Your employees will complete a lot of surveys during the various stages of their lifecycle. The data gathered is essential for your KPIs and to drive improvement. However, you may see response rates to a program dropping over time, indicating that the workforce is getting bored, or too busy to bother with surveys.
The stages in the employee lifecycle where program fatigue is most likely to set in are the development and retention phases. This is when employees are established and into the operating rhythm. New, onboarding employees tend to engage more keenly, so regular onboarding surveys are likely to achieve good response rates. A well-planned exit process will also ensure that you get a good response rate to your exit survey. Here are some ways to avoid survey fatigue. Although these generally apply to an established workforce, the principles are worth bearing in mind across all the surveys in your employee lifecycle.
Have a clear purposeWhen your surveys have a clear purpose, aligned with your business goals, feedback can be used to drive action and make change. Say why you’re running the survey, and what you’ll do with its findings. And when those changes happen and decisions are made, explain the contribution of the survey feedback to the action taken. Employees will appreciate a tangible value to the surveys they take and that their opinions really do matter.
Include pulse surveys in business as usualFor your employees, taking surveys is more work, on top of their usual workload. There’s a risk your workforce will get survey burnout and be unable or unwilling to participate effectively in your feedback program. When you incorporate surveys into your organisation’s operating rhythm, they seem less disruptive or out of the ordinary. For example, if your firm works on a quarterly basis, align surveys with regular quarterly reviews and reports; employees will then expect a quarterly survey as routine and be more likely to engage.
Make frequent surveys shorterGenerally, the more frequent your surveys, the shorter they need to be.
Weekly – 3-5 questions max
Monthly – up to 10 questions
Quarterly – 10-15 questions
Biannually, or annually – up to 25 questions