Why Employees Aren’t Completing Your Engagement Surveys
The employee engagement survey is as much an art as it is a science.
Regardless of how often you run the program, it involves attention to detail in the design and flow of your survey questionnaire. This is often backed up by a robust internal communications campaign ensuring teams are aware of the activity, how to complete it, and why it’s important.
It’s a comprehensive process requiring great input from your HR team, which is why it can be frustrating when response rates fail to meet expectations. However, with the right how-to advice and partners businesses can simplify the entire process, unlock deeper insights, and lift response rates.
To help you better understand the experiences your employees want and expect, Qualtrics has highlighted the fundamental best practices for creating surveys that help you breakthrough. Effective survey design and flow gives power to your research. But great survey questions are the foundation for great research.
- Keep your survey simple
Think about how you feel when completing lengthy surveys. Things get boring very quickly.
If you’re bored, your employees are going to be feeling the same way. While there is no ideal length of your survey, the key is to find a balance between asking enough questions to be robust, and not asking so many questions your people switch off. As a general rule, assuming you’re running an annual engagement diagnostic we advise limiting your survey to around 40 questions.
When a survey is too long, three bad things can happen:
- Respondents drop out: A high drop-out rate can influence the quality of your results.
- People stop paying attention: If it takes too long to take your survey people are more likely to quit the process and return to their work. We actually see this a lot, and encourage researchers to use attention filters.
- Employees get angry: The irony of upsetting employees with an overly long engagement survey is not lost on your respondents.
The best way to collect quality employee experience data is to keep your surveys short, simple, and well organised.
- Use scale questions
Rather than asking respondents a basic yes or no question, use question scales that measure both the direction and the intensity of opinions. This is critical for research because someone who “Strongly Supports” a decision is very different from someone who only “Slightly Supports” it.
Scales extend the power of analysis from basic percentages to high-level analyses based on means and variance estimates. With scales you will get more information from each question.
- Keep coded values consistent
Every survey response, option, question, or answer is coded as a numeric value that is reported as a percent of responses or as a mean, median, range, etc. These values are the basis for analysis.
Values must be coded consistently. Generally, we assign the highest value to the best outcome (ie “Strongly Agree” that customer service is responsive) and then move down from there.
When it comes to the vidual layout of the survey, for simplicity keep your scale direction consistent throughout. This makes it easier for respondents to answer and for you to analyse. Additionally, avoid displaying your questions in blocks as this can reinforce rate acquiesce.
- Explain why respondents should participate
Respondents are more likely to take your survey if they see something of positive value for them.
Value offerings can range from a very general altruistic appeal for their help to a very specific offer of an economic incentive. For example, with employee evaluations you can explain that feedback will be used to determine awards, promotions, and pay raises and will help management make organisational decisions that will affect them.
To unlock impactful insights from your workfroce, download your free copy of the Essential Guide to Employee Experience Surveys. This guide contains expert guidance, sample questions, and 8 survey templates to take your employee experience to the next level.
Qualtrics is the technology platform that organisations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organisations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee and brand—on one platform. Over 10,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands.
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