Better feedback tips, Employee Surveys

Survey Communications: the way to get honest feedback

Lydia Watson

How do you feel about your manager?

Some survey questions feel suspiciously like a trap…  making you paranoid about every interaction for the next couple of weeks. Don’t they normally use more exclamation marks than that? Was there a lag, or were they speaking over me on purpose in that call?!

Whether you’re trying to understand employee wellbeingmeasuring inclusion, or asking for feedback on leadership, there’s one big challenge: getting your people to be open.

You need the right questions, yes (and we can help you with that). But how can you make your employees feel like it’s safe to answer honestly – and that it’s worth their time?

The key? Good survey communications

From engagement survey communications to reminder emails to complete your D&I survey, it’s absolutely crucial that you don’t neglect this part of your listening strategy.

You can calm every fear, answer every unasked question, and encourage honest responses – as long as your survey communications do all this:

1. They need to build trust

  • Reassure them its confidential, and explain what that means

“Are employee surveys really confidential?” and “Should you be honest in employee surveys?” are two questions that come up a lot. In your first introductory email, you should state whether the survey will be anonymous and confidential – read about the difference here – and explain what that means.

Don’t forget: if you use Qlearsite’s platform, for every survey you send we make it impossible to identify who’s said what – however small your organisation is.

  • Tell them why you’re asking these questions in the first place

If you’re asking personal questions – about people’s mental health, or feelings around inclusion – then employees would be forgiven for wondering why. What business is it of yours? Be clear about the purpose of each survey you sent, sending an introductory email that tells them what the end goal is. If they know it could lead to positive initiatives, they’ll know your intentions are good – and see the benefit of replying.

  • Be transparent about the employee survey results

This is a challenging one – especially if you’ve got feedback that’s less than complimentary to your organisation. But it’s an important part of building trust with your people. If you hold your hands up about your strengths and weaknesses, people will feel heard. They’ll also see that giving honest feedback is worth their time.

2. They need to show outcomes

  • Be clear about the next steps when the survey closes

When the survey’s closed, and you’ve done your initial analysis, communicate the highlights (and lowlights) and explain what happens next. Maybe the top team will have a strategy day, or assign managers particular tasks – whatever it is, make that clear.

  • Encourage open communication between managers and employees

Make it clear in your communications that people can approach their managers if they have more questions. You won’t be able to cover everything in one email or text – and if you did, no-one would read it.

Don’t forget: thanks to our survey dashboard, you can let managers see and analyse their team’s feedback – and set key actions for them to take.

  • Publish your action plan, and include timeframes

A survey done, results analysed, strategy set. What next? Update your employees! If you’ve got an impressive new initiative in the works, don’t be shy to shout about it – and remember to explain how it’s a direct result of the survey they answered. They’ll be more likely to respond to your next one.

  • What kind of survey communications should you send?

Whether you’re using email, text, or another messaging system, you should aim to send these communications to your employees:

  • Introduction: stating the topic, purpose, and type of survey
  • Survey send: with the link to your survey, and the date it closes
  • Reminders: prompting people to fill in the survey before X date
  • Results summary: details the overall results, and any initial takeaways
  • Next steps: explaining what actions will be taken as a result

Qlearsite makes it easy to send employee surveys

We know that employee surveys can make change happen. But we also know traditional surveys can be time-consuming. That’s why we’re focused on making the process as easy as possible: not only do we offer research-backed question sets, we’ll even give you templated survey communications to make life a little easier.

Talk to the team today for more helpful advice:

Get actionable people insights with Qlearsite

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