Boost your employee survey response rates

Are your employee listening surveys landing with thud in your workforce? Here are a few ways you can increase participation rates so that you gather the most accurate, insightful feedback for each culture survey or employee engagement survey.

1. Create some survey buzz

The race for high response rates should start even before the survey goes live. Create excitement around the employee survey and communicate any goals and expectations. If you are using a third party service (like CultureIQ), notify everyone of the partnership so they know what to expect.

As with all company culture efforts, buy-in needs to happen on all level. An employee engagement survey is a great opportunity for top leadership to express that they value employee feedback. And for leadership to reinforce that this survey is more than just for listening – that the organization intends to act on that feedback.

2. Avoid survey fatigue

Survey fatigue is real, and the biggest culprit is a long survey. Not only will employees be less likely to complete a lengthy survey, but their responses could also diminish in quality as they move through the questions. CultureIQ designs even our longest surveys to take only about 10 minutes to complete, and that’s important – as response rates can drop off after 15 minutes.

Do employees (and yourself) a favor by limiting the length of the survey. If you are having a hard time narrowing down the amount of questions, it might be best to break them up into multiple surveys to space out over time.

3. Remove the barriers

Are employees having a hard time getting to a computer to take the survey? Or maybe some employees don’t feel comfortable taking the survey in English. Take some time to understand the potential roadblocks at hand and account for them.

For example, CultureIQ surveys are accessible on mobile and tablet devices to reach the employees who don’t sit by a computer all day. Our surveys can also be administered in additional languages.

4. Keep it anonymous

Anonymity is one of the biggest concerns for employees when it comes to internal surveys. To collect meaningful feedback, participants must feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions without fear of retribution.

This is where a third party administrator is particularly helpful. This extra layer of assurance can go a long way to reinforce anonymity and increase survey response rates.

5. Send reminders

A survey email can easily get lost in a congested inbox over time. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly nudge to bring it back to everyone’s attention.

CultureIQ sends regular reminders to those who have not completed their survey. Even with these reminders, it can be helpful to internally reinforce the goals and importance of the survey to employees.

6. Take action afterwards

Would you respond to a survey if you felt it was futile? Most people wouldn’t. Avoid the feeling that feedback is ending up in black hole by following up after every survey and developing an action plan based on results. Over time, this process will create a strong culture of employee feedback.


Read CultureIQ’s guide on 17 best practices for surveys to enhance your employee listening programs.