HomeRemote WorkUtilizing employee surveys to identify retention levers

Utilizing employee surveys to identify retention levers

Retaining excellent talent is just as important as attracting it in today’s competitive corporate environment. Although there are numerous ways to improve employee retention, the employee survey is one of the most useful but least-used instruments. Through direct employee feedback, firms can obtain valuable insights that lead to significant transformations. This tutorial will examine the various ways that employee surveys might improve retention.

Table of Contents

What is an employee survey?

Organizations can utilize an employee survey as a tool to get input, measure workplace satisfaction, and pinpoint areas that need development. These surveys can differ in size and breadth, but they all have the same goal in mind: improving our understanding of the employee experience.

Types of employee surveys with examples

There are several formats for employee surveys, each designed to collect particular kinds of information and insights. Different survey styles can be used to engage employees at different stages of their professional journey, depending on the organization’s goals and the survey’s timing. These four survey formats are frequently employed by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and motivations of their workforce.

1. Engagement surveys

Comprehensive instruments called engagement surveys are usually carried out once a year to gauge how emotionally committed staff members are to the organization and their jobs. These questionnaires may ask about a employee’s attitudes toward collaboration, the efficacy of management, and prospects for personal development inside the organization. They assist in determining areas that require improvement and areas that are strong for establishing a positive work environment.

2. Pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys designed to quickly assess the immediate impact of specific changes or capture the current mood within the organization. An example might be a monthly survey asking employees to rate their current workload and stress level. These surveys allow management to react swiftly to employee concerns and trends.

3. Exit surveys

Exit surveys are conducted with employees who are leaving the company to uncover the reasons behind their departure. The feedback received is crucial for identifying systemic issues that may be causing turnover. Questions may focus on areas such as management, job satisfaction, and the reasons for seeking employment elsewhere.

4. Onboarding surveys

In order to improve hiring and onboarding procedures, firms provide new hires with onboarding surveys. One could inquire about the degree of clarity in the job duties, the efficacy of the training that was given, and the general first-hand experience. These questionnaires are essential for guaranteeing a seamless onboarding experience for new hires.

Through a deliberate implementation of various survey formats and an awareness of their characteristics, firms can obtain important information throughout the whole employee lifecycle. These insights can then be used to raise retention rates, boost worker happiness, and eventually foster a more positive work environment.

Advantages of employee surveys

Any firm hoping to promote a great workplace culture and increase employee retention must recognize the many advantages that employee surveys offer. These tools collect important data and make it very evident to workers that their opinions count.

  • Direct insights: Unfiltered insights into employees’ opinions, experiences, and satisfaction are provided via employee surveys, which act as a direct line of communication with staff members at all levels.
  • Data-driven decisions: With thorough input at hand, management may make well-informed decisions that target certain problems, resulting in more focused and efficient organizational adjustments.
  • Improved communication: Surveys that seek for feedback on a regular basis show that an organization values the opinions of its workers. Employee retention can be greatly increased by just one action alone, which can also improve loyalty and morale.

An organization’s approach to employee engagement and retention can be revolutionized through the smart use of employee surveys. Businesses can use the information gathered from these surveys to address current problems as well as develop a long-term inclusive and trustworthy culture. This proactive strategy makes sure that workers feel appreciated and understood, which is essential for preserving a lively and effective work environment.

10 tips for designing the perfect employee survey

Creating an effective employee survey is both an art and a science. An art in how it engages and elicits truthful responses, and a science in its methodology and analysis. To help you master both, here are ten essential tips to design a survey that not only captures accurate employee sentiments but also drives meaningful changes within your organization.

  1. Keep it concise: Time is valuable, and a survey that is too long is likely to be ignored.
  2. Be clear and direct: Avoid jargon to ensure that everyone understands the questions.
  3. Ensure anonymity: To get honest feedback, employees must feel safe.
  4. Use a mix of question types: This keeps the survey engaging and allows for varied responses.
  5. Focus on actionable items: Only include questions on issues you are prepared to act upon.
  6. Time it right: Avoid busy periods where possible to increase response rates.
  7. Regularly schedule surveys: This helps track progress and sentiment over time.
  8. Test the survey: Running a pilot can help catch any issues before wide release.
  9. Communicate the Purpose: Ensure employees know why they are being asked to provide feedback.
  10. Follow up on the results: Demonstrate that the feedback has been taken seriously and outline any changes or actions that will be taken.

Implementing these tips will not only improve the quality of your surveys but also enhance the participation and trust of your employees. Remember, a well-designed survey is a conversation with your workforce—one that respects their time and insights and is committed to making improvements based on their feedback.

Key considerations before conducting employee surveys

Before launching an employee survey, it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation to ensure its effectiveness and the integrity of the process. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Objective setting: Clearly define what you hope to achieve with the survey. Whether it’s improving specific aspects of workplace culture, assessing the impact of recent changes, or simply gathering baseline data on employee satisfaction, having clear objectives will guide the design and execution of the survey.
  • Privacy and ethics: Handle all responses with confidentiality and care. Assure participants that their responses will be anonymized. This not only complies with ethical standards but also builds trust, encourages honesty, and increases participation rates.
  • Feedback loop: Develop a comprehensive plan for how to address the feedback received. This should include timelines for analysis, discussing results with key stakeholders, and communicating any actions back to employees. A well-defined feedback loop ensures that participants see the tangible outcomes of their contributions, reinforcing the value of their input.
  • Integration with other data: Ensure that the survey results enrich and supplement existing HR indicators and business data. Integration makes it possible to evaluate employee satisfaction and organizational health more holistically, which opens the door to more successful solutions.

It is clear that a carefully thought-out employee survey can offer priceless insights on the staff. Organizations may optimize the results of their surveys, resulting in better decision-making and, eventually, a more engaged and retained staff, by taking five important factors into account.


Making employees feel heard and appreciated through employee surveys is one of the most effective ways to increase retention. These surveys have the power to improve employee loyalty and change the work environment when properly created and executed. Organizations can foster a more engaging and fulfilling work environment by committing to conducting surveys on a regular basis and acting upon the insights they bring.