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How to Avoid Program Fatigue in Employee Engagement

3 min read
After sending your employees a number of surveys they can get tired of taking them, thus reducing your response rates. Find out how to avoid having your employee engagement program become stale and fatigued with our tips and tricks.

The right kind of engagement program energises your employees. They feel heard, willing and able to contribute usefully, and believe they can make a difference within the organisation.

The wrong kind of engagement program quickly becomes tedious and seemingly pointless. Boredom sets in and employee response rates drop. So how can you avoid ‘program fatigue’?

The right kind of survey to avoid program fatigue is a regular part of your organisation’s annual cycle. It’s focused in its purpose. It asks questions that are not too easy, yet concise enough not to require hours of consideration. It delivers actionable responses and enables timely follow-up.

Build the Program Into Your Organisation’s Annual Cycle

A survey that suddenly appears at random is less impactful than one timed to coincide regularly with a particular event in the annual cycle. When it’s part of the annual cycle, employees expect the survey and have time throughout the year to think about it.

Don’t Include Too Many Surveys Within the Employee Engagement Survey

Nobody wants to sit down with an overly long questionnaire and fill in responses on – for example – risk assessment, diversity, and communication feedback. Keep the purpose of the survey simple to avoid diluting it.

Avoid Asking ‘Easy’ Questions

Questions that require no more than agreement frequently score 90% or more. While it’s great to give everyone a pat on the back, simply agreeing with statements offers little opportunity for insight or feedback, making the survey less productive.

Avoid Asking Questions Where the Response Is Non-Actionable, or the Organisation Has No Intention of Addressing It

If you cannot, or will not, deliver what is requested, don’t ask about it in the survey. This is at best pointless; at worst, it’s disempowering for your employees.

Avoid Including Too Many Open-Ended Items

You want your employees to give considered responses, but if they have to stop and think about every question, they’ll quickly get tired and bored. Include short response questions and no more than 4-5 open-ended items.

Ensure You Follow Up on the Survey As Soon As Possible

When employees feel that their responses disappear into an abyss, or, at best, receive feedback months later, they will disengage with the process and possibly forget what the survey was even about in the first place.

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