Employees are essential to the success of any church. Surveys can provide a means of gathering the information needed to bless and keep employees motivated. Church staff surveys, when done well, can be a valuable tool to engage employees and provide understanding of how employees perceive their job, their leaders, their co-workers and the church as a whole.
Other benefits may include employees feeling their voices are heard, demonstrating concern for employee issues, determining what is working and what is not and improvement in morale and the work culture.
Designing and implementing effective church staff surveys begins with the following five steps.
Five Steps To Successful Church Staff Surveys
1. Identify the Survey’s Purpose
For a survey to be successful, it is important that it serves a specific purpose. Poorly designed surveys will return poor results and can even be detrimental.
Identify the reason you are conducting the staff survey. What is prompting the survey? What do you want to know? What areas and concerns need addressing? Where is there needed improvement and change? By identifying what you want to know, it will be easier to design the appropriate survey.
2. Design the Survey
The questions you ask make all the difference in the quality of responses. Church Staff surveys may include a variety of question types such as forced ranking, scale ratings and open and closed questions. Consider running a pre-test with a small group of employees. Ask for their feedback on the types of questions, question clarity and survey length.
3. Determine How to Deliver the Survey
Who will take the survey, only Ministerial Staff or also Support Staff and maybe even volunteers? What will be the mode of the survey, paper-based, email or online? When will the survey be taken and over what period of time? Who will manage the survey and compile and share the results, Senior Leadership, the Personnel Committee, Elders, a third party?
4. Communicate the Process
You can boost buy-in and the quality of responses by being clear on why you are taking the survey. Explain the purpose, why you are asking these questions, what actions might be taken based on the information gathered along with instructions and deadlines for completion. Be sure and stress the confidentiality of the responses, specifically who will see the responses and how the results will be shared.
5. Present the Results and Follow Up Action Steps
A vitally important step in the survey process is presenting the results to the survey participants. Determine how you will present the results. Will it be specific responses to each questions, an aggregate of responses, or a list only of recurring themes? Who will present the results and will you provide copies or by power point?
Most surveys identify a need for change or an opportunity that should be addressed. Don’t be tempted to defend the responses, justify why things are the way they are or put a spin on the results of the survey.
It is important to now develop initiatives based on the information gathered. If you involve the participants in determining the action steps and provide them with regular progress reports you will build trust and greater participation in future surveys.
Next week’s post will provide sample questions to consider when designing your own staff survey.
Posted on October 6, 2015