Remote Work Engagement Surveys Are Needed NOW!

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Improving employee engagement can have a direct effect on business metrics including productivity, turnover, and satisfaction. The best way to understand how engaged employees are and to get a feel for what is working and what is not is to conduct an Engagement Survey. In today’s environment where you have companies trying to make choices on whether or not to go completely remote, partially remote, or going back to the old normal is top of mind, NOW is the best time to get that engagement survey out there. Not only to understand if the choice you have made or thinking of making is suitable for your strategic goals but to also understand how it will or is affecting the employees. Since COVID most companies were thrown into a remote environment. Which meant they were just trying to keep everyone working and the doors open with little to no thought regarding if the right tools were in place if managers were prepared to manage in a completely different way, if employees were mentally prepared to work and communicate in a different way or if processes were still fit for purpose. Often, companies assume they understand what their staff are thinking and feeling. Managers may feel they have the pulse of their team. However, it is not until they get a consensus from the masses that they can truly get a clear picture. This moves companies out of assumptions and into reality. In our new remote way of life, companies will struggle horribly if they wallow in assumptions instead of gaining real perspectives and opinions. Engagement surveys give the employees a voice. Some might say, it is a company’s ultimate listening strategy. So, if you really want to understand how things are working or how they will work then you need to curate a meaningful and well-balanced survey. It also means you should only ask what you are prepared to change or improve. This might mean you start small and conduct a new engagement survey every quarter. For example, maybe your first objective is to understand how staff are coping at home. That could include things such as do they have the right home office set up, do they need tools to help them balance the family at home while working, and where improvements can be made with regards to communication and connection. After the feedback has been collated and analyzed, then businesses know what needs to be improved, changed, or addressed. The results can also bolster their position of doing more of what is working well. It is my opinion that companies need time to deliver and put changes to the test and move at an incremental pace. It does no good to ask employees 100’s of questions that are all over the place even if it all does relate to remote working. The reality is there is only so much change a company can afford (mentally and financially) at a time. Once there is progress on the first set of feedback, then companies can move into other areas such as how is management leading, are processes effective, or does there need to be a complete review of policies? I’m sure there is so much more you could add to the list. All important questions or topics, but they need to be managed in a strategic way. As I stated before, the Engagement survey gives employees a voice. What is important for employees to understand is that in order to be heard and for the feedback to be acted upon, they need to follow a few simple rules. When completing an engagement survey, respond honestly. The survey is anonymous, so there should be no fear of being transparent. For the questions regarding your point of view on a current situation, tell them exactly how you feel. Do not soften the answer or go harder because you feel it will have more weight. Answer the question as you feel in the moment. When providing text feedback, make sure your responses are concise and to the point. If they are too long or wordy, it is less likely that your point will be understood. Also, stay on topic. Answer the question that was asked. Providing valuable and actionable feedback should always be top of mind. Engagement surveys should be front of mind as we near the fourth quarter of 2020. They provide a view of the landscape of what is today and how to better plan for the coming year. More importantly, how to firmly establish themselves as either a complete or partially remote organization that is productive and their employees are thriving. Need help designing your Engagement Survey? Book a 30-minute call, I would love to help.