The right kind of engagement programme energises your employees. They feel listened to, 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, focused in its purpose, asking questions that are not too easy, yet concise enough not to require hours of consideration, with actionable responses and a timely follow-up.
Build the program into your organisation’s annual cycle
A survey that suddenly appears at random packs less punch than one timed to coincide regularly with a particular event in 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 overlong 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 lack impact.
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, 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 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.