5 Ways to Boost Survey Response Rate & Increase Employee Survey Participation

survey response rate increase survey participation

Your employee engagement survey is an investment of precious time, energy, and resources. Organizations shouldn't take employee survey initiatives lightly.

But sending out an employee survey isn't enough to capture the feedback you need. If employees don't respond to the survey, you won't get accurate and actionable data. And without good data, it will be difficult to improve employee engagement.


Free download: Complete Guide to Conducting an Employee Engagement Survey


In this blog we’ll discuss how to increase employee survey participation. We'll provide actionable steps for improving your employee survey response rates—so you can get the feedback and data you need to move forward with confidence.


What is a good response rate for a survey?

A good survey response is a positive indicator of survey success. Your survey response rate is the number of survey participants divided by the number of employees you sent the survey to. The higher the rate, the more people who responded to your survey.

You want your survey response rate to be high, but also realistic. The average survey response rate is:

  • 70-80% for larger organizations (more than 500 employees)
  • 80-90% for smaller organizations (less than 500 employees)

Response rates by company size

If you have a low response rate, it could be due many factors, like:

  • Communication
  • Technology
  • Confidentiality
  • Survey fatigue
  • Local business or team conditions


How to increase survey response rates

To increase your survey response, you need a combination of communication, technology, and trust. Here's how to get employees to take a survey.



1. Make a formal announcement.

An important first step in getting employees to take part in your survey is sharing your plans. If your employees don't know there is a survey—or why it's important—it's likely to get lost in the shuffle.

Keep your survey top of mind by announcing the survey, its purpose, and details about timing and confidentiality. Use a mix of survey communication channels to talk about the survey, including:

  • All-company meetings
  • Survey invitation emails
  • Reminder memos
  • Staff meetings
  • 1-on-1 meetings
  • Day-to-day work environment

Once the survey is open, remind employees to participate!


2. Communicate in the flow of work.

Communication is crucial at every stage of the survey process.

It's important to communicate with your employees in the flow of their everyday work. 

Employee survey administrators have historically relied on email for survey invitations and reminders. But as hybrid and remote work have increased, organizations are using new communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Your employee survey tools should seamlessly integrate with workplace communication tools. You want to communicate with employees where they are. It should be easy for employees to access your survey and for you to drive higher survey participation. Integrations notify employees when your survey opens and remind them to take part until they do so.

By integrating communication into the flow of work, your survey will be more accessible—and you will be more successful.


3. Leverage SMS and email survey invites.

It can be difficult to reach dispersed or deskless employees who are always on-the-go. But all employee voices are important and it’s key to capture them.

You must equip employees with flexible and accessible survey options. Seek out a survey platform that sends survey invitations and reminders to employee's mobile phones.

When you use Quantum Workplace for your employee surveys, you can:

  • Automate text message and email survey invitations
  • Send an individualized survey link to each employee
  • Make surveys easy for employee to access anywhere, anytime
  • Automate reminder texts and emails to drive participation

SMS and email survey messages help meet employees where they are and empower all employees to share their feedback.



4. Choose a specific time and place to take the survey.

Work gets busy and employees might have a hard time finding time to take your survey.

Rather than expecting them to find time, carve out dedicated time for the survey. Give employees adequate time to complete the survey—without cutting into their lunch time or personal hours. Encourage your managers to provide clear permission for employees to take the survey during this time.

If you build survey-taking time into the day and everyone feels empowered to participate, you're more likely to get responses.

For deskless workers or employees on-the-go, you can also provide them with a kiosk or a QR code to complete the survey. These solutions increase accessibility and can drive higher response rates.


5. Remind employees what's in it for them.

When people understand the why behind an initiative or request, they are more likely to get on board.

Be sure to tell employees what's in it for them. Highlight how much you value their feedback—and provide examples of how employee feedback has led to positive change in the past. Tie your message back to your mission and culture to get everyone behind it.

Let employees know that a high response rate is what's best for them. It means more voices will be heard, data will be more accurate, and results will be more meaningful.

Ultimately, you want your actions to be tailored to employee needs and concerns. A high survey response rate is a win-win for employees and the organization.


The Main Takeaway: Communicate and Act

Employee feedback is critical to improving employee engagement and driving business success. Elevate communication at every stage and at every level to get everyone on the same page. And be sure to follow through with meaningful action.

When you follow up and follow through, employees will trust that their voice matters. When you don't, employees will begin to view the survey as fruitless and may not take part in future surveys.



Ready to increase your employee survey participation? Partner with Quantum Workplace on your employee listening strategy to drive high response rates and improve your culture.

Improve your employee listening strategy with Quantum Workplace. Get a demo.

Published August 25, 2022 | Written By Natalie Wickham