Employee Engagement

Why Employee Engagement Surveys Are So Important

March 17, 2022
November 7, 2023
Lyssa Test
Lattice Team

Human Resources teams aren’t the only ones who benefit from employee engagement surveys. While surveys certainly help HR teams know where to focus their efforts, the effects of engagement surveys can be felt at every level of the business. Everyone wins when companies take the time to listen to their employees, invest in the employee experience, and build a strong workplace culture

Engagement surveys have the potential to create a lasting positive impact on your business when executed with care. In order to reap all the benefits of employee engagement surveys, be mindful about how your organization measures employee feedback, acts on survey findings, and tracks progress. Below, we’ll highlight the top reasons employee engagement surveys are so important — not only for HR teams, but for the entire organization.

7 Benefits of Engagement Surveys

Regularly measuring employee satisfaction and collecting feedback empowers your company to make more informed decisions about how to attract, develop, and keep top-performing talent. By prioritizing engagement and constantly working to improve it, your team can build a workplace where happy employees feel supported and set up for success. Here are seven reasons employee engagement surveys are so critical to your business. 

Engagement surveys can help:

1. Give your employees a voice.

Engagement surveys are one of the few opportunities where employees can share their honest feedback about what it’s like to work at your company. In order to encourage workers to share candid and constructive feedback, your team needs to create a survey experience that makes employees feel safe, heard, and valued. 

While running annual surveys and periodic pulse surveys is a start, you should also work to include your employees at every step of the survey process. In addition to using Likert-scale (a five-point scale in which respondents answer along a range of “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) employee engagement survey questions, be sure to also include open-ended questions so employees can share any thoughts or ideas they believe will drive engagement or employee retention

Next, share the survey results — the good and the bad — with your staff, along with your HR team’s proposed action plan. Giving employees visibility into how your Human Resources department interpreted and will use their feedback to make a difference at your organization will help them feel valued and heard. Once your employees understand that your company is genuinely trying to improve its workplace culture, it will be easier to garner both their support for and participation in future surveys.

2. Identify areas of opportunity. 

Engagement surveys measure your employees’ commitment, motivation, and passion for their roles and your company, giving you detailed insights into which areas of your business are thriving — and where you might need to pay a bit more attention. When you ask the right questions, your employee engagement survey results can give you insights into all stages of the employee lifecycle and direct your organization’s efforts to where they’re needed most. 

For example, your results might tell you that your employees feel underprepared for their roles, lack work-life balance, or don’t know how to grow their careers at your company. Being aware of these issues allows you to make more informed decisions around workplace planning and initiatives. 

And by using a People success platform like Lattice, you can even filter your engagement survey data by employee demographic, department, manager, office location, and more to understand how these factors shape the employee experience at your company. If, for instance, your survey results suggest that only your female employees feel unfairly compensated in their roles, your firm can perform a pay equity audit (PEA) to ensure employees of all genders are paid their worth. 

Had you only looked at survey data for all employees, you might not have noticed this trend and been able to take swift action to correct it. Having this kind of detailed insight into the state of engagement at your organization is an incredibly valuable asset, as it can inform your overall engagement strategy

3. Drive meaningful change.

When your HR team knows exactly where and how to focus your efforts and resources, you’re able to make the greatest impact in your employees’ lives. Continuing with one of our previous examples, if your survey revealed that employees feel underprepared for their roles, your business can make a more informed decision about how to address and resolve this workplace issue. This might involve revamping onboarding programs, introducing on-the-job training, and even launching an internal mentorship program to give employees the training and resources they need to excel in their roles. 

Your engagement surveys provide the context your business needs to weigh its options, create an action plan, and drive meaningful change within your organization. And with subsequent surveys, you can track the impact your actions have on your business over time — and then use those learnings to continue or update your plan, as needed.

4. Build trust with employees.

Once you’ve identified ways to improve the employee experience, it’s time to take action. Taking swift and deliberate action on employee feedback sends a strong message to your staff: Your company cares about its employees and is doing everything it can to set them up for a successful career. 

Transparency plays a huge role in earning employee trust, so be sure to not only share your initial action plan with employees, but also periodically update them on the impact any new initiatives and policies are having on the work environment. When your employees trust that their suggestions are heard, valued, and being acted upon, they will be more forthcoming in future surveys. Increased survey response rates and more candid feedback allow your company to collect more accurate and helpful information that it can ​​use to make informed engagement decisions with effective results.

5. Shape company culture.

Creating a workplace culture employees love requires more than just administering an annual employee engagement survey. After identifying areas of improvement, your business needs to take action fast to address employee feedback and show your employees you care.

Employees’ needs are always changing and your company must be constantly listening to these needs and acting swiftly to address them. Whether it’s putting employee well-being programs in place or creating career paths to further employee professional development, every initiative your firm introduces helps shape your organization’s culture. 

Even just listening to employees and taking action on their responses sends a powerful message to your workforce: You’re listening to their feedback and holding yourselves accountable for building a workplace culture that allows them to thrive. Engaging employees takes time, effort, and commitment, but it’s well worth the investment.

6. Hold leadership accountable.

While every employee at your company is responsible for shaping your company culture, none have the power to shape it as much as senior management. And because employee engagement can be directly tied to business profitability, it’s in your leadership team’s best interest to make employee experience a top priority. But, like HR teams, senior management needs guidance to know where to target their efforts and leverage their influence. That’s where employee engagement surveys can help. 

By using engagement survey results to stay informed about the employee experience, your senior leaders can help your HR team create and raise awareness for People-centric programs. For example, executives can use town halls and all-hands and departmental meetings to announce new initiatives that have come about as a result of survey findings, like switching to a remote-first work environment or adopting a more inclusive parental leave policy that encourages all parents to take time off, not just primary caregivers, for example.

Also, senior management often controls the money and spending, so it’s crucial to secure their buy-in so they can approve proposed initiatives and any additional resources that are needed. And once they’ve helped raise awareness about important initiatives, executives can then use their influence within the company to increase adoption of and participation in existing and new People programs. For instance, if your business implements a new employee recognition software, your executives can use it to regularly acknowledge the hard work of their direct reports and teams, thus leading by example to encourage employees to try the platform for themselves and give their own shout-outs to valued colleagues. 

To ensure senior leaders know how important engagement is, make it part of company-wide or individual objectives and key results (OKRs). This will hold executives accountable and ensure they are committed to helping improve employee engagement levels across the entire organization.

7. Benchmark your data.

Lastly, collecting and tracking engagement survey results allows you to benchmark your own data over time so you can identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of your initiatives. This can also help you more proactively address change. 

For example, if you notice a dip in manager satisfaction scores across the organization, you can launch leadership training programs and see if brushing up on core management skills helps your managers become better People leaders. If your next engagement or pulse survey shows an increase in manager satisfaction, you can assume your program helped — and then use that information to proactively create more trainings for new and existing People leaders. 

Benchmarking your engagement data can help your business become more resilient, too. The workplace is not static; employee and business needs are always changing and can sometimes be in conflict with one another. Having the ability to reference historical data and understand the context behind a change in employee sentiment can allow your team members to make more informed and impactful People decisions — and prioritize sometimes conflicting priorities.

Ensure your business gets the most out of your employee surveys by downloading Lattice’s eBook The Ultimate Guide to Employee Engagement Surveys. This comprehensive guide provides tips for running a successful engagement survey, while also showing you how to analyze, report, and share the results of your survey with key stakeholders and employees. Start listening to what your employees have to say and begin your journey toward building a better workplace today.