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Employee Surveys

An employee survey is used to collect specific information about employee workforce health promotion (WHP) needs and interests. WHP planners may consider the following when designing employee surveys:

  • Employee health needs information may be already available through other sources, such as HRAs or medical claims data, so your employee survey may not need to address these type of questions.
  • This is an opportunity to learn what health topics are on employees' minds and their perception of what should be included in your WHP program.
  • This is an opportunity to get employee feedback on WHP topics that management believes are important for company strategy, such as policy changes or new medical cost containment features.

Tailor your survey to meet your needs. If you have access to aggregate data from a high-participation HRA, don't ask questions about health behaviors and risks in your employee survey. Likewise, if health risk appraisal information is absent or limited, design your survey to collect risk-related information.

Plan the employee survey early. Before collecting data from employees, obtain guidance from appropriate agency experts to help determine what approvals may be needed. For example, federal agencies are subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations and OMB approval may be needed. Similarly, if your assessment is part of a research project, check with the appropriate institutional review board (IRB) to determine if IRB approval is needed. Each agency or company should work with its own internal and legal staff to develop appropriate guidelines and procedures for conducting an employee survey.

Resources for conducting employee surveys include the following:

Healthy Workforce 2010 [PDF-854k]
An example of an employee survey is available in this publication from Partnership for Prevention.

Needs and Interests Survey
Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) provides an example of an employee needs and interests survey.

Healthy Days Survey Questions
WHP program planners might consider including "healthy days" questions on their employee survey tool, as a measure of self-reported physical and mental health.

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