The ultimate employee survey guide to getting the most from your workforce

It may sound obvious, but the best way of discovering an employee's wants, needs, and ambitions is to ask them. For that reason, it is essential that businesses get their employee surveys right. But employee surveys shouldn’t just be about asking questions. They are also important tools for boosting engagement. For deskless employees, in particular, who may not have a consistent workplace, schedule, or even a corporate email, surveys are vital to providing anonymized, cost-effective visibility into an often-neglected cohort of workers. Keep reading to learn more about why employee surveys are so important and what businesses should consider when launching one of their own.

Ruben Wieman

The ultimate employee survey guide to getting the most from your workforce

Table of contents

The importance of surveying employees

Deskless employees form the heart of the organization – they are the eyes and ears of your management personnel. Whether they work in retail, hospitality, or any other industry, they often enjoy direct communication with your customers. They hear first-hand what is working well for your business and what isn’t.

By surveying your employees, your company acquires direct feedback from the work floor, which is vital for improving processes. But it’s also essential for boosting employee engagement and productivity. Workers who feel like their opinions matter are more invested in their workplace. And this, in turn, helps improve employee retention, providing visibility into when businesses should act and what to focus on in order to reduce staff turnover. Ensure all your employees can be heard – just because some are deskless doesn’t mean they should be voice-less.

Employee Survey Example
An example of an employee survey via an employee app

Important features to take into account when surveying employees

Today, there are many different employee survey solutions on the market, each with its bespoke strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to look for key features like audience selection, anonymity surveys, and ease of use.

Regarding your deskless workers, there are other important considerations too. With the right employee survey software, there’s a new way to connect with your frontline. These tools should be mobile-centric, so deskless employees can access them as needed. They also shouldn’t be intrusive, allowing employees to continue enjoying a healthy work-life balance. And they must encourage communication through engaging questions. Currently, only 39% of deskless workers feel heard by their organization. The right employee surveys can increase this figure.

The 5 Best Employee Engagement Surveys

As well as deciding on the features your organization needs from its employee survey software, you’ll also have to choose which type of survey will enhance employee engagement.

Numerous types of employee surveys are available, each with its pros, cons, and best use cases. Below, we’ve highlighted five of the most popular:

1. Pulse Surveys

Short, snappy, and used to capture employee feedback frequently and at speed, pulse surveys have become a popular method for gaining a snapshot of employee satisfaction levels. Positives of pulse surveys include their fast turnaround, real-time updates, and good response rates.

However, pulse surveys may not be appropriate for every situation. Sending pulse surveys too often could result in your workers becoming frustrated by the feedback process – and sometimes, they may not allow for the depth you get with longer, less frequent surveys.


2. Onboarding Surveys

A new hire is expected to complete 54 activities during the onboarding process. But how do you know which activities are helpful and which simply seem like a chore? An onboarding survey can help bring visibility into the process, informing you what employees think is working well and what could be improved.  

Your new workers come with a great deal of helpful information that your company could harvest – not least, first impressions. Use an onboarding survey to learn about your organization’s job description, recruitment, and training.

Onboarding survey example

3. Offboarding Survey

Just as surveying those individuals joining your company is important, so is gaining feedback from those leaving. Information gathered here should inform businesses about the exit process and ways of improving employee retention.

Of course, offboarding surveys won’t help retain the particular individual being surveyed. However, they can still prove helpful in finding out about the state of workplace relations, cultural factors, and what employees like and dislike about their roles.

4. Workplace Surveys

Workplace surveys can consist of many different questions and take various forms. Don’t be afraid to ask for more detailed responses as part of less frequent feedback, such as annual surveys. But getting the balance right between the frequency and length of your survey is key.

Be sure to ask general and industry-specific questions in your workplace surveys, and remember the feedback you gather doesn’t have to be company-wide. Sometimes, more specific insights can be gathered by asking a particular team or department.

5. Employee Satisfaction Surveys

There are many things that an employee survey can tell your company, but determining the levels of satisfaction among your workers may be among the most important. For instance, employee satisfaction surveys can provide insights into your retention and engagement rates.

Of course, other important metrics can’t be gleaned purely by determining employee satisfaction levels. However, asking your employees about things like culture and morale is the only way of truly understanding them.

The best employee engagement survey provider for your business

Suppose your business is looking for an employee engagement survey provider to gather feedback from the heart of your organization. In that case, it’s crucial to seek one that can offer a variety of surveys and can speak to all different kinds of employees. As a bonus, it’s hugely helpful if this provider can offer other features that cover aspects relating to the employee experience (in addition to surveys) as part of a single platform. This is exactly what Oneteam can offer.

Oneteam’s USP is the way it focuses on all aspects of the employee experience – from internal communication to onboarding, eLearning, forms and checklists, work schedules, and, of course, employee surveys.

Our employee survey solution lets businesses gather feedback instantly from all or a specific group of employees. A survey dashboard provides a clear overview of all the surveys you’ve created and a series of ready-to-use templates and real-time insights.

With Oneteam, your employee engagement survey can be designed to meet your bespoke goals and give a voice to all your workers. But it’s just one part of our employee experience offering. By integrating our surveys with our other features, your workers’ engagement will skyrocket. Wait no longer, and request a guided demo to see how Oneteam can help your organization to make your employees successful and engaged.

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman is the founder of Oneteam. He mainly writes about the future of deskless employee experience and key frontline HR trends. Fun fact about Ruben: He started his professional career as a deskless employee at supermarkets and a pizza delivery guy. The frustrations he encountered lead him to build an employee experience app focused on making the deskless workforce successful and engaged.

Stay ahead

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on blog posts around the topic of employee experience.