In this section, we'll be talking about ideal engagement program setups. Please review all the following sections carefully. Each of the chapters are broken down into separate articles, which are linked in the table of contents below.
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It’s clear that an engagement program is crucial and complements the other building blocks of performance management. However, many customers ask us: what should be included in my engagement program? The answer is: there is no perfect program for every company! Larger companies may have entire teams devoted to employee engagement, while 50-person companies may have one HR leader who drives all people programs.
However, as a minimum we believe that all companies should launch the following engagement surveys every year to assess and improve employee sentiment:
- One annual engagement survey to assess overall employee sentiment and how it has changed over time
- Two follow-up pulse surveys on key issues that are important to your employee population, such as benefits, communication, etc
- Onboarding survey for all new hires to drive continuous improvements to the onboarding experience
- Exit survey for all employees departing voluntarily to better understand key attrition drivers
More details on each of these survey types is available below.
Annual Engagement Survey
Provides a comprehensive view of employee sentiment across several engagement domains. The overall engagement score is an indicator of employees’ discretionary effort, and their commitment to their company.
Number of Questions
While many companies send out 60-question surveys, we recommended a shorter survey (30-35 questions). A survey of this length still covers the most important engagement-related questions, but drives higher completion rates from workers.
We recommend including the following engagement-related themes in your survey. Each question will be associated with a theme, and contribute to the domain score.
- Engagement Measure - assesses how well your company helps employees reach their highest productivity
- Performance Drive (unique to Reflektive!) - measures how motivated your employees are to work harder than they have in the past
- Career Growth - measures employees’ awareness and interest in career progression at your company
- Culture of Feedback (unique to Reflektive!) - assesses your recognition culture and if it provides value to employees
- Work Environment / Culture Health (unique to Reflektive!) - measures your company’s consistency with its stated company values
- Performance Management (unique to Reflektive!) - assesses employee satisfaction with your current performance programs
- Leadership - measures employee sentiment on your current leadership team and their ability to drive future success
- My Manager - measures managers’ abilities to drive high-performing teams
- Engagement Measure: “You’ll probably see me working at my company two years from now.”
- Performance Drive: “I am developing important skills through the work I do every day.”
- Career Growth: “I understand how to grow my career at my company.”
- Culture of Feedback: “The feedback I receive helps me improve”
- Work Environment / Culture Health: “Our leadership team acts in alignment with our stated company values”
- Performance Management: “I like our processes for reviews, feedback, and goal-setting.”
- Leadership: “I believe in my company’s plan for future growth.”
- My Manager: “My manager sets a high standard of excellence for the team.”
Follow-Up Pulse Surveys
Pulse surveys provide a deeper dive into the engagement domains that are most important to your workforce. We recommend that they’re sent several months after the annual engagement survey, to follow-up on high-priority engagement-related items.
Number of Questions
Pulse surveys should have 3-5 questions that are related to a particular theme (e.g., career growth, benefits). This shorter survey length will drive higher completion rates among employees.
Based on the selected theme, we recommend questions that address key employee concerns or areas of low engagement. For instance, if an HR leader identifies that employees are unhappy with commuter benefits and launches a new partnership to improve commuter benefits, he could ask the following questions in a pulse survey:
- “Since we launched our partnership with ABC Commuter Company, is it easier or harder to commute from your home to the office?”
- “Since we launched our partnership with ABC Commuter Company, have you spent more or less money commuting from your home to the office?”
- “Overall, are you more or less satisfied with our new partnership with ABC Commuter Company? Feel free to write a response in the box below too.”
Onboarding surveys help companies assess the employee experience for new hires. Ideally, they provide actionable insights so HR teams know which onboarding components to improve (e.g., ensuring up-to-date company information is shared with all new hires).
Number of Questions
We recommend companies include 10-15 questions in their onboarding survey. This helps ensure that they cover the entire onboarding experience, from the employee’s first interview to their first major project.
The following onboarding-related themes cover the end-to-end new hire experience:
- Recruiting: “I was provided accurate information about my company during the recruitment process.”
- Orientation: “I had a positive onboarding experience at my company.”
- Communication: “I have a clear understanding of my responsibilities and what I am expected to accomplish.”
- Engagement: “I feel welcome and part of the team.”
Exit surveys supplement exit interviews to provide companies with insights into employee departures. By identifying common themes among exit surveys, organizations can identify key areas to improve and reduce turnover.
Number of Questions
We recommend companies include 7-10 questions in their exit survey. This enables companies to get more insight into why the employee is leaving, and what can be done in the future to retain high performers.
- “During my time here, I was comfortable sharing feedback with my manager about the things that ultimately led me to leave.”
- “I would be interested in working at this company again in the future.”
- “I would recommend this company as a great place to work.”
We recommend that all surveys - engagement, pulse, onboarding, and exit - are anonymous. This helps drive employee trust, resulting in higher survey completion rates and more honest survey responses.