Introduction

Employee surveys are a vital tool for understanding a workforce. Employers can use surveys to gauge employee engagement, motivation, job satisfaction and productivity. Surveys can also uncover underlying issues, such as high turnover rates and decreased productivity, and create actionable change that drives progress within an organization. A well-executed employee survey is one of an employer’s most valuable tools for gaining employee insights.

Organizations that effectively utilize employee surveys may see numerous benefits, such as increased employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention. Employee surveys show employees that their opinions are valued, which is crucial to retaining top talent. A recent survey by employee engagement platform Achievers found that 90% of workers are more likely to stay at an organization that requests and acts upon employee feedback. In addition to empowering employees, surveys are an opportunity for employers to strengthen trust and communication with workers, which can increase employee attraction and engagement.

Surveys are also an excellent way for employers to predict employee behavior. Researchers at Facebook found that asking workers how long they intended to stay was twice as accurate as machine-learning forecasts by an industry-leading predictive analyzer. The same researchers also found that employees who didn’t complete employer surveys were 2.6 times more likely to leave the organization in the next six months.

Ultimately, the results of a well-crafted employee survey can show employers the steps they need to take to meet organizational goals and milestones, leading to actionable progress and growth. These results can be used as a benchmark to measure employer progress and catalyze organizational improvements.

This guide provides best practices for preparing, designing, implementing, analyzing and acting upon employee surveys.

Preparing for Employee Surveys

Preparation is critical to creating a successful employee survey. Organizations that fail to set clear objectives and ask questions solely out of curiosity will likely see low participation rates and ambiguous results that make it difficult to obtain necessary data and achieve meaningful changes. Employers who inadequately prepare for employee surveys are unlikely to experience the benefits of these tools and risk alienating or frustrating employees. This section provides guidance on how to fashion a successful employee survey.

Defining Obejctives and Goals

Before anything else, employers must determine what they wish to get out of an employee survey. This will shape every aspect of the process, including the type of survey and the questions asked. Employers should consider having multiple brainstorming discussions with decision-makers at all organizational levels to determine the survey’s exact purpose. Although it may be challenging to decide upon the most important type of employee feedback, sticking to a single, clear theme will keep questions from becoming vague and ineffectual and make it easier to analyze the results after the survey.

Common examples of surveys that can be used to align with specific organizational goals include the following:

Employee engagement surveys measure employees’ motivation, commitment, passion and purpose for their work.

Employee culture surveys measure workers’ perspectives and assess alignment with organizational and departmental goals.

Employee opinion and satisfaction surveys measure employee attitudes, perceptions and views of their organization. These are also called climate surveys.

Selecting a Survey Method

The method of survey an employer selects can impact employee participation rates, honesty and communication. It can also impact survey analysis. Employees are more likely to participate in surveys if they’re confident that their results are confidential. If employees believe their survey answers can be traced back to them due to their digital footprint, their handwriting, or another variable, they’re less likely to give honest responses or may not fill out the survey at all.

Employers should consider numerous factors when deciding which survey method is best for them. For example, online surveys might be better for employers with tight deadlines, as they’re relatively quick to distribute and analyze. They also allow flexibility if a question needs to be changed after the survey is released. However, organizational size and demographics may impact the preferred survey method. If a company’s employees don’t have access to the technology they need to complete surveys (e.g., laptops or tablets), then a paper survey could better fit the needs of that organization.

Online questionnaires are often popular because they can be rapidly created and distributed. Employers who choose to conduct surveys online may create questionnaires themselves or use one of the many available software companies that specialize in the creation, distribution and analysis of online surveys. Paper surveys and in-person assessments are also options, although employers should know that employees are less likely to share honest feedback if they’re face-to-face with a supervisor. For this reason, in-person conversations may be more effective for following up with employees about survey results as opposed to conducting the survey.

Determining Survey Frequency

Employees are generally willing to share opinions with their employers. However, asking employees to complete numerous surveys can drop participation rates and may result in skewed results. Organizations must find a balance between frustrating employees and showing them their opinions are valued by asking for regular feedback. Many organizations choose to survey workers on a quarterly or annual basis. Surveying employees at regular frequencies also gives employers a metric for evaluating their performance over time.

The timing of a survey release can also impact the results. Surveying employees at the wrong time could impact participation or capture an inaccurate picture of employee opinions. Employers should avoid surveying employees during these times:

a. Peak holiday season
b. Bonus season
c. High-stress periods

Employers may hesitate to ask for feedback during periods of change, such as business restructuring or downsizing. Although employee satisfaction may be lower during such times, asking for feedback during change periods can send employees a positive message that their concerns matter. It can also provide employers with critical insights about how employees think and feel amid transition and change that can help them better address worker needs. Conducting successful surveys during these periods requires employee trust. Workers are often fearful or distrustful during uncertain times and may be less likely to provide honest feedback if they feel insecure. For this reason, employer communication is crucial to ensure accurate results.

Ensuring Confidentiality and Anonymity

Anonymous surveys are more likely to yield honest results. Assuring employees that their survey responses are confidential and anonymous can also increase trust and positively contribute to the relationship between employee and employer.

Third-party vendors, such as SurveyMonkey or QuestionPro, can be used to ensure that the individual responses of employees remain hidden from employers. To achieve this, each survey participant should be sent a random and unique code or survey link from an accessible and neutral source, such as a companywide email. Survey questions should not ask for identifying information such as name, email or employee number. If paper surveys are the chosen method for obtaining feedback, employers should provide drop boxes in public locations, such as hallways or break rooms, for employees to return their surveys.

Communicating with Employees

Survey communications are crucial for employers to build trust and increase response rates. Employers should reiterate the anonymity and confidentiality of results and encourage honest feedback from workers. Additionally, employees are more likely to complete a survey when they understand its purpose and how their feedback can impact their organization. Letting
employees know that their participation will help create change within the organization can boost employee engagement and increase survey participation. Distributing a question-and-answer packet with common questions may help supervisors and other employees understand the purpose of the survey, but survey communications should not be treated as a one-time event. Employers should regularly inform and educate employees on the upcoming survey across multiple platforms, such as:

a. Emails
b. Staff meetings
c. Newsletters
d. Flyers
e. Informational pamphlets
f. Individual letters

Designing Effective Employee Surveys

Employers must carefully craft employee surveys to ensure they’re obtaining the desired data from employees. The recent found that most (78%) employees are eager to take employer surveys to share their honest feedback. Employees who “always” or “usually” complete surveys said they wanted to share feedback with
management (63%), wanted their voices to be heard (63%) and wanted to drive positive change (52%). Of workers who don’t complete employee surveys, nearly one-fifth (21%) said their organizations never ask the right questions.

Surveys with vague or ineffectual questions can lead to low response rates and unclear results. Employers can benefit from forming a cross-functional team to evaluate crucial design and strategy questions that may impact the results of a survey. This team should evaluate the purpose of the survey and how targeted questions can get employers the answers they want.

Selecting Survey Questions

The most important feature of a survey is the questions being asked. Each survey should be composed of a core set of questions that can be used as a benchmark to measure progress over time. It’s crucial for survey questions to be posed in a way that leads to actionable feedback.

Here are some essential considerations for creating survey questions:

1. Choose the right type of questions. Questions should be simple, concise and easy for employers to analyze. Employers should consider how different types of questions can impact survey responses and participation.

1a. Open-ended questions, such as “What can the organization do to improve?” are often          challenging to group and analyze, making it challenging to create an action plan following the survey. Additionally, many employees are less likely to fill out open-ended answers, which can skew results and lower participation. However, when used sparingly, these questions allow employees to provide overall comments about the organization and voice concerns not addressed by the survey.         

1b. Closed-ended questions, which have a finite number of results, may be easier for organizations to analyze. Many survey experts recommend questions that seek responses on a numerical scale, such as “Rate your job satisfaction from 1 to 5.” This enables easy analysis and can improve actionable results. Multiple-choice questions are also an option, although employers must be careful about how their provided answers could impact results.

2. Avoid leading questions. Leading questions unintentionally or intentionally steer employee responses in a particular direction. This can lead to responses that aren’t representative of employee opinions. Such questions often have “yes” or “no” answers and limit employees’ ability to give honest feedback. An example of a leading question is, “Many employees work in the office. Do you prefer in-office or remote work?” By first establishing that in-office work is common, employers may skew employee results away from the remote work option with this question.

3. Remove biased questions. Employees should use neutral language in questions to avoid unrealistically positive or negative results. This also applies to multiple-choice answers. Questions shouldn’t be framed in a way that will cause inauthentic results.

4. Include optional demographic and background information. Data on employee demographics and background, such as race, ethnicity and gender, can help organizations understand how minorities and people from underrepresented backgrounds feel about particular workplace or work-related issues. However, some employees may worry that providing this information will make their results less confidential. Employers should provide optional demographic questions at the end of a survey for employees to complete if they feel comfortable.

Organizing and Structuring the Survey

Employees are less likely to complete lengthy or confusing surveys. Survey experts recommend keeping employee surveys between 30 and 60 questions, or about 20 to 30 minutes, to complete. Employers should remove questions that deviate from their primary objectives to ensure surveys aren’t long-winded. Questions should also be short and clear to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. The length of the survey may also vary with the frequency. For example, annual surveys may be longer than surveys given every quarter, as workers only share their opinions once a year.

Testing Surveys

Before releasing employee surveys to the entire workforce, employers should consider testing the survey on managers and small employee focus groups. Test participants can give valuable feedback on the length and effectiveness of employee surveys. They may find confusing or leading questions that should be revised before the survey is released to all employees. Further, asking employees for assistance and feedback about surveys is another way to show workers that their opinions are valued and may increase employee engagement and survey participation rates.

Administering Employee Surveys

Once a survey has been designed and tested, it’s ready for employees. At this stage of the survey process, employers should focus on maximizing employee participation. This can be done by making surveys easily accessible, encouraging employees to submit responses by the deadline and offering incentives. This process also allows employers to communicate survey goals and build trust with employees.

Distributing the Survey

At this point, employers have chosen their desired survey method (e.g., online survey, paper questionnaire). They must now decide how surveys should be distributed, focusing on anonymity and confidentiality. If an online method is chosen, employers must ensure workers can access computers or other devices to complete the survey. Allowing workers to complete surveys on their phones or other handheld technology may improve employee experience and increase participation.

Employers who choose paper surveys must ensure they’re easily accessible. These surveys should be distributed in neutral places to ensure workers feel comfortable taking them, and a letterbox or lockbox should be provided for employees to return their surveys anonymously.

Whatever survey distribution method is chosen, employers should provide employees with the time and space to comfortably complete a survey. This will increase participation rates and may result in more honest feedback.

Communicating the Purpose and Importance of the Survey

Employer communication plays a crucial role in the response rates and candor of employee surveys. Before releasing a survey, employers should ensure employees understand organizational goals, including employer rationale, expectations and plans to follow up with employee questions. But communication doesn’t end after a survey has been released.

Employers should prioritize employee communication with the following steps:

1. Brief managers and supervisors on the purpose of the survey.
2. Outline survey goals and expectations to workers.
3. Emphasize the importance of the survey.
4. Communicate to employees how survey results will benefit them.
5. Reiterate survey confidentiality and anonymity.
6. Notify workers on timelines and deadlines for survey completion.
7. Provide an opportunity for managers and employees to ask questions.

Encouraging Employee Participation

Employee participation is essential to the success of a workplace survey. When employees don’t complete surveys, the results may be skewed and not fully representative of employee attitudes and opinions. Employers should emphasize the importance of employee surveys and encourage all workers to participate, as well as consider sending personalized thank-you notes after employees start or complete surveys to boost engagement and show them their feedback is valued. Over time, taking employee feedback and implementing actionable changes can also build trust with employees and increase employee participation. Additionally, employers can boost survey engagement with small incentives, such as paid time off, gift cards or entry into a companywide raffle with prizes like a special parking spot for the year or a free gym membership.

Setting a Reasonable Deadline

Employers should be flexible and fair when determining survey deadlines. Employees are more likely to participate when given adequate time to complete their surveys. Set a deadline and clearly communicate expectations about timeliness from the start to ensure workers and managers understand when the survey must be completed. Consider carving out a dedicated time for employees to complete the survey without cutting into their lunch or personal time.

Analyzing and Interpreting Survey Results

Data analysis is one of the most important aspects of surveying employees. Without proper evaluation, survey data is meaningless and won’t yield actionable results. The following sections provide guidance on how to analyze survey results so that they provide valuable insights and act as a blueprint for changes.

Collecting and Compiling Survey Results

A well-designed survey will pay off when quantifying and comparing survey results. Employers should consider the following practices for compiling survey results:

• Determine sample size.
• Filter results by subgroups and categories.
• Compare data across departments and other factions.
• Visualize the results with charts and graphs.
• Determine the statistical accuracy of findings.
• View benchmarking data from comparative organizations.
• Review open-ended feedback for overarching topics and keywords.

Identifying Key Findings and Trends

Next, employers should use survey results to identify employee trends and draw conclusions. They should look for connections between data points. Employers should analyze trends in employee engagement, satisfaction and performance. Sorting employees by departments and subgroups may be particularly useful for employers to find areas of improvement. For example, employers may find that workers under 50 are less satisfied with their benefits plans than workers over 50. A finding such as this provides a starting point for actionable change.

At this stage, employers should also review their beginning goals and objectives. Employers should identify key questions relating to these objectives and draw conclusions.

Comparing Results to Previous Surveys or Benchmarks

Benchmarking a survey involves comparing survey results to internal or external data to better understand performance. Employers may do this to identify critical areas for improvement, understand how key metrics change over time and measure performance against comparative organizations.

The following are common types of benchmarks:

Internal—Previous surveys can be compared to the most recent survey results to see how an organization performs over time.

Industry—Employers can use industry benchmarks to compare performances to similar
organizations in the same industry.

National—Employers can measure survey results against national results to learn how their organization compares to businesses across the country.

Taking Action

The goal of an employee survey is to find actionable ways to improve. Unfortunately, many organizations fall short at this stage. In an online quiz by Leadership IQ, a leadership training and employee engagement survey firm, over half (58%) of companies said they were unwilling to take meaningful action after a survey. Failing to act following an employee survey can leave workers feeling dismissed or frustrated, damaging employee trust and morale. This can decrease employee engagement, reduce future survey participation, and ultimately be counterproductive to the original purpose of the survey.

Sharing Survey Results With Employees

Employees appreciate candor from their employers. A Leadership IQ survey found that employees were 10 times more likely to recommend their organization as a great employer when they felt their organization was open about the challenges it was experiencing. Therefore, when an employee survey has been conducted and analyzed, employers should release their findings to employees to enhance trust, communication and transparency. This should be done within one to two weeks of closing the survey to keep momentum and show employees that their employers are listening and responding to their concerns.

Survey results should be released in a format that’s accessible and easy to understand by all employees. Graphics and design, such as infographics and charts, may be useful. Employers can also hold companywide meetings to review participation rates and overall scores, share high-level themes from data or open-ended questions, and give context to the results (e.g., discuss benchmarks). Thanking employees for their participation can also go a long way in making them feel their contribution was appreciated.

Developing An Action Plan

When an employer asks employees to complete an employee survey, they must be committed to taking action or risk alienating workers. Senior management and team leaders should use the survey results to create an action plan in order to initiate any necessary changes. Such a plan should include the following:

• Identify critical areas of improvement.
• Create cross-functional teams to brainstorm possible solutions.
• Assign responsibility to individuals who can implement chosen solutions.
• Follow up and revise action plans as needed.

Prioritizing Areas of Improvement

Similar to the survey creation process, employers must prioritize critical areas of improvement to focus on. Nice-to-have improvements should be addressed second to issues that crucially impact employee engagement and satisfaction. In particular, employers should focus on areas with a high business impact and potential for change.

The following questions may help employers determine the impact and changeability of key issues:

• How would it affect the organization if this issue had an 80% positive response rate?
• How does this issue impact employee engagement, satisfaction and retention?
• What areas do managers need to address immediately?
• What issues will be difficult to address within the organization?
• How can we measure the success of this issue?

Once critical issues have been chosen, employers should determine how measurable progress can be shown. This may involve creating key performance indicators to track employer progress over time.

Assigning Responsibilities and Setting Timelines

Organizational change is less likely to occur when nobody takes responsibility for implementing improvements. For each critical area of change, employers should assign a lead person. This individual will be responsible for measuring progress against organizational goals. Additionally, specific timelines should be established for certain milestones. This may mean choosing a certain date for organizational goals, although such plans should remain flexible, especially for organizations new to implementing such changes.

Implementing Changes and Improvements

Managers play a vital role in employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. Research from management consulting firm Gallup showed that managers accounted for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. Survey results can show employers where managers are succeeding and where there is room for improvement. Organizations
should communicate to managers how survey feedback impacts their area of responsibility and provide the training, support and skills to make necessary changes. This may include creating an action plan for each team leader or department to resolve issues found in the employee survey and implementing successful strategies. Successes should be highlighted and praised during team meetings.

Communicating Progress and Outcomes to Employees

Transparency is one of the primary goals of employee surveys. Organizations should communicate progress while executing survey action plans. Successes should be celebrated to showcase an employer’s commitment to achieving their goals. Even reporting on negative outcomes and stumbling blocks can build trust among employees. Communicating honest progress of survey action plans shows employees their opinions are heard and valued, which can increase job satisfaction, productivity and loyalty.

Conducting Follow-up Surveys


Improving employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity consists of more than a one-time event. The process is ongoing. Employers may benefit from follow-up surveys and polls to drill down into specific issues, finding nuances and contributing factors that may have been missed during the initial survey. Organizations can also use their initial findings to develop
additional questions for the next survey, track progress and benchmark future results.

Employer Takeaway

Employee surveys are crucial for employers to understand how workers think and feel. They can provide vital insights into workplace issues, help employers predict employee behavior and provide a benchmark to measure organizational successes. Surveys also provide employers with the opportunity to increase trust and communication with employees, show employees their opinions are valued and proactively address issues before they become bigger problems.

When used effectively, employee surveys can drive positive organizational change, increasing employee engagement, satisfaction, retention, productivity and loyalty. Such benefits can significantly contribute to company culture and improve an organization’s bottom line.

HR Insights

Developing and Conducting Employee Surveys

Developing and conducting employee surveys can help employers understand vital aspects of their organizations, such as worker satisfaction and company culture, as well as learn more about the employees who work there. It’s important to take note of how employees view their  retention rates, improving morale and increasing productivity.

Routinely conducting employee surveys can help provide organizations with up-to-date feedback from their workers. These surveys can be conducted anonymously to encourage employees to communicate their experiences and opinions without fear of repercussion. This article provides more information on the benefits of employee surveys, outlines different types of such surveys and offers best practices for developing them.

Benefits of Employee Surveys

Employee surveys can provide employers with valuable workforce feedback they may not be able to receive otherwise. Organizations can experience several benefits from developing and conducting these surveys, including the following:

• Greater employee honesty - empower workers to voice their opinions openly and honestly. While this is possible through one-on-one discussions and small groups, employees are more likely to share their true opinions when they can do so anonymously, especially if what they’re sharing reflects negatively on their organizations or the overall workforce experience.

• More big-picture thinking—When left unprompted, employees can get lost in day-today tasks without thinking of the larger picture, including how their daily activities contribute to organizational success. Employee surveys ask open-ended questions that can spark workers to speak about themselves in relation to the missions and goals of their organizations. This can add value because employees can then see how they contribute to large-scale company initiatives.

• Increased employee retention—Employee surveys can help improve worker retention because they can point out issues before they become larger problems for entire teams or
companies as a whole. These surveys can help signal early warning signs for employers that
their employees are dissatisfied or are considering leaving their roles.

• Expanded resolution capabilities—Employee surveys can be the next step in resolving issues within certain teams or organizational departments. They can help employers receive feedback about what issues employees may have with their organizations. These surveys are especially useful when employers are considering where they are and what they want to accomplish going forward.

No employee survey is perfect. For example, some employees may not participate, which can skew survey data. Employee surveys also have downfalls such as not being able to survey everyone, not providing clear results and not being capable of causing immediate change. It’s crucial for organizations to take these factors into account when looking at post-survey data
pools and drawing conclusions.

Types of Employee Surveys
There are several different types of employee surveys, which can be adapted to best meet an organization’s unique needs. Key survey types include:

• Annual review surveys—These surveys are conducted to evaluate employees’ performance levels.

• Company culture surveys—Such surveys are conducted to measure how companies’ behaviors match their intended values.

• Employee engagement surveys—These surveys are conducted to measure whether employees feel valued, including by those in leadership roles.

• Employee satisfaction surveys—Such surveys are conducted to measure how employees feel in terms of job satisfaction characteristics, such as compensation, benefits and other work-related issues.

No one survey is alike; therefore, it’s best for employers to determine to the specific reasons
they’re conducting employee surveys and for whom before selecting a survey type. Once an organization knows the type of employee survey it wants to conduct, it’s time to develop the survey.

Developing Employee Surveys

There are a number of things for organizations to keep in mind when developing employee surveys, including the following:

• Questions - it’s a survey conducted on a cyclical basis). In addition, questions should help create actionable feedback. Other questions within a survey can be based off timely topics or events. survey to provide room for employees to voice additional concerns, opinions or feedback.

• Format—An employee survey’s format is important because it can skew workers’ responses; therefore, employers must carefully consider the right format for their surveys. This can be multiple choice, open-ended or a mix of both types of questions depending on the data being collected.

• Timing—It’s imperative for organizations to know when to conduct employee surveys. Something for employers to consider in terms of timing is the workplace events occurring in about job satisfaction during the busiest part of the year when stress levels are at their highest.

• Length—Organizations can determine an appropriate length for their employee surveys based on how often these surveys occur. For example, annual review surveys should probably be longer, as workers are only sharing their feedback once a year. On the other hand, surveys sent out more frequently (e.g., quarterly employee engagement surveys) should be shorter.

Once an organization creates an employee survey, it’s ready to be conducted. When conducting a survey, an employer should clearly communicate the survey's purpose to employees, encourage participation, emphasize anonymity and share results with the workforce after the data has been sorted. Regardless of the type of survey being conducted, it’s critical for an employer to implement improvements after conducting a survey. Making adjustments for the next survey can ensure the survey is pulling the most valuable information from surveyed employees, making this feedback increasingly useful.

Summary

Overall, developing and conducting employee surveys can provide feedback for employers to gain important insights and help implement workplace improvements. By using these surveys, employers can create spaces for employees to voice their opinions, which can help them feel more satisfied and engaged at work. In turn, this can aid employers in their attraction and retention efforts.

Employee Engagement Surveys

Many employee surveys focus on employee satisfaction, as it is assumed that satisfied, happy
employees will be more productive and have higher retention rates. However, a more telling determinant of productivity and performance is employee engagement. Employees can enjoy their work and be satisfied without being necessarily engaged.

Engaged employees are more than just satisfied with their jobs; they are committed to the company and its goals. They have passion, pride and energy for their work and their organization, and are willing to go the extra mile on a regular basis. Employees who are truly engaged stay because they enjoy their work and support the company; disengaged employees stay simply for a paycheck, favorable working conditions or job security.

Measuring Employee Engagement

An employee engagement survey is a great starting place for addressing this issue. Many consulting firms offer such surveys, but you can also create and conduct one on your own. In order to be effective, it is important to examine all aspects of the worker’s job, environment and involvement with the organization, including their opinions on management, direct supervisors, co-workers, employer-employee communication, opportunity for advancement, job characteristics and HR policies. The following are sample questions to help you get started in crafting an engagement survey:

• Do you know what is expected of you at work?
• At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
• Do you receive recognition or praise?
• Do you have a positive relationship with your immediate supervisor?
• Do you trust your immediate supervisor?
• Do you trust the upper management of your company?
• Do you receive consistent feedback?
• Are you held accountable for your progress and performance?
• At work, do your opinions seem to count?
• Do you understand how your job relates to the company’s mission/goals?
• Are your fellow employees committed to doing quality work?

It’s important to remember that measuring these factors is not enough. Once a survey is conducted, you must analyze the results and tie them to strategic initiatives to address problem areas. By identifying areas that are hindering employee engagement, your company can focus on improving those areas to strive toward a more engaged, productive and profitable workforce.

Checklist: Employee Communication Strategy

Sixty percent of companies don't have a long-term strategy for their internal communication. Regardless of how large your organization is, it’s critical to have a long-term plan for employee communication. The key to success is to be mindful of all communications across all levels of the organization—and find what’s authentic and effective for both the organization and employees.

Use this checklist as a suggested step-by-step process of creating and managing a formal employee communication strategy. Components and the overall goal can also be implemented less formally at smaller organizations.

Planning

Conduct an audit to understand the organizational structure and specific needs for communicating with employees, including:

• Mission statement
• Company values
• Company culture
• Strategic business goals

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Evaluate the need for a communication strategy (e.g., inform employees, improve employee engagement or restore employee morale).

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Identify communication stakeholders across multiple departments.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Assign dedicated communication leaders to help unify messaging, deliver a seamless experience and provide a go-to contact for employees.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Developing and Implementing 

Identify organizational updates or news to communicate.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ask the following questions about the content topic:
• What is important?
• Why is it important to employees?
• What should employees do?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Assess current content format and tailor to new format, if necessary.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Consider available channels and identify the appropriate channel(s) for the topic.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Identify and tweak tone, if necessary, to be transparent, honest and jargon-free.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ensure two-way communication so employees can provide feedback or ask follow-up questions.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Pay attention to the delivery and timing of the communication.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ensure communication messaging is:
• Compelling
• Concise
• Credible
• Consistent

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Measuring and Evaluating

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs). Common KPIs include:
• Reach
• Engagement
• Feedback
• Turnover
• Other behavioral outcomes
• Organizational goals

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Set clear and trackable goals as a baseline for communication efforts.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Create and deploy employee surveys to discover employee communication benchmarks.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Evaluate communication performance and effectiveness based on KPIs.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Identify errors, gaps, improvements or successes.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ensure employee feedback is addressed and those actions are shared with employees.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Update or enhance communication efforts and tactics as necessary.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Use this checklist as a guide when sharing company news or updates with employees. For assistance with employee communication, contact The Complete Manager Makeover Membership.