Staff surveys are usually very helpful in establishing whether staff in your company are motivated and therefore performing to best effect. Aside from the information that questionnaires reveal, the process of involving and consulting with staff is hugely beneficial and motivational in its own right. Whilst your survey will be unique to your company, your staff issues, your industry and culture, some useful generic guidelines apply to most situations. Although not exhaustive, the following ten points may help you cover the relevant subject areas and help towards establishing facts rather than making assumptions about motivation when designing your own questionnaires on employee motivation.
1. What is the 'primary aim' of your company?
Your employees may be more motivated if they understand the primary aim of your business. Ask questions to establish how clear they are about your company's principles, priorities and mission.
2. What obstacles stop employees performing to best effect?
Questionnaires on employee motivation should include questions about what employees are tolerating in their work and home lives. The company can eliminate practices that zap motivation.
3. What really motivates your staff?
It is often assumed that all people are motivated by the same things. Actually we are motivated by a whole range of factors. Include questions to elicit what really motivates employees, including learning about their values. Are they motivated by financial rewards, status, praise and acknowledgment, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism, results...
4. Do employees feel empowered?
Do your employees feel they have job descriptions that give them some autonomy and allow them to find their own solutions or are they given a list of tasks to perform and simply told what to do?
5. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected motivation?
If your company has made redundancies, imposed a recruitment freeze or lost a number of key people this will have an effect on motivation. Collect information from employees about their fears, thoughts and concerns relating to these events. Even if they are unfounded, treat them with respect and honesty.
6. What are the patterns of motivation in your company?
Who is most motivated and why? What lessons can you learn from patches of high and low motivation in your company?
7. Are employee goals and company goals aligned?
First, the company needs to establish how it wants individuals to spend their time based on what is most valuable. Secondly this needs to be compared with how individuals actually spend their time. You may find employees are highly motivated but about the "wrong" priorities.
8. How do employees feel about the company?
Do they feel safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Or do they feel taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible? Ask them what would improve their loyalty and commitment.
9. How involved are employees in company development?
Do they feel listened to and heard? Are they consulted? And, if they are consulted, are their opinions taken seriously? Are there regular opportunities for them to give feedback?
10. Is the company's internal image consistent with its external one?
Your company may present itself to the world as the 'caring airline', 'the forward thinking technology company' or the 'family hotel chain'. Your employees would have been influenced, and their expectations set, to this image when they joined your company. If you do not mirror this image within your company in the way you treat employees you may notice motivation problems. Find out what the disparity is between the employees image of the company