The pandemic has highlighted the fantastic work that internal communication practitioners do. For example, aligning an organisation to the company’s goals, keeping employees motivated and most importantly, being a source for company news – and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

But how do internal communication practitioners find out how employees are feeling? Well, surveys are an essential tool to find out. But what should you ask your employees? Here we present a list of few question areas that the experts recommend.

A> Where do you get the news?

How are employees getting news about the company? Are they reading company channels? Or are they asking each other about it? “One of the primary goals of the internal communications survey will be to find out what your current communications channels are,” an informative blog from Survey Sparrow says. Channels are important. As internal comms professionals, it is our job to find out what channels employees are engaging with. “Despite the criticism about focusing too much on channels, with a plethora of traditional and social media channels now used inside organisations, it is still important to know which channels employees find most helpful,” says Kevin Ruck, Co-founder of PR Academy, in this excellent blog.  

B> How good is the information you are receiving?

It is crucial to find out a bit more about how employees rate the information they receive. A blog post by SoGo Survey says, “Among other elements, you might ask employees to rate their satisfaction with the amount of information received, its frequency of delivery, the accuracy of content, and relevance of the material.

C> Do you think you know what the company’s goals are?

It may seem obvious enough – everyone in a company must know about its goals. Well, try taking a survey to find out that it’s often not so straightforward. A blog by Kate William on Survey Sparrow points out, “This question is a self-assessment, instead of a simple test of how much an employee knows. Rather, it tests how much employees feel like they know. This is a more important metric. What matters to us is that employees feel like they’re an important part of the company.”

D> Are your line managers communicating effectively?

Managers are crucial to a company’s success. “However, recent studies have shown that 85% of executives weren’t confident in their leadership pipelines and that 65% of employees would rather get a new boss than a pay raise,” according to this blog by Polly.

Interestingly, questions about managers are given a lot of importance by experts. Another blog here, by Ragan, suggests asking questions like: “1. Does your manager effectively deliver essential information? Does your manager explain how the organization’s plans affect you? Does your manager treat everyone on the team fairly?”

Asking questions like these can act as a safety valve to relieve and reveal the tensions that may be simmering between line managers and their teams.

E> Are you being heard?

Employees feel valued when they feel like the company is listening to what they have to say. Their levels of motivation are directly proportional to this. However, “Companies need to beware of simply paying lip service — employees become sceptical of organisations that say they are listening but fail to act or implement change based on insights. If, however, as a business leader or line manager, you take suggestions on board and put them into action, your employees will feel part of the change,” according to a blog by People Insight.

Of course, employee surveys come in all shapes and sizes. I hope these question areas will be of help when you are compiling your next one.

(By Rahul Joglekar)

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