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Increase Employee Survey Participation: 16 Tips for Success

/ 10.18.13

Your employee engagement survey rocks. But without employee16 tips to increase employee survey participation participation, it's worthless.
 
It doesn't matter if you have the flexibility to use both research-proven and customizable survey items. Or advanced reporting that allows you to slice’n’dice data. Your employee survey might be the whole package, flawlessly designed to measure and improve engagement across your entire organization.

 
But none of that matters if your employees don't participate.

 

Make sure your employee survey gets the participation it deserves. Keep reading for 16 tips on how to increase participation on your next employee engagement survey.

 

1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

And then communicate some more. Effective communication in the form of all-company meetings, invitation emails, and reminder memos can help you inform employees of the assessment process, gain buy-in, and increase survey participation. Overwhelmed by the idea of developing a strategic communication plan? Leverage pre-made templates to make your job easier.

 

2. Market the Employee Survey

Talk about the upcoming employee survey in multiple formats, and get creative with your campaign. Gain attention with posters, table tents, newsletters, intranet postings, and even your email signature.

 

3. Get Leadership On Board

Before you can expect employees to participate in your engagement survey, your leadership team needs to be on board with the initiative. Leadership plays an influential role when it comes to an organization's employee survey participation rate. According to the Forbes article, "3 Things All Humans Crave--And How to Motivate Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere," leadership has a strong impact on three factors that foster employee trust: safety, belonging, and mattering. To increase participation, leadership needs to communicate that the employee survey is 1) safe and anonymous, 2) inclusive of all employees within the organization, and 3) a platform that allows employees' valued opinions to be heard.

 

4. Make it Fun

Implement creative survey themes to make participating fun for your employees. LAMMICO, an Employee Voice Award winner measures a 90% response rate by using clever invites. For example, taping a couple pennies to the invite and asking for employees' "2 cents." Or passing out TicTacs and thanking every employee for their "commit-mint."

 

5. Keep it Simple

Make employee survey information easy to understand and the survey easy to take. Keep it short and to the point, use clear and concise language, and create an obvious call to action.

 

6. Explain the Benefit

The financial benefits of conducting an employee survey might be obvious to you and your leaders, but how does it benefit employees? If they complete the survey will it improve their work experience, impact the type of recognition they receive, or allow them to influence the direction of the company? Make sure your employees know what they’re going to get out of it, and they’ll be more likely to participate.

 

7. Ensure Confidentiality

Being able to ensure 100% confidentiality is critical to building trust in an employee survey. Give employees the freedom and security to submit honest opinions, without having to worry about potential consequences. Partnering with an external vendor can help you make your employees feel safe.

 

8. Hold Managers Accountable

When leaders are held responsible for their team’s completion rates, they are more likely to encourage employee participation. In turn, when employees know their supervisor wants them to participate and values their opinion, they are more likely to take the time to complete the survey.

 

9. Appeal to “Herd Behavior”

When most of your employees take action, the rest are likely to follow. According to Forbe's contributor Christine Comaford, employees crave belonging. Appeal to this behavior by targeting influential employees to get them on board with the survey initiative, and the rest of your employees will likely follow suit.

 

10. Cite Past Examples

If your organization has participated in an employee engagement survey in the past, relay the positive outcomes that came from it to motivate employees to participate again. For example, did you implement a new recognition initiative due to last year’s category scores or refurbish office furniture as a result of employee comments?

 

11. Make Promises

And keep them. Tell your employees what you plan to do with this year’s survey results and act on your word. Communicate your follow-through to increase credibility and future employee participation rates.

 

12. Set a Goal

Create an attainable goal to motivate teams to complete the employee survey. If your organization meets its overall participation goal, host an ice cream social or pizza party. Make it challenging, yet reasonable.
 

13. Track Your Progress

Monitor your employee response rate in real-time to stay on track with your participation goal. If you partner with an external vendor, you can receive daily updates on your survey completion rate. Leverage it to track daily progress and help you achieve overall participation goals.

 

14. Get Competitive

Competition is an intrinsic and powerful motivator that might give employees the extra push they need. Encourage departments or locations to engage in friendly competition for the highest participation rate. Treat the winners to lunch.

 

15. Make it a Team Effort

Not thrilled about the idea of pinning departments or locations against each other just to increase employee survey participation? Stay together as an entire team and work to beat others in your industry.

 

16. Make Time For Them

Make completing an engagement survey a no-brainer for your employees. Set aside 15 minutes for them to complete the survey during the workday.

 

Want employee survey communication tips, best practices, and templates? Download our free strategic communication plan below!

 

Free ebook and templates! How to Increase Employee Participation with a Strategic Communication Plan

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Photo by: priyanathan [priyanathan.imageteachers.com]

 

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