How to avoid employee survey fatigue
Employee survey fatigue is one of the biggest concerns for any organisation that is currently running employee surveys, or thinking about starting them. It is when employees – for a variety of reasons – become less likely to answer surveys which then impacts the response rate of your survey. Survey fatigue can also affect the accuracy of the survey results. If less employees are participating in your surveys, your survey reports and the changes you are creating based on them will not have the impact you’re hoping for because they don’t represent the majority of your employees.
What if you spend all that time and money introducing new employee survey software that isn’t used, or stops being used after a few months? These are valid concerns. And, whilst survey fatigue is something anyone running employee surveys should be conscious of, there are many things we, at Stribe, have learned that will help you avoid employee survey fatigue and boost response rates.
What are employee pulse surveys?
Employee pulse surveys are short, quick surveys that are sent to employees regularly – this could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or quarterly. They are shorter than annual employee surveys. Annual employee surveys are usually around 50 – 100 questions long whereas pulse surveys are around 1 – 10 questions long.
Pulse surveys are great for organisations that want to take an employee-led approach to their employee engagement strategy. They can be used to explore topics such as pay and rewards, mental health, financial wellbeing, and training and development. The insights from the surveys can then be used to understand how your organisation is performing in these areas and make changes where needed.
What are the benefits of using employee surveys?
- Increased profitability
Teams that have high employee engagement have higher profitability than those that don’t. This is because employees who are engaged are more creative, productive, and more likely to achieve their targets.
- Reduced absenteeism and long-term sick
Happier and more engaged employees are less likely to take sick leave. Work-related stress and lack of employee engagement can often account for employee absences. Using employee surveys can help organisations understand and address these issues which ultimately improves employee engagement.
- Stronger employee brand
When employees are committed and happy at work it creates an improved employee experience for everyone. In the long run, this means an improvement in your employee brand and the way potential employees view your workplace.
- Reduced turnover and improved retention
When employees enjoy their work and are engaged with the organisation they are less likely to leave. The higher your employee engagement, the lower your staff turnover will be. This has a direct impact on your organisation’s productivity and profitability.
What is employee survey fatigue?
Employee survey fatigue is when employees become tired, bored, unmotivated, or uninterested in answering the employee surveys you send them. This can result in them not answering your surveys at all, or even answering them to a substandard level e.g. clicking on the same answer for every question just to get through the survey.
Why does employee survey fatigue happen?
Employee survey fatigue is usually a combination of factors, rather than one big thing. That is why it can often feel difficult to overcome! Some of the things that contribute to employee survey fatigue are:
Survey communications are ineffective
Pre- and post-survey communications are an important – and often underrated – tool in preventing employee survey fatigue. Skipping this step can mean that employees aren’t engaged or motivated to answer your surveys.
Employees don’t believe action will be taken
Employees want to feel valued, and when action isn’t taken then they’re made to feel that you don’t value their feedback and are less likely to respond to the next survey.
Too many surveys are sent
Employees invest their time and energy into every survey they complete. But, like everything, doing something too often can become exhausting. This is no different for your employees! Sending too many surveys will mean employees are less likely to answer them and overwhelm you with too much data!
Simple tricks to avoid employee survey fatigue
There are many tools available to you if you’re running a survey and want to avoid survey fatigue and improve your employee survey response rates. Many of them are simple to add into your day-to-day too!
Communicate surveys properly before sending
Pre-survey communications are crucial in framing the pulse survey for employees. What is the survey for? When is the participation deadline? When will they hear the results? Answering these questions in pre-survey communications before launching your pulse survey will enhance the response rates and ensure you reduce the chance of employee survey fatigue in the long run.
Pick a survey schedule that suits your organisation
Take time to understand the best day/time to send your employee surveys. Use this knowledge to shape your pulse survey schedule, doing this will ensure that you always send your surveys when employees are most receptive to them. To find out more about how often to send pulse surveys read our blog here.
Ask the right questions
Asking the right questions will ensure buy-in from your employees and maintain a high engagement in your surveys. This comes down to two points. Firstly, make sure that the questions produce data you can act on. If this isn’t the case, you may see survey fatigue creep in as employees notice a lack of change from your surveys. Secondly, make sure the questions are relevant to the employees you are sending the surveys to. For example, avoid sending a question to your hybrid workforce about working from home when some of your employees are in the office full-time. Using software such as Stribe, that helps you send questions to specific segments of your employees, helps you avoid this.
Communicate results and actions after each survey
One of the biggest frustrations for employees is that they take the time to give feedback, and then feel like their comments are ignored because they don’t hear anything after the survey closes. By making sure your post-survey communications are up to scratch you will build a collaborative and trusting environment where employees will continue to fully participate in surveys. If you aren’t sure that you have the resource to communicate and/or act after a survey closes, then reconsider your pulse survey schedule to make sure you can include this step.
Include everyone in your communications strategy
Another common mistake is to only communicate survey results to managers (and then assume they will cascade the information accurately to their teams). Take the time to ensure that your full organisation – from senior management to front-line staff – have been communicated with will help you avoid survey fatigue.
Avoid disingenuous surveys
Survey fatigue can also occur when employees can see through your survey questions and don’t believe that their input will actually affect an outcome. 45% of employees do not feel that their survey responses will lead to meaningful change. To avoid this, plan your questions well and never ask questions on topics that you (and they!) know are ‘off the cards’.
Work with Stribe to avoid employee pulse survey fatigue
Interested in hearing how we can help you avoid survey fatigue and maintain engagement? Stribe’s technology has a number of features to aid communication and action planning, helping you to avoid survey fatigue. Book a call with the team to find out more today: stribehq.com/book-a-call