Seven tips to survey staff at your association and improve employee engagement

Is your association staff satisfied in their current roles? Do they feel overworked or stressed? According to a Community Brands Association Trends Study, 78% of professionals reported higher than average workloads. To address this growing concern, 40% of the professionals surveyed planned to invest in modern technology to streamline work processes through automation.  

While your employees might not seem overwhelmed, the bottom line is this: You won’t know how your staff actually feels until you ask. 

Here are seven tips to get feedback from your employees by conducting a staff survey:

What questions to ask when designing a survey for staff 
Overseeing a staff survey is a fantastic way to discover the current level of employee engagement. You’ll learn if they are satisfied in their current role and what steps your organization can take to improve the situation. According to Salesforce, when your employees feel heard, they’re 4.6 times more likely to complete their best work. Taking steps to create a staff survey and respond to the feedback can improve your association’s productivity and redefine the work culture. 

However, before you launch your staff survey, you’ll need to create one. Here’s how to get started:

1. Consider the goal of your staff survey. Before you design your survey, you’ll need to take a step back to think about the focus. Are you looking for organizational pain points or growth opportunities? Decide if you plan on measuring employee engagement, satisfaction, motivation, or performance so you can have a clear indicator of success.

2. Determine the frequency of your staff survey. Rather than fixing your survey to an annual occurrence, consider redefining your survey timetable so you can have a real-time understanding of staff satisfaction. For example, some organizations offer simple staff surveys every few weeks, while others offer a longer survey twice a year.

3. Ask the right questions. When designing your staff survey, you’ll want to ensure you ask quality questions. As a rule, make your questions direct and without an implied answer. Try keeping your questions as specific as possible and offer ratings like 1-10 as an answer.

Consider some of the following questions to get you started: 

  • What are your career goals? Please list the top three. 
  • What are the biggest challenges to achieving your top career goals?  
  • How likely will you look for another job outside the organization in the next 6-12 months? 
  • What perks could help support you professionally?  
  • What benefits could support you personally?

As a company, Community Brands goes above and beyond to build a nurturing and supportive culture for its employees. How? By offering a variety of professional and personal perks like remote and work from anywhere positions, unlimited paid time off, mentors for new staff, no-meeting Fridays, and camera-off meetings. Consider adopting similar benefits at your organization to best support your staff.

The best methods to use when surveying your staff
Now that you have a better understanding of preparing for your staff survey, you can determine what kind of survey is most appropriate for your employees. Consider the following options when conducting your staff surveys:

4. Online survey: An online survey is one of the most successful survey models. You can easily email your staff a survey link to complete on their computer or phone and have the results directly integrated into your association management software (AMS). Ensure your staff knows the results will stay anonymous so you can guarantee honest feedback. Try limiting the length and complexity of questions to incentivize employees to complete the survey as soon as possible.

TECH TIP: Find the best survey solution for your association when you use Nimble AMS and the Salesforce AppExchange. You’ll have access to over 7,000 apps that all completely integrate with Nimble AMS, powered by Salesforce.

5. Pulsing surveys: A simple variation of the online survey, pulsing surveys are quick to complete with one to two direct questions. You can send the pulsing survey to staff every one to two weeks to get real-time results on employee engagement. When you use pulsing surveys, you’ll have limited data, but it’s also easy to compile and review results.

6. Face-to-face interviews: This survey option is a great method for when anonymity isn’t needed. Some employees might prefer the chance to explain their perspectives in person, as it can sometimes be a challenge to convey the full extent of an answer in an online survey form. However, consider having HR or an outside employee resource conduct face-to-face interviews to put the staff member at ease.

Some staff may never be comfortable offering feedback in a one-on-one interview setting, because it doesn’t allow for anonymity. When you design staff surveys, you’ll want to practice discretion, ensuring the nature of the subject matter fits with the survey method. For example, an anonymous survey works well with personal questions about an employee’s career goals and hopes for the future, while a face-to-face interview works better for the wins and losses of a recent work project.

7. Focus groups: Like face-to-face interviews, focus groups occur in person but involve a group of staff rather than an individual. When selecting a focus group try to pick a demographically diverse and representative group of employees. You’ll also need to choose a moderator to ask the group questions and record the group’s attitudes and responses. The key to a focus group is to get the individuals to interact and discuss the questions for the best results.   

After you receive any feedback from your staff, consider hosting a company town hall to communicate a brief summary of the results. Ensure you thank your employees for taking the time to share their thoughts and explain how you plan to address their concerns and suggestions.

Learn more about employee engagement

When you routinely conduct staff surveys and learn from the feedback, you’ll have the power to boost employee engagement and transform the work culture at your association. For more tips, read Help Your Entire Organization Thrive Using Nimble AMS.

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