An employee engagement survey is only as good as the data it collects. To have an accurate picture of what employees think, you must collect data from as many of them as possible to achieve a high employee engagement survey response rate. But how do you ensure that 1) everyone knows that you are launching an employee engagement survey, and 2) that they will think that it is important enough to take it?
1) Know your audience. There are two groups of people that should be targeted with the message that an employee engagement survey is coming – your employees, and your employees’ managers. Obviously, you should be telling your employees that there is a survey and the importance of their responses. You should also target employee’s managers – their knowledge and support around an engagement survey can make or break your survey.
2) All employees benefit from participation. An employee engagement survey is the only way that many organizations understand where change needs to happen, and a method that ensures employees confidentiality and anonymity when addressing issues or challenges. Employees should hear loud and clear that their opinions matter, and that this survey is one way that every employee’s voice (from clerk to CEO) will be heard.
3) Be very clear on how to take the survey. Pre-survey communications should let employees know how they should take the survey. Will it be emailed to them, or will a link be available on the company’s intranet or learning management system? Also make sure to answer questions such as ‘how long will it take?’, ‘are my responses anonymous?’, ‘Can I take it during work hours?’ and ‘how will the results be used?’. Transparency will instill more trust in the process, meaning that more employees will be willing to participate.
4) Communicate your timeline. Pre-survey communications should let employees know of the timeline, from survey launch and close, to results dissemination and planning for future goals. Employees will know when to take the survey, as well as when they will see results, are more likely to see it as a worthwhile use of their time.
5) Act on the results. No one is going to be interested in any additional survey or similar effort if management does not act on the survey results. Make sure you have a plan in place BEFORE you distribute the survey on when the results will be communicated and how the results will be used to create change within the organization.