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How to analyze employee engagement surveys

employee engagement feedback analysis

You’ve heard it all before: “Happy employees equal happy customers and a profitable business”; “Engaged employees are up to 20% more productive”; “Employees are your biggest asset.”

These statements may be true, but how do you know which of your employee perks and policies are making an impact? What exactly is driving employee engagement? What makes employees want to stick around?

Employee feedback is a powerful tool for any organization, but it can be difficult for busy leaders to gather, analyze and act upon this information.

In this guide, we explain how employee feedback can benefit businesses, the best ways to collect employee opinions and how to effectively analyze employee engagement surveys and feedback to gain valuable insight into your workforce.

What is employee satisfaction feedback?

Employee satisfaction feedback enables employees to share how they feel about the company they work for, from both a cultural and organizational perspective. It gives employees the opportunity to express whether their expectations of the job role and organization align with their actual experience.

Employee feedback provides you with vital insight into where your business is succeeding, and where you could ultimately improve – from management and career opportunities to company culture and employee benefits.

Why is employee satisfaction and engagement important?

Keeping employees happy and understanding drivers of job satisfaction is essential to improving engagement, loyalty and retention. Without happy, motivated workers, business productivity plummets and costs can skyrocket.

Although we’re in the world of qualitative research and analysis at Relative Insight, these interesting stats summarize the positive effects of employee satisfaction:

Employee engagement and retention is clearly vital to the success or failure of an organization. The first step to understanding your employees is to ask for their opinions. Armed with feedback from employees, you can begin to foster a strong working culture whereby employees feel appreciated and satisfied.

Types of employee feedback

There are various ways to collect employee feedback, with some methods proving more targeted than others.

Employee engagement surveys get right to the heart of the matter, enabling employers to ask direct questions with specific goals in mind. However, other data sources such as exit interview transcripts and company reviews can be just as insightful and when leveraged, can influence real business change. 

Employee engagement surveys

Employee surveys are a simple and straightforward way of uncovering rich employee insights and measuring engagement. This data can be used to gain perspective on employee engagement, experience and perceptions of your employer brand.

Employee surveys reveal what employees truly value – be it compensation, learning and development, growth opportunities or getting to do meaningful work. They also allow employees to feel heard. Used regularly, employee engagement surveys can help employers keep a pulse on employee sentiment, benchmark progress and monitor the impact of new initiatives.

Employee engagement survey questions

If you’re unsure where to start when creating your employee engagement surveys, keep it simple. Know what your goals are and create questions that lend themselves to what you want to discover. To ensure you capture the full picture, include a range of qualitative and quantitative questions. Quantitative data will help you spot macro trends and pinpoint what is happening, whilst qualitative data will give you a deeper understanding of why.

Topics to consider covering in your survey include:

  • Personal growth – What are your career goals? Do you see career growth in this company/role?
  • Company centric – Why did you join the company? Name our three biggest strengths and weaknesses, and how we could improve.
  • Leadership – What is your working relationship with your manager like? Does your team leader set clear goals? How does your manager support your personal development?
  • Culture – What are the best perks of working at our organisation and why? On a scale of 1-10, how much fun do you have at the office?
  • Work-life balance – How would you rate your work-life balance? Would you refer someone to work here? If so, why?

Exit Interviews

No business wants to lose an employee, but some level of turnover is inevitable. Exit interviews are a great way for employers to investigate who is leaving the business (particular demographics, employees from a certain team etc.) and why. To get the most robust and impartial data, ensure that interviews are conducted by either an external provider or colleague who will not be involved in providing future references.

Exit interviews can flag issues that they may not have felt comfortable raising prior to resigning. HR and people teams can then use this data to tackle problems and create targeted retention strategies to ultimately improve employee engagement.

Secondly, exit interview data can help inform improvements to recruitment processes. A key reason that employees leave their jobs is that the workplace reality doesn’t live up to expectations. By understanding where there are discrepancies between a job description and the employee experience, recruitment teams can better align their talent searching efforts and reduce turnover rates.

Company reviews

It’s no secret that employer reviews can influence a prospective employee’s decision to apply to a company. In fact, 86% job seekers look at company reviews when deciding whether a job or organization is right for them. With the rise of LinkedIn and Glassdoor, company reviews readily provide job hunters with an insider’s perspective. Positive reviews help to establish credibility and suggest that employee satisfaction is high, whereas negative reviews can deter talent.

From an employer perspective, understanding the drivers of a negative employee experience is key. You can then develop an effective employee engagement strategy to tackle this criticism head-on and ultimately improve internal processes.

How can I analyse employee engagement surveys and feedback?

HR, recruitment and people teams are using Relative Insight’s advanced natural language processing technology to uncover the drivers of employee engagement and job satisfaction. We enable businesses to analyze employee engagement survey results and qualitative feedback quickly and effectively – generating actionable insights that can be used to improve the employee experience.

How does Relative Insight work?

Our comparative survey analysis software compares two or more bodies of text to surface the statistically significant differences and similarities between them – pinpointing the words, phrases, topics, grammar and emotion that are more prevalent in one data set over another. The platform enables you to analyze millions of words without actually having to read them, making it easy for you to get more out of your employee feedback data.

As our platform is data agnostic, you can take data from any source and analyze it – including any form of unstructured employee feedback data. Once you have uploaded data into the platform, you can construct comparisons that provide answers to important business questions:

  • Office location – Compare the employee engagement survey results from two different offices to understand the reasons for differences in turnover rate and overall satisfaction
  • Team or function – Compare the exit interviews of employees from different teams to understand the drivers of employee experience in different parts of the business
  • Competitor – Compare the reviews of your company against industry competitors to understand strengths and opportunities for improvement in order to attract and retain the best talent

By segmenting employee feedback using associated metadata points such as age, team, office location or workplace rating, organizations can develop 360-degree understandings of their employer brand.

Using innovative solutions like Relative Insight to analyze employee engagement surveys, exit interview transcripts or company reviews reveals employee insights that can influence actionable changes. Employee feedback can help you prioritize new initiatives and key areas for growth, to improve employee engagement and talent retention.

Put metrics around your employee feedback