The most effective personnel survey possible
Mar 13, 2023
Based on our everyday experiences, long and multi-stage staff surveys can easily feel exhausting to the respondents. This is especially true if the questions still seem irrelevant and meaningless. In this article, Karoliina explains what the most effective staff survey could be like.
When you put the question into the Internet: how many questions should there be on employee surveys on average, the first hit tells you that there should be no more than 75 questions in the employee survey, and filling it out should not take more than half an hour.
Those planning employee surveys are advised to ask as many questions as possible with the highest response rate. Somewhat humorously, it could be stated that the optimum is sought from a point where people's response suffering is maximal, but they have not yet stopped responding. This way, as much information as possible is obtained for HR and management. But is such suffering-acquired information of high quality and worth its cost?
There are also surveys on the market that allow employees to indicate which question is important to them. This way, it is known which questions have been important to the staff and to which areas the staff think development resources should be directed. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but why ask questions at all if it is already known in advance that the majority of them are not relevant to the staff?
What if one wanted to find one question to replace all 75 questions? What would be the question to find out if an employee is doing well, coping with their workload, knows what they should do, is satisfied with the leadership, feels good in their work environment, can enjoy their professional expertise and its development, can do their work smoothly and efficiently, and is committed to their work?
That question could be anything as general and neutral as possible asking about a person's general mood. In our Feelings Meter©, it is
The first is that you have to believe that people get some kind of satisfaction or joy from doing a good job. If this is the case, a person's mood is positively affected by the smoothness of work and negatively affected if things are not going well. If a person has no interest in doing their job well, the smoothness of the work does not affect their mood. I would think that this condition of deriving satisfaction from work applies to 95 percent of people.
The second condition for the functionality of a general question is that you have to give the respondent the opportunity to tell what diminishes their mood or happiness. This way, you will find out what needs to be improved.
A-ha! Yes, this is the secret! You don't have to suggest 75 things yourself. You can let the respondent bring up what is meaningful to them.
This won't make the staff survey any more streamlined or more efficient.
Read more about our Vibemeter here.