Staff surveys were once commonplace. However, in an age of big data and automation, they’re no longer standard in many workplaces. We think there are real advantages to going back to basics and asking employees what they think of your workplace and how you could improve it. Here are the five key benefits we think you’ll see from staff surveys.

1. Better staff retention

The war for talent is taking off and it’s harder than ever to retain good employees. An anonymous survey can go someway to helping you overcome that problem. A survey be a great way to find out exactly what your employees intend to do with their careers. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, two senior members of Facebook’s analytics’ team argued that surveys were a surprisingly accurate way to discover how long employees intend to stay with you – and were actually much better than other, more organic ways of trying to track this.

The authors also revealed employees who don’t complete the survey can also be an important source of information. After all, they’re 2.6 times more likely to leave in the next six months than an employee who filled it out.

2. Increased trust

Good employers know that trust is a two-way street. Receiving and taking on board employees’ feedback is just as important as giving it the other way. By giving employees a forum for communicating their ideas while telling you what they really think, you’re creating the kind of environment for trust to grow. That’s one of the things a good staff survey can do.

3. Insights into your business

As a manager or business owner, you don’t ever see everything that goes on in your organisation. Your employees can be the best source of information on what’s happening ‘at the coal face’. By having the opportunity to comment on what’s working and what’s not, they could well be giving you the information you need to refine and improve your processes so that you build a better, more efficient business.

4. Improved morale

When you ask employees to complete a survey, you’re empowering them to have a voice. That in itself can be great for morale, which, in turn, is great for productivity. In the HBR example cited above, Facebook found that 95% of employees completed their workplace surveys. As many as 61% went the extra mile, leaving their own feedback and suggestions rather than simply filling in the numbers or rating their satisfaction. That shows just how engaged with the process employees can be. What’s more, if you show that you’re taking on board the feedback and acting on it, you have one of the foundations you need to create a truly great workplace culture. And great workplace culture is always the foundation for a great business.

5. Identifying small problems before they become big ones

One of the most powerful ways a survey can help your business is that it lets you see trends or ways of thinking so that you can gauge the mood of the group. You can see firsthand if people are dissatisfied or if something’s not working. You can also often identify problems you didn’t know existed and stop them from becoming much bigger ones.

In short, if you make staff surveys a regular part of your HR process, you give yourself the opportunity to run regular health checks on your business and give yourself a vital tool in ensuring you stay on course.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about conducting a staff survey at your workplace, get in touch.