Although remote work has picked up in recent years with nearly 20% of employees working from home a few days or even every day of the week, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has completely changed the game. Now, just about any employee that can work from home is being required to work from home to help stop the spread of the virus.
Many employees who have shifted to online-only work still regularly communicate with their co-workers through instant messaging and video conferencing calls. However, gaining employee feedback may be pushed to the side as leadership focuses on cutting costs and other measures that can help keep their business afloat while navigating these uncharted waters.
During this coronavirus crisis, employees have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. They may also need reassurance that their jobs are secure, or blunt honesty if jobs are not secure and they need to begin thinking of a Plan B. Much of this can be communicated quickly through surveys. While there are many different types of survey methods, in the age of coronavirus, a simple online survey and follow-up is your best bet.
Employee Feedback Surveys and COVID-19
In the not-so-distant past, employee feedback surveys, also known as employee engagement surveys, often revolved around job satisfaction, the performance of co-workers and superiors, and areas for improvement. While those questions can still be asked, they may need some slight adjustments in our new reality of social distancing. Of course, the pandemic brings up a whole host of other questions that you may want to ask on a survey as well.
The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently provided a list of answers to the most common coronavirus questions employees and employers have. You may be able to use this list to draft some survey questions.
We’ve also put together some feedback example questions to help get you started crafting a coronavirus-related survey. Please note that most of these would need a follow-up multiple choice question to make the survey more valuable.
- Are you satisfied with the company’s response to the coronavirus crisis?
- Do you feel you have the necessary support and resources you need to effectively work from home during the coronavirus crisis?
- Are your co-workers generally available when you need them on communication channels during business hours?
- Are you happy working for home, at least temporarily, until COVID-19 is eradicated?
- Do you still think employee evaluations are appropriate during these unusual times? Should we still conduct employee reviews?
Why Employee Feedback is Important During the Coronavirus
In a matter of months, our world has completely changed. We don’t know when things will get back to normal—or just how close to normal they’ll get back to. This has left a lot of employees concerned about their health, finances, and careers. By sending out an employee feedback online survey, you’ll accomplish the following:
- Increase communication with leadership. When working remotely, some employees tend to only speak with co-workers with minimal frequency. A survey from the leadership team increases communication between different levels of the ladder.
- Show empathy and understanding. Most of us are accustomed to hiding our fears, especially at work. But today, the concerns of everyone are heightened. By encouraging sharing feedback, you can let employees know you’re aware of how they’re feeling and show them you care.
- Provide information and advice. Employees may not be aware of some of the employee health benefits that they can use during these trying times (such as telemedicine if they’re feeling ill, or free counseling if they just need to unload). Following the survey, you can provide this information in an attachment.
What to Do with the Results of Your COVID-19 Employee Feedback Survey
Following any confidential employee engagement survey, including those related to the coronavirus pandemic, employers should:
- Interpret the Results. Kudos on any positive feedback you get (keep it up)! However, what you really want to focus on are the lowest-scoring questions, as this is where your company could improve the most. You may also want to divide the data into smaller groups, such as teams or departments, and ask yourself, “why does Team A feel supported working remotely, yet Team B feels support is lacking?”
- Communicate the Results. Results should be shared with employees, otherwise, they won’t believe you’re taking the survey seriously and won’t engage in future ones. Be sure to thank them for participating, highlight some of the positive feedback, and let them know what the next steps will be based upon some of the lower-scoring questions.
- Implement Decisions. Taking action can feel overwhelming depending on the size of the task, and it can be even more difficult when you’re adjusting to remote work due to the coronavirus. However, at least try to make small adjustments so that you can let employees know their voices were heard; you can also mention, that when the dust settles, bigger improvements may be coming.
Create Your Next Employee Feedback Survey with SurveyLegend!
Anxious to hear how your employees feel about their new remote work during this unprecedented time in your company, and the world’s history? Create an employee feedback survey with SurveyLegend (and view a template here).
Our pre-designed surveys are easy to create and easy on the eyes, and they’re responsive so they’ll adjust to your employees’ smaller, at-home screens or even their smartphones. Get started with SurveyLegend for free today.