Employee surveys

Employee engagement is a tool that is used by the organization to improve employee engagement , employee morale , and performance . Usually answered anonymously, surveys are also used to assess the role of employees in the management of the workplace. Surveys are considered effective in this regard provided they are well-designed, effectively administered, have validity, and evoke changes and improvements. [1]


The first employee surveys, commonly known as employee-attitude surveys, surfaced in industrial companies in the 1920s. Between 1944 and 1947, the National Industrial Advisory Board has 250% jump in companies to conduct an attitude survey (within a 3,500 company group). [2] The increased awareness in measurement tools of the world, which is sought after by the world war II, which seeks to measure moral and replicate high-moral environments. The United States Army Research Branch, for example, conducted Soldier Surveys, which recorded the opinions of more than half a million soldiers on topics ranging from food quality to confidence in leadership. [3]Examples of early survey methods include printed questionnaires, directive interviews, and unguided interviews. [2]

Reasons for use

Present day employee surveys are used by an estimated 50 to 75% of companies [4] [5] to evaluate and progress organizational health. This may include a focus on employee engagement , workplace culture, return on human capital (ROHC), and commitment.

United States federal agencies are required to conduct an annual survey. The Office of Personnel Management is a primary reason for conducting surveys, stating, “This is your opportunity to influence change in your agency. Your participation is voluntary and your responses are confidential. [6] ”


Organizations conduct their own surveys, contract with a survey provider, or use a combination of both. Main-line survey providers have traditionally used similar survey question types and survey length over the course of various years and various industries. Comparative databases provide some of the factors that can be correlated between coexisting factors (allowing for emphasis on the factor with highest correlation to a desired outcome). [7] In contrast, the advent of survey software, particularly online programs. In this case, the leadership leadership is responsible for tabulating and assessing the data.


A key component of employee surveys is the styling of questions. Variables in question design include: [8]

  • number and sequence
  • length and wording
  • closed or open answer
  • factual attitudinal gold

Questions that are vague, use technical jargon, are relevant to a segment of survey-takers, or use phrasing that is meaningful across audiences sabotage survey effectiveness. Multiple choice answers, likewise, are a question of plausible choices, or when choices are too wordy or too numerous. [9]


  1. Jump up^ Knapp, Paul R. and Bahaudin G. Mujtaba. May 2010. “Designing, administering, and utilizing an employee attitude survey.” Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business. Volume 2
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Viteles, Morris S. Motivation and Morale in Industry. New York: Norton, 1953.
  3. Jump up^ Samuel Stouffer et al, Studies in Social Psychology in World War II (Princeton:Princeton University Press1949), 1: Ch. 1
  4. Jump up^ “Veridic Technologies Pvt Ltd Employee Survey Report” . scribd . Veridic Technologies Pvt Ltd . Retrieved 16 December 2016 .
  5. Jump up^ Burke, RJ, & Cooper, CL (Eds.) (2006). The Human Resources Revolution: Why putting people first matters. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  6. Jump up^ “Employee Surveys” . opm.gov.
  7. Jump up^ Böckerman, Petri and Pekka Ilmakunnas. April 2012. “The Job Satisfaction-Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data.” ILR Review. flight. 65 no. 2. 244-262.
  8. Jump up^ AN Oppenheim. Questionnaire Design and Attitude Measurement. Basic Books, Inc. New York. 1966. “Question-Wording.”
  9. Jump up^ Cantril, H (ed.)Gauging Public Opinion. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.1944. Cited by HH Remmers. Introduction to Opinion and Attitude Measurement. Greenwood Press. Westport, CT. 1972.

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