Beyond Annual Surveys
The Problem with Annual Surveys | Overcoming Survey Fatigue
Problems with annual surveys
Annual employee surveys are notorious for having incredibly low response rates, averaging around 50%. Plus, with the way most companies operate, it takes months simply to generate reports and analyze the data. “Core committees” are formed to go over the analysis, pin it down to the top actionable areas, and then make presentations to senior management on the changes to be implemented across the organization, which takes another few months. By the time this is all said and done, it’s time to start planning for the next year’s survey.
When we were conceptualising the HappiAtWork Analytics platform, two of the key critical factors we took into consideration was firstly, how fast can we get the data to the leaders. And secondly, how can we make the user interface as simple, intuitive & visually appealing as possible. On our Talent Magnet platform, the data updates in real time, and we’ve done our best to make it as easy to understand as possible.
Annual engagement surveys are at the core of every HR department, but this needs to change. Is once a year not way too long of a timeframe to get any really accurate data? As leaders, we need to be collecting feedback from our employees way more often. We want our employees to be engaged, so why not measure and improve engagement on an ongoing basis ? Should we not be using shorter employee pulse surveys instead.
Overcoming survey fatigue
So what about the so called “Survey Fatigue” – A common heard concern? Employees will get tired of taking too many surveys. However, it’s worth digging into why this fatigue occurs. A good survey will take less than 5 minutes. So how is this causing fatigue? The number one cause of Survey Fatigue? The survey isn’t acted on. Giving feedback isn’t just a time commitment, it’s an intellectual and emotional one. If you give feedback and it’s not seen to be acted upon, it’s not that you’ve wasted 10 minutes – it’s that you’ve been ignored.
Survey and then get feedback to your employees as soon as possible. Identify the engagement drivers and pulse frequently. The days of waiting months to process survey results is over. When you survey more often you’re looking at the trend and the change over time. What’s happened in the last few months? Not only is this easier to process, it’s easier to action and it’s more timely. The actions taken are more relevant to the organization and the employees. The regular cycles create a tight bond in the employees’ mind – They’ve given feedback and they’ve seen action on the back of it.
The power is back in your hands. People are now much more willing and energised in their contributions when they know it’ll have an impact.