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The Inside Scoop on Designing the Best Employee Engagement Surveys

Posted by Insightlink on 07/07/16

 Most employee surveys are too off the shelf, too short and too impersonal to uncover what’s really going on. Surveys that brag about being only 10 questions long miss an opportunity to get the details and story’s behind the answers that can often be the most compelling and valuable parts of the whole survey itself. There is a misconception that longer surveys are a waste of time and employees rush to finish them.

At Insightlink we know this is not the case and in fact find the opposite to be true. We find that employees like to be asked for their opinions and once they start a survey they finish it 95% of the time. Open-ended questions give employees the chance to put into their own words what is happening and these stories reveal the truth about what is really going on. The results of an employee survey can sting and cause egos to blow but, if approached with an open mind, they can be a liberating experience where senior management will finally know what the problems are instead of wondering or denying they exist.

A well designed survey is never off the shelf.

A well designed survey uses benchmarked questions and it also celebrates real teamwork between survey design experts and HR professionals who know exactly what they want to achieve. Together they create a customized survey that is long in terms of questions and long in terms of the valuable information it provides.

4 strategies to design an effective employee engagement survey include: 

  1. Customize your survey-keep it simple but keep it focused. This is why Insightlink created the 4Cs, so you can see where you stand on what we believe are the 4 cornerstones of job satisfaction and employee engagement measures: The 4Cs are: Compensation, Communication, Culture and Commitment.
  2. Make sure your questions focus on your employees and their perspectives and needs, not on how they can serve you better.
  3. Maximize those open ended questions. If an employee tells you they are unhappy, you have to give them the opportunity to tell you why otherwise how will you know what to do or how to respond?
  4. Act now-you need to act once you have your results from your employee engagement survey. Begin by thanking employees and letting them know the results of the survey. Develop an action plan and reinforce to employees that the reason behind your action plans is directly related to what they told you in the survey. Warning: it is better not to do an employee engagement survey if you don’t plan to take action. Employees expect positive change in return for their participation in the survey. You let them down when you don’t respond with an action plan and they will be less likely to trust you in the future.

Our primary goal is to help improve your over-all organizational performance. There is a lot of evidence that shows that as employees become more satisfied and engaged this creates positive outcomes for your organization as a whole, including higher productivity, improve retention, less turnover, and greater customer satisfaction. We help you get you the knowledge and insight you need to improve job satisfaction and engagement and obviously then you get to benefit from all the advantages these improvements bring you.

Please get in touch if you would like a quote, to schedule a demo or just want to chat and learn more. You can write us, call us at 866-802-8095 ext 705, visit our website for more details at or feel free to download our Guide to Employee Successful Employee Survey Research here.




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Where does your company stand on each of the critical "4Cs" of employee engagement and satisfaction?
  • Commitment
  • Culture
  • Communications
  • Compensation
Find out with a benchmarked and validated 4Cs Employee Survey from Insightlink. Since 2001, one of the most trusted research companies in North America.

How many of each do you have?
  • Committed Loyalists
  • Change Seekers
  • Dissatisfied Compromisers
  • Satisfied Opportunists
Only the Insightlink 4Cs Employee Survey can give you the full picture and let you hear how your employees feel about their experience at your organization.


Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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