course. Also keeping a good handle and full control over operational costs is critical to the success of any organization. But if you’re not taking care of your people and ensuring they have a status factory work environment/fulfillment in their roles at the organization, then you may have a bigger problem.

Talking to your employees, getting feedback, and fostering an atmosphere of recognition can help you better understand how employees feel. But one of the most amazing tools to use for capturing data is the humble survey. Although many different surveys can help you gather data, there are some types that work better than others.

In this article, will discuss how to use surveys effectively and offer some suggestions for the best ones to implement at your organization.

Using Surveys Effectively

There are many different types of survey questions in every survey. Some are open-ended, some close-ended, others might ask for ratings or to choose a feeling on a scale. Choose them effectively for the best results. Design your surveys with the survey-taker in mind. They shouldn’t be overly long or drawn out.

Use a comprehensive process for your design to avoid any possible misunderstanding. Simple yes or no questions are useful for gaining surface insights. But for a more detailed analysis, you might want to go with open-ended questions or use scales, such as a Likert scale.

A Likert scale is one of those five-part scales where respondents are given a statement and choose from a range of “unlikely” to “likely.” Word choice, question order, and all of the other factors listed here are critical to properly designing a survey that will supply accurate results.

Job Satisfaction Surveys

Anyone who’s ever taken a questionnaire for medical appointments or term life insurance applications knows the tedium that comes with long surveys. In those instances, it’s necessary. But when assessing employee opinions, it’s better to take a less is more approach—especially with job satisfaction surveys. These should be handed out roughly every three to four months. This provides ample time for employees to gather and provide feedback. These surveys work well for hearing directly from staff about how things are going and where they can improve.

In addition to offering a direct line to worker feedback, job satisfaction surveys can help you develop recruiting materials, improve office morale, and monitor employee satisfaction/engagement. It’s a useful tool that should not be overlooked throughout the course of running your business.

Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to measure how happy employees are with their job and their company. Of course, there is a bit of a downside to them.

These surveys are a slightly annoying, but necessary evil in the modern workplace. They’re tedious and often take some time to fill out properly. They’re time-consuming for both administrators and employees. Moreover, they can be difficult to assess and collect (especially if the sample groups don’t want to take it!).

But if you can get past these roadblocks, having employees complete them will help management glean actionable insights into the organization. They’re perfect for assessing current levels of morale, understanding the direction the company needs to take to the retained staff, and identifying concerns before they can bloom into full-fledged problems. There are plenty of amazing modern tools that can speed up the process, too!

Machine learning can speed things up by using artificial intelligence to analyze survey data. Then it’ll detect patterns or identify critical pain points. This ultimately leads to the accurate data you need to truly understand your employees. When companies are already spending extreme amounts of money on employee engagement, using any tools available to make surveys easier for everyone isn’t just pragmatic—it’s downright essential to future success!

Pulse Surveys

Another fantastic type of survey that can really provide a baseline for truly grasping the general employee mood and morale is the humble pulse survey. Pulse surveys are short, direct surveys that are handed out frequently. Instead of taking a long time to assess the data and look for insights, pulse surveys save both employees and employers time.

A quick assessment that is often backed up by machine learning / artificial intelligence, pulse surveys take a lot of the guesswork out of understanding employee engagement. Because of their immediacy, they don’t typically have biased questions and it’s easier to get better results. Implementing an AI-powered pulse survey into your survey rotation supplies the organization with real-time insights and benchmarks for how the company is in the industry.

Better yet, pulse surveys provide much more context to aid in the company’s future success and employee relations. All of these benefits combined make pulse surveys a powerful tool that no business should go without.

Exit Interview Surveys

When employees decide to leave your company, it might be a good idea to try to understand their reasons for exiting. Leaving a company isn’t always an easy decision for some employees. But it can be especially hard on managers, too. One way to gather some data on the reasons for the employee’s exit is to conduct an exit interview.

Some employees might be resistant to the idea (so don’t force the issue) but if they’re willing to talk to you, find the time to conduct the exit interview as a combination of conversation and survey. There are three reasons an exit interview is a good idea. And it’s very easy to disseminate: you want to understand why the employee leaves, try to convince them to stay if possible and let them know that you understand the value of the service they provided your organization.

Employees who participate in an exit interview might appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. That makes it a valuable tool in your data gathering arsenal.