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Employee EngagementMarch 23, 2022

How to increase employee engagement survey participation

Man at desk

Some HR teams struggle to motivate employees to take part in surveys, which leads to low participation rates. Luckily, there are ways to improve the response rates and increase engagement.

This article will look closer at 5 things that can help you increase participation in employee surveys.

5 steps to improve employee survey participation

  1. Use pulse intelligent pulse surveys

  2. Send regular pulse surveys rather than one yearly survey

  3. Add open-ended questions to your employee surveys

  4. Take action on the survey results

  5. Integrate your employee surveys with calendars and communication apps

Use pulse intelligent pulse surveys

There are different generations of employee surveys on the market, and which tool you choose will significantly affect survey participation. With old-school surveys sent out yearly, or old-style pulse surveys repeating the same questions every time, the participation rate is often lower. It also tends to decrease over time. 

Why is that? Well, with yearly surveys, the sheer size and scope of the surveys often mean people simply don't complete the survey. It's too time-consuming. And with repetitive pulse surveys, there is the dreaded "survey fatigue" that often sets in after a few rounds.

At Eletive, we recognise these challenges and have built a more modern solution that maximizes employee engagement survey participation. Eletive surveys are driven by advanced survey intelligence, powered by machine learning and adaptive algorithms. This means that employees don't receive the same survey questions every time. Instead, they receive the most relevant ones, based on their answers in the previous survey. This approach comes with numerous benefits, and one of them is that it creates a better employee experience and prevents survey fatigue.

Send regular pulse surveys rather than one yearly survey

By sending out regular surveys, you give your employees more than one chance per year to participate. Exactly how often you should send surveys depends on several factors, and with Eletive, you can choose the frequency that works for your organization. You can also let different parts of the organization get the surveys at different frequencies.

And contrary to what many believe, sending out surveys often and regularly does not decrease participation. Instead, it often increases it! One reason for this is that if you send out the survey, for example, bi-weekly, it will contain fewer questions. If you use the standard Eletive question battery, sending the employee survey bi-weekly means it contains only four questions each time. That only takes a minute to answer. And when people realize this, most companies start seeing a really good response rate.

Add open-ended questions to your employee surveys

Adding open-ended questions to your surveys allows respondents to share their feedback in a more open format. This means it's possible to address issues that are not covered by the questionnaire. Open-ended questions not only increases the participation but also improves the quality of the survey results.

If your organization is large, managing all the data from open-ended questions may seem challenging. But with Eletive, AI will help you process the answers automatically. This is a great way to find out about issues that may otherwise have gone unnoticed for a longer period, leading to more significant problems. Finding out early is the key to a proactive approach, and open-ended questions are an excellent tool for this.

Take action on the survey results

It's important to remember that gathering employee feedback is not the end in itself. What's important is to also turn the insights from the employee survey responses into tangible action. When employees notice that they can help drive positive change by participating in the employee surveys, this improves the survey response rate. And, of course, the opposite is equally true. If employees notice that nothing happens as a result of the feedback they give, they will eventually be less prone to participate in surveys.

The best way to take action is often to include employees in the action planning. This creates a sense of ownership and accountability and sends the message that everyone is responsible for the outcome together.

The Eletive platform makes it easy to connect the survey results to actions and turn them into a to-do list. This also means it's easy to track if the actions being taken are affecting the survey results so that managers and teams can iterate and be agile.

Integrate your employee survey tool with calendars and communication apps

One very simple way to increase employee survey participation is to make it as convenient and straightforward as possible for employees to respond to the survey. By integrating your survey tool with the calendars and communication apps you use, your employees will get reminded to answer the survey inside the apps where they spend most of their time. So, for example, they'll get a reminder on slack with a link to the survey, and then all it takes is a click to open it and a few more clicks to answer it. No interruption, no need to log in or out of systems, which makes a big difference.

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