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A spotlight on: Survey frequency

If sending out a survey to your employees becomes an arduous process, or when mentioned is met with groans of “not another one,” it may be time to revisit the frequency of which you’re sending surveys out to your people and assess why this is their reaction.

It’s important to maintain energy throughout your employee engagement campaign on whatever schedule you run on. However, this can arguably be more of a challenge the more frequently you run surveys with ‘survey fatigue’ becoming apparent in response rates and dropout rates.

A WorkBuzz research report, the State of Employee Engagement 2021, revealed a significant upward trend in the number of organisations that favour quarterly surveys compared to in previous years.

The report states:

‘Running regular pulse surveys helps to track employee sentiment, but from our experience, running weekly surveys, unless during a period of heightened change, often leads to low response rates. HR and business leaders simply to not have enough time to digest and act on feedback for employees to see any change and managers are often overwhelmed by ever changing dashboards.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why running pulse surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis works well for most organisations, especially if your workforce is connected digitally.’

As a rule of thumb, the pace of gathering feedback from your employees should match your appetite and pace of change at your organisation. There should be enough of a gap between surveys to ensure that you’re able to acknowledge the results, set objectives for how the results will be used, and the opportunity for these objectives to mapped into actions.

One of the biggest mistakes organisations make with employee listening is asking for feedback from their people and then doing nothing with the results and what they’ve learned. This not only frustrates employees (because they don’t feel listened to), but often results in them being less willing to contribute to future surveys as they start to see them as more of a tick box exercise. On the other hand, if a company quickly and effectively responds to survey feedback, this can lead to improved talent retention and performance and an improved culture.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employee listening, but at WorkBuzz we are seeing a great shift in employers moving from annual surveys to more frequent pulse surveys. While it is important that organisations give themselves enough time to act on feedback, they are also starting to see that feedback given once a year can quickly become outdated. The way an employee feels about its employer and role can change dramatically in much less than a year.

What are you and your organisations views on employee survey frequency?

We’d love to hear your opinion on survey frequency and on other core topics linked to employee engagement in this year’s State of Employee Engagement survey.

Written by Lilith Nagorski, Bespoke Project Lead at WorkBuzz

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