An Introduction to Employee Sentiment Surveys

People Analytics

September 21, 2022

Taryn Hart

X min

5 min

Keeping a close watch on employee sentiment is important. Use a tool where employees can regularly submit feedback on their wellbeing.

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Table of Contents

Why is employee wellbeing important?

Engaged employees are highly motivated and move your organization forward because their needs are being met, they have a sense of belonging, and they know their wellbeing matters. Interestingly, there is a significant correlation between employee recognition and employee engagement – recognition boosts employee engagement and contributes to mental wellbeing.

When was the last time you took a pulse check of how your employees are feeling? For HR leaders, it’s critical to have a sense of where your employee sentiment stands, and how to get ahead of it before it’s too late. The key to improving sentiment and wellbeing in your workplace is being aware of it, not just through an annual survey, but through constant information gathering.

An article published by the MIT Sloan School of Management describes seven steps to making employee wellness and wellbeing a priority in your organization, and the first step is talking to your employees. This may sound simple, but having the right channel is critical. Hosting an event or a meeting to generate discussions may not be the perfect solution to truly understanding what your employees need. Sometimes a simple and anonymous channel works best, and is more inclusive, especially with a distributed workforce.  

Checking in on Your Employees

Collecting feedback anonymously through a sentiment survey allows you to track how employees as a group are feeling over time, and also creates a safe space for anonymous individual feedback. This provides invaluable information that can help you to improve the quality of your employee experience. Leaders can learn how their employees are doing, and employees have an outlet to share what they’re experiencing.  

Most organizations understand the importance of employee wellbeing – but how do we measure it? Giving your employees access to a tool where they can share their needs is one way to gather valuable insights into your employee sentiment. Regularly surveying your employees allows you to build a sentiment index, allowing you to track trends over time. The goal of an employee sentiment survey is to uncover specific and actionable insights about your team’s happiness and wellbeing, so that you can take informed steps to improve it.  

Collecting the Data

Technology like the Kudos recognition platform is making it easier than ever for employees to openly communicate with their organization. For employers, it’s all about having easy access to digestible data that helps them to:

  • Gain an understanding of overall employee wellbeing
  • Assess how much stress your workforce is experiencing
  • Determine gaps in your current wellness and engagement programs and initiatives

For those employers that want access to deeper insights on employee wellness, the first step is properly gathering information. Using a tool where employees can submit anonymous feedback on their wellbeing that then translates that feedback into easy-to-read data and analytics is an excellent way to get started.

Make it Simple and Easy

Giving feedback shouldn’t be time-consuming or difficult for your team. If employees need to go out of their way to provide their thoughts, they simply won’t do it. As important as it is to encourage your employees to provide feedback, it’s equally important to make it easy and convenient to do so.

Kudos Employee Sentiment Survey

Adding emoji reactions, ratings and comment options is a great way for employees to quickly check-in with how they’re doing. Keep in mind that anonymity can be crucial when asking employees for feedback. Keeping responses anonymous is less invasive, increases the number of participants, and can help to instill trust with your employees. You’ll also get more accurate data.

Regularly asking employees for feedback with a short sentiment survey, for example, adds to your employee experience without it feeling like an interruption. With the data collected, your organization can begin to prioritize the changes your employees are seeking.

Make the Changes

There is nothing worse than being asked for feedback and seeing nothing come of it. This is critical. If you ask your employees to be open and vulnerable about their wellbeing (even anonymously) you have to address the concerns or ideas for improvement they provide.

Once you have the data, look for common threads to identify potential issues with your employee experience. The goal is to make the necessary improvements that address the feedback you’ve received, and the sentiment trends you’re evaluating. It’s important to be prepared for negative feedback or seeing data that is showing a decline in employee wellbeing. What’s important is that your organization uses these insights to move forward with a strategic plan to enhance your employee experience.

  1. Be transparent with your employees and openly communicate what your organization plans to do with the information they receive.  
  1. Share the results and be timely with your response so employees know their feedback is valued and useful.  
  1. Provide the goals you want to achieve and the actionable steps your organization will take to implement them.
  1. Re-evaluate your core values and culture and determine the gaps that need to be filled or if a shift in the organization's focus needs to be discussed.  
  1. Collect data more than once – monthly is best – it’s important to continue to check-in with your employees and monitor the data to determine what’s working and what isn’t.  

Conducting an employee sentiment survey is a step in the right direction in showing employees you care about their wellbeing. How your organization changes to improve your overall employee experience is the path that will positively impact your people, and your business.

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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