If you’ve signed up to take part in Best Employers Eastern Region 2018, your next step is to encourage as many employees as possible to complete the survey and to provide their honest feedback. This will help you gain the most accurate picture of engagement levels within your organisation and ensure you are in with the best possible chance of winning a Best Employer Award or becoming an accredited Best Employer.
Here’s our five top tips on encouraging employee participation.
- A personal request from the boss
Ask the CEO or MD to take the lead in introducing the Best Employers survey and in encouraging people to take part. This can really help to drive participation and convince staff to take it more seriously. Try and make the request feel as personal as possible. If the organisation is too large for the CEO to address everyone at once, how about creating a video clip to be shared instead? Talk openly and honestly about why you’d like employees to get involved and what you are looking to find out. Staff are more likely to take the time to answer the survey if they understand its importance and recognise how their feedback will play a part in the success of the organisation.
- Put reminders everywhere
The more places people see reminders about taking part in the survey, the more chance you have of people taking part. Make full use of all the different communication channels available to you e.g. emails, staff intranet, meetings, newsletters etc. We’ve designed posters which participating organisations can also use, as these are a great visual reminder and can be put up in reception, office noticeboards, kitchen areas, meeting rooms and even in the loos!
- Inclusive incentives
Carefully considered, inclusive incentives can work as non-pressured encouragement. For example, Adnams gave all their staff a KitKat and asked them to take a break and complete the survey. At Pure, we encouraged our own staff to take part by pledging to donate £1 to local bereavement support charity Stars for every employee that participated, and other organisations have also done the same and donated to their own company’s chosen charity. Remember, incentives need to be treated with care. You don’t want them to be seen as coercion or to be such a significant reward that people complete the survey purely as a means to an end and not with the genuine intention of providing authentic feedback.
- Explanations for everyone
It is likely that people will have different perceptions of employee surveys across your organisation, and even if you have taken part in Best Employers before, you will probably have employees who were not around at that point. Make sure there is enough detail and information available to satisfy everyone. Provide links to where people can find out more and consider appointing Best Employer ‘champions’ for employees to approach if they have any questions. One of the most important things to get across is the complete confidentiality of the survey, helping to allay any potential fears of repercussions.
- Make a commitment
Make a pledge to address any concerns that arise from the survey, so employees feel it will be worth taking the time to respond. Share how you plan to follow up from the Best Employers report and how everyone will be a part of the actions and changes, for example through employee action groups. One of the biggest barriers to employees completing surveys is a perception that nothing will be done as a result. Promise to show results in a transparent way and to face any problems. But you must follow up on this promise, otherwise you’ll risk losing respect in the long term, and you may find it very difficult running surveys in the future.
Lynn is a founding Director of Pure and leads Pure Executive with over 25 years recruiting for Executive appointments. Lynn supports East of England-based businesses with senior management and Board level recruitment. Lynn leads the Best Employer Eastern Region Initiative and the Women In Leadership Programme both of which are aimed at helping companies and people to develop.