Most organizations use surveys and other tools to assess the company’s position. The results are mostly used for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis to gauge the organization’s overall health. In this case, it may be biased towards employee productivity, employee engagement, and motivation levels.
These surveys are, sometimes, treated with suspicion since employees fear victimization. Some keep off due to lack of implementation in previous surveys, and others frown upon tedious surveys. Below we explore some strategies that companies can use to encourage employee participation in these surveys.
Communicate the Survey Objectives and Value
Employees need to know what the survey is all about. Most workers treat such with suspicion and, in most cases, a threat to their livelihood. Going with past experience, some may wonder whether the company is downsizing and other outcomes that may not be favorable. The person in charge of the survey should be in a position to clarify any questions with ease to increase employee survey response rates. Read here to know more ways of increasing employee survey response rates.
The Survey Should Be Short
Long surveys lead to abandonment. Employees may also go through the questions without giving a thought just to complete it and be done with it. This means a completed survey with very little valuable information to extract.
No one wants to spend over an hour filling pages of information unless they are being remunerated for it. Short surveys are not intimidating to the respondents, and this also ensures minimal interruption to their work, especially if they have tight deadlines to be met. One of the tricks is to communicate the average amount of time the survey will take. The shorter the time, the easier it will be for employees to participate and have increased survey response rates.
Increase Employee Survey Response Rates by Ensuring the Surveys are Simple
Complicated questions that look biased, technical, or need clarification may discourage employees from taking a survey. Some may skip such questions, and this affects the overall outcome. If the survey is too long, vaguely worded, or too tedious, it will likely be ineffective.
If possible, let the questions be a simple scale or multiple choice questions with no need for explanations. Having many open-ended questions also means some explaining, and at this point, the aspect of privacy may be lost depending on what needs to be explained
Assure Privacy and Confidentiality Through Anonymous Responses
One of the most effective ways to increase employee survey response rates is through anonymous responses. Employees value their privacy and would not want to be victimized in case it’s found out they gave certain information. With assured privacy, they also give honest responses since no one can tell who gave what information. Confidentiality can be achieved by minimizing easily identifiable information such as age, designation, department, gender, and tenure, among others. If possible, use methods that cannot be tracked.
The Survey Should Be Easy to Access
If possible, use a platform that employees are familiar with. Do not ask them to visit a different platform; create a new account and log in to access the survey. This leads to lethargy since it looks like too much work. There are many software and websites where people get redirected for surveys; however, this arrangement leads to low response rates unless it’s a paid survey.
Communicate Prior Survey Results Implementation
Employees want to feel that the responses to the surveys are used for the betterment of their welfare and the organization at large. If you take surveys year in and out without any significant change, you may have a difficult time convincing them to participate. If you happen to make any changes as a result of former survey results, communicate. If surveys are associated with positive changes, employees will look forward to participation. This is the best way to demonstrate that the organization takes their feedback and input seriously. They also look at engagement in such surveys as a chance to improve the workplace.
Share Survey Results
Before the survey, you may outline how long it will take to analyze the results. After analysis, share the findings and, if possible, what the organization intends to do with the results. You may also give them another chance to give further feedback on what they think should be implemented. It’s also important to thank them for their feedback and participation a few days after the survey. The engagement post-survey will determine the response and participation in the next one, and that’s why you should ensure your employees always feel that their voice is heard.
Ensure Managers Participate In the Survey
Employees easily pick cues from managers, and if they are not interested, workers may also lack enthusiasm. Managers should remind employees of the importance of their participation and follow up on the same. Involve employees in the discussions surrounding the survey and also send reminders through email and other company platforms. Allow them to ask questions to arrest any inhibitions that may hinder their participation.
If there is less than 50 percent response to your employee surveys, there’s a need to make some changes to ensure more engagement. The above highlights some of the key areas that you can improve on to ensure maximum participation and increase employee survey response rates.