What's the best way to improve a workplace? Doing anonymous employee surveys, acknowledging the results, acting to improve things, and repeating. That's something we explored in our eBook, 10 Reasons to do an Employee Happiness Survey (shoot us an email if you'd like a copy!).
Sometimes people say to us, "Aren't employee surveys only for office workers and remote workers?" Not at all. Surveying, acknowledging, and acting is equally effective for other kinds of workers. This is true for field technicians, foodservice workers, customer service and support, construction workers, or even on the factory floor. It's just a matter of being prepared and flexible.
The first step for any survey is telling employees that we are going to do it, that their participation is important, and that the goal is to make their work and their workplace better. Reaching non-office employees directly can be challenging or impossible: they may not have an email address or a number on-file for an internet-connected phone. They may even spend most of the day travelling.
That's why our first step is to identify managers who (1) work close enough to see and speak to the employees in person at least once a week and (2) we can reliably communicate with. That may be a location manager, district manager, field supervisor, or an office manager. We give these managers a short (one-page) message announcing the upcoming survey, setting out the goals, and telling them when and how to expect to do it. These managers take the message to their teams so everyone is ready to take the survey.
But how to take the survey? For office workers, we'd normally email their survey link to them, but these employees don't sit at a desk and they are really busy! There are a few ways to do it, and different methods work better for different workplaces:
None of this works unless the survey is simple, fast, and fun. Our Employee Happiness Survey can be completed in about 7 minutes, unless the employee wants to write a lot of text comments. Important: We don't use confusing questions like, "How much do you agree with the following?" Instead, they are written in plain language and use simple, relatable introductions to the questions:
How do you feel...?
Do you like...?
Do you know...?
Do you have...?
The answers are equally simple and relatable. We provide illustrated faces that indicate feelings from very happy to very unhappy. Each face is paired with a short statement of what it stands for, like "Yes, I love it!" or "Most of the time."
Any worker can feel vulnerable or anxious about an employee survey. They may feel that their responses will be connected to them and they could get in trouble if they say the wrong thing. This is especially true of non-office workers, who work under time pressure and often get little face time with their managers and leaders.
We put these fears to rest by explaining how our survey is conducted anonymously. We tell them that we provide them a survey link, they use the survey, and their results are encrypted. Results are not connected to their identity, and that even if we wanted to, we cannot link their results back to them. We also explain that the plan is to get their anonymous feedback, make improvements, and to return again later to take another survey. If we messed that up, they would not trust us when we return to take the next survey.
At Amazing Workplace, we work with all kinds of workplaces. Our Employee Happiness Survey is the first step of our Happiness Improvement process. This process improves employee retention, increases productivity, and it improves the attractiveness and reputation of the workplaces. Want to know more? Send us an email at email@example.com.