Employee Surveys: What Will They Look Like in 2024?

When conducted correctly, employee surveys can be a very powerful tool for improving workplace culture and driving your business forward. But where should you focus your efforts to increase engagement and happiness levels and stay on top of market trends in 2024?

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What Is An Employee Survey?


An employee survey is any kind of survey sent to all or part of your organisation to get feedback or collect data on your people. 


At The Happiness Index we have a specific philosophy around employee surveys which means that we use neuroscience to inform our surveys to give you actionable insights into how your people think and feel about your organisation. 


Why Are Employee Surveys Important?


People aren’t a monolith and they’re the backbone of your organisation. Employee surveys help you to gather real data on your people so that you can ensure that your organisational culture, business practices or procedures, benefits package and more are working for your organisation and your team. 


Understanding how well these elements of your organisation are working will help you to make strategic, data-led decisions, optimise your workflows and, ultimately, get better results.  


What Types Of Employee Surveys Are There?


There are a few main types of employee surveys, all of which are available for all our customers to use from our survey library within our engagement platform.  


1. Lifecycle Employee Surveys


Employee lifecycle surveys include any surveys at key junctures in your people’s time in your organisation. The key examples are onboarding and exit surveys. These are flexion points where delivering a great employee experience will make a huge difference in your retention and recruitment rates. It’s really important to gather standardised data around these times, this will help your organisation to develop robust processes and procedures, but also to identify and fix potential weaknesses before they develop into larger problems. 


Less common but no less important are return to work employee surveys. In the current climate where many people are returning to work from long term sickness or from parental leave, it’s really important that organisations are able to support these particularly vulnerable individuals while they readjust to the workplace. Not only does this protect people going through big life changes, it also protects your organisation and helps make their transition back into the workplace smooth and efficient for everyone. 


2. Culture Employee Surveys


Workplace culture is becoming an increasingly salient topic in today’s marketplace because of the increasing power of the workforce. Without speaking directly to your people it can be very hard for leadership teams and HR professionals to accurately gauge culture. 


Larger organisations will also naturally, and unavoidably, have subcultures between teams, sites, or even countries. Streamlining processes and applying best practice across the organisation can be nearly impossible without employee surveys allowing you to collect candid feedback from across your employees.   


3. Diversity & Inclusion Surveys 


This is a big topic within many organisations, and performing this kind of sensitive survey without the protection and expertise of an employee survey specialist can be almost impossible. Anonymity and sensitivity are of key importance within this kind of survey so relying on an organisation like The Happiness Index, who have data protection and anonymity built in, as well as a team of experts designing the questions, can put everyone’s mind at rest. 


Not only this, but with diversity and inclusion topics it’s particularly important to be taking action as well as listening. It is easy to breed cynicism with diversity and inclusion programmes and creating a robust action plan is the best way to forestall this. Employee surveys designed by experts to give you actionable insight can make or break your diversity and inclusion programme.


4. Vision & Values Employee Surveys 


As organisations begin to invest big in ESG programmes, and studies and data continue to reflect the reality that people’s values are increasingly playing a bigger part in where they work, shop and do business, understanding what your employees’ values is key. It’s always been important to align your organisation’s priorities with your people’s values from a neuroscience perspective, but the recent trend in ESG investments has really brought this to the forefront.


We also know that a comprehensive benefits package that supports employees in feeling recognised and being able to live a life in line with their values is really important to employee happiness - and ultimately productivity. Employee surveys allow you to understand what your people want and need in this space and can be really helpful in creating alignment between your vision and your team’s values. 


5. Organisational Change Surveys


Organisations go through life cycles as much as employees do. Whilst this is a fact of life and business, it’s important to remember the impact this can have on your people. Whether you’re going through merger & acquisition or redundancies, understanding how your people are feeling and thinking is paramount to delivering an excellent employee experience. 


Another change that many organisations are facing in 2024 is shifting locations. Many teams are thinking of moving back into the office whether full time, or as part of a hybrid model. After years of remote - or remote-first working, understanding how to calibrate your culture can be challenging. Creating a thriving culture in the face of organisational change requires a collaborative approach and employee surveys can help facilitate this. 


6. Wellbeing Surveys 


Wellbeing is another buzzword in HR circles at the moment, but the truth is that it’s vital to get this right to help your people survive and thrive. Everyone needs and wants a different approach when it comes to wellbeing so it’s really important to listen to your team to get the most out of any investment in employee wellbeing


Employee surveys can help you to understand what your people want and need. Plus, once your programme is implemented, it’s also important you understand what is working and what can be refined, this will help to maximise ROI on your wellbeing programme and make sure your resources and budgets are being spent effectively. 


All of these types of surveys should be accessible to your organisation to get the most out of your people. But to really help you to increase the impact of your work and the granularity of your data, our platform also includes:


7. Neuroscience Employee Surveys 


This is a unique survey suite designed by our neuroscience experts which allows you to get a deeper understanding of any of the 8 neuroscience themes. Our bespoke surveys give you actionable insight to help your people survive and thrive using cutting-edge neuroscience to give you the data you need to support your people and your bottom line. 


What Impact Do Employee Surveys Have On Your Organisation?


There are a huge number of benefits employee surveys can have on your organisation, but here are a few of the standouts:


1. Improved Employee Engagement

Listening to your people is important, and investing time and money into Employee Engagement Platforms and employee listening puts this into practice. Just the act of listening has an impact on improving employee engagement, but when you take action off the back of the listening, this effect is magnified. We all know that more engaged teams are more productive, more creative and more invested in your organisation. Find out more about employee engagement and its impacts here


2. Increased Employee Happiness

Within our neuroscience model being listened to and given the opportunity to give and receive feedback is tied to the acknowledgement neuroscience theme, which feeds directly into happiness within a thriving culture. This means that employee happiness surveys have a direct impact on happiness. Especially if you’re able to use a tool like our “closing the feedback loop” functionality to make feedback two-way. Find out more about employee happiness and its impact here


3. Robust, Data-Led People Planning

To stay ahead of the pack, it’s super important that organisations are data-led, and this includes HR and people functions. Understanding what your people want and need will help you to build robust people programming that meets your individual organisation’s needs when they arise. This will give you a more robust approach and support you in achieving the results you need. Find more information about data for HR and how our platform can help here.


4. Flexibility & Reactivity Within Your HR & Leadership Teams

Knowing what is and isn’t working within your organisation as it happens can really help you to lead in a way that is reactive to your people’s needs, and with in-built flexibility. You’ll be able to understand impacts on the organisation in real-time. Although you won’t always be able to change everything and you’ll sometimes need to wait for changes to bed-in, you will have the data to make those choices responsibly. Find out more about always on-listening and making the most of Employee Voice here


5. Improved Productivity & Performance

Employee listening is directly linked to productivity and performance. Our surveys directly ask questions about workload, resources, inspiration and personal growth. Not only this, but research actually shows that employee listening more generally is linked to the bottom line. Find out more about the business case for employee engagement and happiness here


How Can You Measure The ROI Of Employee Surveys?


Sometimes employee surveys are seen as a nice-to-have, a fluffy exercise in ticking boxes which don’t have tangible results. As a data-first company we’re here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 5 ways you can measure the ROI of your employee surveys: 


  • Decreased staff turnover

  • Increased productivity

  • Decreased sick days

  • Impacted P&L

  • Increased happiness and engagement


Thanks to our API integration, monitoring these metrics and sharing data between different HR platforms should be a piece of cake! 


How Can You Make Employee Surveys Beneficial For Your Organisation?


To get the most out of your employee surveys, they can’t just be listening activities. There has to be a culture of active listening and planning built around the surveys if you want to see the benefits listed above. There are a few steps you need to implement to make this a reality:


1. Make All Your HR Decisions Data-Led 

By using your employee surveys to inform your HR or people strategy, you’ll be able to make sure that your decisions are going to have the maximum impact for your organisation and your team. 


2. Keep Listening

The truth is that a one-off survey won’t bring all the incredible benefits listed above. You need to keep listening, refining and improving your people strategy. There are so many things to ask your people, and involve their feedback in, so there’s no excuse for a “one and done” approach. 


3. Create A Listening Culture

You want all your people to be invested in your listening journey. That means making listening a part of your culture for everyone and at every stage of your organisation. Making listening a part of your culture will bring benefits to everyone, from increasing the effectiveness of your managers to improving response rates on your future surveys, giving you more accurate results. 


4. Make Feedback Two Way

We believe feedback should be a conversation; this means setting up regular sessions within your listening roadmap to inform your people about the data you have collected and how you’re going to be using it. This will help improve your action planning and will give your team a sense of ownership within your people plans. 


5. Be Flexible

The unfortunate fact about people is that they can, and will change their minds. Sometimes this can throw a spanner in the works for your people planning, but the truth is your team will change and so will their circumstances. By continuing to listen and being flexible with your plans you will be able to get the most out of your data. 


How Can You Develop Your HR Strategy With Employee Surveys?


Your employee surveys can impact HR strategy in a couple of key ways. Here are some areas we’ve seen our customers use the data from their employee surveys. 


1. Supercharge Your ESG Programme

Like many leading organisations, our customers are looking to prove their ESG standards. There are many ways of measuring and implementing this. We’re especially proud of Vivo Barefoot, the sustainable footwear company, who have achieved B-Corp status by investing in their people as well as the planet. Read more about how they were able to achieve their sustainability goals


2. Deliver A Culture Programme That Enables Transformational Growth

We’ve said before that we believe cultural change can deliver exceptional performance across your organisation. And we’ve seen our customers achieve just this by using data from our platform. For example, GAMA Healthcare was able to achieve 132% growth in turn over, increase recruitment by 35% by creating an award winning culture. Find out about how they were able to achieve a culture of success


3. Understand Employee Sentiment During Times Of Change

All organisations go through times of change, whether it’s restructures, leadership change, or even mergers and acquisitions. We were able to work with a leading insurance company in Ecuador, Seguros Equinoccial, to support their HR function during a merger. Discover more about how they were able to use our platform to understand their people’s reaction to change


4. Increase Trust In Leadership

Investing in your listening programme helps people at every level of your organisation believe that they have a direct line of communication with their leadership. Bringing this data directly into the boardroom helps your leadership understand your people, something that will directly impact your ability to attract, recruit and retain the best people for your organisation. Find out how the UK’s leading specialist education and care provider, Witherslack were able to leverage our data to bring happiness into the boardroom


5. Create A Data-Led Personal Development Strategy

Many of our customers use the data from our platform to create vibrant, popular and effective continuous professional development programmes that support the individual needs of their organisation and the people who work there. In fact, we’ve done the same thing using our own data internally! Find out how you can use our Cultural Assessment to inform your CPD strategy


This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are thousands more ways that our data can inform your HR strategies and business decisions to help you make informed choices for your organisation. Why not speak to one of our experts to see how we can help meet your business needs?


How Can You Tailor Employee Surveys To Your Organisation’s Unique Needs?


Each organisation is different, and what works well for one won’t be the right fit for another. Within larger organisations, there may even be regional or departmental differences. We believe that personalisation is really important to get the most out of your employee surveys. Here are a couple of ways you can improve your listening strategy for your organisation. 


1. Dial In Survey Frequency

For some organisations a single annual culture survey alongside always-on listening might be all they can effectively action. For others, bi-annual surveys might be realistic, or they may supplement an annual survey with ad hoc surveys. Understanding your organisation’s set up and listening maturity is key to getting survey frequency right. Our Knowledge Hub is filled with resources to help you get these kinds of decisions right, and is accessible to all our customers at all times. 


2. Send Surveys To Particular Teams, Departments Or Regions

Not all surveys apply to everyone, and especially in larger organisations, micro-cultures inevitably develop. Your annual culture survey may highlight strengths or weaknesses in particular areas of your business. When these come to light, it’s often helpful to dive deeper using a dedicated survey. This will help you to understand learnings which can be applied to the rest of your teams, whether you uncover solutions or best practices which can be shared more widely. 


3. Data-Led Survey Choices

While many organisations start with a cultural assessment, or always on listening, what survey to do next will be entirely dependent on your organisational needs. The best way to do this is by letting the data you’ve gathered from your initial employee survey lead the way. For example, a cultural assessment may show strengths or weaknesses to understand better. Alternatively your always-on listening programme might reveal trends that you can dive into deeper using a specific survey.  


4. Adjust & Automate Follow Up 

Each organisation will have different communication styles and needs. By adjusting the frequency, tone and content of your follow up communications you will be able to tailor your listening programme to the people within your organisation. However, we do believe in the power of automation - as it reduces HR time spent on the project and eliminates human mistakes when it comes to missing follow up communications. 


5. Add Custom Questions

If there is a specific need within your organisation to uncover particular feedback on a certain subject, it might be helpful to add custom questions to surveys. Whether you do this from a bank of pre-prepared questions or design a question from scratch to your specific needs will depend on how niche you need it to be!


How Can THI Supercharge Your Employee Surveys?


We have all the big hitters that you would expect from any employee survey software - API integration, access to 15+ languages to support your global strategy, free access to all data with anonymity guaranteed, and a free onboarding programme. But there’s so much more that THI offers including:


1. A Library Of 20+ Neuroscience-Backed Surveys

Every question in our library of employee surveys is designed by experts to give you maximum actionable insight. Plus, all our questions are tagged with a neuroscience theme, which allows you to look holistically at your entire employee lifecycle. Of course, in the unlikely case your question isn’t covered by our set surveys, choose from our question bank or design your own question entirely. 


2. Knowledge Hub with 24/7 Access To The Resources You Need To Succeed

Wherever you’re working in the world, and whatever time a question strikes, our Knowledge Hub has the answer. Whether you need help designing your listening programme, improving response rates, or action planning using your data, our Knowledge Hub has the answer. No need to wait, just dive into our library of videos, how-to guides and articles and get on with your work!


3. On-Demand Customisable Downloadable Reports

All our reports are fully customisable, whether you need top-line insights or deep dives into specific areas, get the data you need in the format you want. Access editable slides and spreadsheets or sharable PDFs to suit your needs and shareholder expectations. Wherever or whenever you need access to your data, our platform holds the keys to getting it to you in the format you want (and all for free!)


4. In-Built Feedback Loop Functionality

Respond directly to feedback within the platform without compromising anonymity. Signpost resources, reassure your people, or flag solutions in-platform. Guarantee your people the anonymity they want and need while also gathering greater context, information or insight. Make your feedback programme a conversation and get greater accuracy and insight into your data. 


5. UK Based Account Management

Last but not least, our support team is based in the UK so in the unlikely event of a problem you’re able to reach out to us directly in order to find a solution, get help accessing your data, or raise a ticket.


To find out more about how employee surveys can support your organisation, why not book in a demo with one of our experts.

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About The Happiness Index


The Happiness Index helps organisations measure the key employee engagement AND happiness drivers to power their people strategy.


Our unique platform offers the products, insights and tools to shine a light on your cultural health and empower management to drive thriving cultures.


Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.

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