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Ever been disappointed when employees have missed out questions on a survey, or not completed it in a way you would have liked? Nancy Weir, senior consultant at customer experience consultancy Customer Plus, gives her insights on maximising the quality of survey responses.


As a research consultant I have surveyed well over 100,000 people on all manner of opinions and preferences – from their attitudes to furniture placement to their reasoning behind their favourite insurance ad.

Gaining good responses can be difficult with some topics, yet the quality of your insight is dependent on them.

And employee surveys are no different. There are a number of methods for conducting employee surveys, each coming with its pros and cons depending on the type of organisation, the number of employees or the objectives of the survey.


Getting a good response rate for your employee survey


Ensuring a good overall response rate is a well versed subject; however, something else worth considering is how to ensure respondents fill out the whole survey, without skipping sections or stopping part way through.


Read my top 10 tips from the front line to ensure you gain a good 'question response' rate when conducting employee surveys


  1. Survey length
    Ensure your survey is concise while covering the questions that will help you achieve your research objectives. Survey fatigue is a classic issue faced by researchers; however, it's also worth considering 'rater fatigue' where employees may tire and switch off from answering each question genuinely or answering the question at all.
     
  2. Make it possible
    Allocate employees time for survey completion and, if possible, communicate to them that they can take this time during working hours. This will reduce the chances that respondents rush through the survey and miss out questions.

  3. Frequency
    As mentioned earlier, survey fatigue is an issue resulting from over-surveying and can have an adverse effect on question response rates as well as overall response rates. Over-surveying will almost certainly drive respondents to skip answers and rush to the questionnaire finish line. Try to survey at least twice annually.

  4. Method
    Using an online method can increase the question response rate. Most online survey tools allow you to set 'must answer' rules to questions to prevent incomplete surveys being submitted. However, this will only be possible if your employees have access to a computer or other internet-enabled device.

  5. Question choice
    Make sure each question is focused on helping to meet your employee engagement survey objectives. Don’t be tempted to include ‘nice to have’ questions that don’t directly provide data to help you meet these objectives.

  6. Objectivity
    Ensure your questions are objective and relatively easy for employees to answer. Employees are more likely to skip over a question if they do not understand what it is asking or if it appears to require a lot of mental effort to provide a response.

  7. Open-ended questions
    Don't ask too many open-ended questions which can cause respondent fatigue and result in these questions being skipped over. Use open-ended questions sparingly.

  8. Incentives
    Depending on your organisation's policies, offering an incentive, such as a charity donation per complete survey, is an effective way of ensuring employees respond and fill out the survey fully and correctly.

  9. A promise of action
    Employees are more likely to fill out your survey properly and answer all questions if they believe their feedback will be acted upon. Make a promise you can act on and communicate how it has helped.

  10. Anonymity
    Employees should be reassured that confidentiality will be strictly maintained according to Market Research Society Guidelines. This will increase the chances that employees feel comfortable in answering all questions and answer them honestly.

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/MTIgUF

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