For decades employee surveys have been a valuable technique that leaders used to engage, motivate, and understand their employees.
Nothing has changed to this day.
Here are just some of the benefits of workplace surveys:
- Surveys increase employee engagement, which in turn results in 59% less turnover and 41% reduction in absenteeism
- Surveys allow employees to be heard, empowering them to do their best work 4.6 times more often
- Surveys are a great way to predict and change employee behavior
- Surveys facilitate culture of innovation where workers can openly share their best ideas and help their company stay competitive and inventive
But there are two main challenges to conducting effective employee surveys:
- Organizing effective employee surveys takes time
- There are different types of surveys for different purposes
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: automatic survey bots.
Let’s cover what survey bots are, what are the main four types of survey bots and how they can help your team become more productive, transparent, and engaged.
What’s a Survey Bot And How It Can Help Your Team
Survey bots help you design and automatically run effective employee surveys directly where your team members communicate, for example in Slack.
Here’s why survey bots are a great way to run employee surveys:
- Easy to set up: survey bots can help you design and run team surveys within minutes and then adjust the templates to your needs instead of creating surveys from scratch every time
- Can be scheduled: survey bots can run either on command or automatically with a predefined schedule if you need to get regular feedback on certain topics
- Run directly in Slack: it’s far easier to engage team members when you’re launching surveys within the environment that they already know.
Let’s cover four types of surveys that you can run with automatic survey bots and how each of them can boost your team’s performance.
Automatic Survey Bot #1: Anonymous Survey
Best for: getting honest, no holds-barred feedback from your team members.
Anonymous feedback allows team members to speak up their minds without being afraid of negative consequences, rejection, or retaliation.
In fact, Cornell National Survey demonstrated that 42% of employees withhold information when they have something to lose or nothing to gain.
Simply put, this type of feedback allows employees to be more open in their responses.
Anonymous feedback can be critical when you sense there are certain problems that affect employees motivation and productivity, and yet colleagues are not being open about them.
Why Are Anonymous Surveys Better?
Here’s why anonymous surveys are so powerful:
- They allow employees to openly speak about company problems. Issues such a low morale or ineffective leadership can affect a company’s long-term well-being, and yet incredibly hard to notice in the usual conversation.
- They help employees to focus on questions, not response. When employees answer anonymous questions they don’t think about “the right” response, they think about the honest response.
- Easies to stay objective. When there’s no name attached to the response, leaders perceive issues as equally important whether the answer came from a junior developer or a top manager.
How to Make Anonymous Online Surveys with Geekbot
If you want to create an anonymous survey directly within Slack, simply turn on Anonymous survey when creating a Custom Report in your Geekbot Dashboard.
From then on every response your employees provide for the survey will be anonymous.
Automatic Survey Bot #2: Team Feedback Survey
Best for: unearthing the most pressing issues that are affecting team members’ progress in the moment
This type of survey helps team members to improve their performance through constructive feedback, focusing on issues and roadblocks that affect their work more directly.
For example, a senior developer is waiting for DevOps team to restart the production server or customer support don’t have access to the new API documentation and can’t properly consult customers.
We’ve noticed that Team Feedback surveys foster a culture based on shared values, open communication, and a sense of connectedness.
The trick is to manually launch them in the moments when you feel your team needs open communication and collaboration the most: a new feature is released, a new employee comes on board, or some change to the company’s structure.
Simply select the “team Feedback” template from Geekbot Dashboards and the survey bot will automatically run the survey and gather feedback from your team.
Here are the questions that Team Feedback Survey will ask your colleagues:
- Describe the incident or behavior you want to give feedback about
- Name at least one person that this concerns [Using @mentions]
- How did this incident affect your work?
- What can be done differently in the future?
Automatic Survey Bot #3: Scheduled Surveys for Team Bonding
Best for: building deeper relationships between team members, raising team transparency, fostering team collaboration and trust.
Bringing team members together and forming high-trust culture is a challenging task, and even more so in a remote environment.
More importantly, it’s not a one-off project, and has to be done regularly.
But it’s well worth it: employees that work at high-trust companies report 50% higher productivity, 106% more energy at work and 76% more engagement.
The best strategy to facilitate team trust is to schedule regular surveys that encourage team members to share their opinion on a certain topic or answer non-work questions.
For that purpose we created a template called Pizza Toppings Survey.
The Pizza Toppings Survey is a fun way to boost trust within teams and strengthen team relationships.
Here’s an example of how it works:
Every Friday team members receive a random team building question at their Slack at 16:00 in their local timezone:
Hey @name, answer a simple question and help the team to get to know you better.
What is your favorite TED talk?
After that all the answers will be sent to a common team channel where every team member can learn more about their peers and open thread discussions with them directly in Slack!
Pizza Toppings Survey templates features 176 team bonding questions that will be randomly selected every time.
This way every week team members get the opportunity to know more about their teammates and increase team trust with every week.
Automatic Survey Bot #4: Custom Survey
Best for: unique needs of your company and team
Sometimes you need to design a custom survey for your team with your own questions and settings.
Here’s how you can build custom surveys with Geekbot:
- Set your own question
- Set the number of questions
- Set the survey schedule or trigger the survey manually
- Set whether the survey is anonymous
- Choose Slack broadcast channel
With these options you can create surveys that can achieve different goals: gather feedback on certain issues, increase team transparency, onboard new people, and so on.
Here are examples of custom surveys that you can make:
- Ask employees about their general experience with the company to learn how you can improve employee performance and engagement
- Create a weekly survey and ask team members who helped them the most this week the most to facilitate collaborative environment
- Create anonymous survey on the most stressful experience during the month to unearth bottlenecks in your management or corporate strategy
How To Make The Most Out Of Custom Employee Surveys
Lastly, here’s advice from HBR experts to make sure your survey are effective and engaging for your team members:
- Make sure employees can complete a survey in under several minutes. Your team members have a lot of things to do, so make sure your surveys are short to keep your colleagues engaged.
- Mix up questions to keep the feedback fresh and unique. Don’t ask people the same questions every time or they might simply start duplicating their answers from previous weeks or stop participating completely.
- Establish a schedule for your surveys. Every survey has a unique rhythm. Some surveys, such as pizza toppings surveys, are more efficient when conducted every week, while anonymous surveys about company issues should not force people to complain regularly.
- Don’t merge two disconnected topics in one survey. Keep your surveys focused around one topic, otherwise people can easily lose focus and interest.
- Occasionally change the wording of your questions for negative outcomes. Instead of asking questions that encourage only positive reply, e.g. “Do you think our company is successful?” rephrase one third of your questions to negatives to facilitate more honest feedback, e.g. “Would you agree our company is struggling?”
The Power Of Automated Employee Surveys
Employee surveys are a powerful tool in the toolkit of every modern leader, but automatic survey bots truly take surveys to the next level.
With automated surveys that run directly in your Slack, leaders can probe the state of teams of any size within minutes. Thus, they can structure the feedback once everyone provides their responses without spending hours on sending questions over emails.
When the feedback is easily structured, managers can instantly spot common patterns and dynamics in their teams. Therefore, making data-driven decisions on how to help their teams become more successful is a piece of cake.
Even more importantly, every survey potentially empowers the next one. That is because managers and team members can analyse employees responses over time and spot trends in how their team grows and solves the problems. With this kind of analysis managers can solve the company-wide problems in the future.
If you are ready to take your team performance to the next level, keep employee morale at an all-time high and empower your colleagues to do their best work; we encourage you to try Geekbot.
With Geekbot you’ll have a 360 vision of your team, run productive online meetings in minutes, not hours, and keep your employees happy and engaged even when they are distributed over several locations and time-zones.