TSI Blog

Employee Surveys – obtaining high response rates

March 25th, 2011 by Jaime Johnson

We are often asked what are the methods we use to achieve ‘buy in’ from employees to an employee survey that ensures response rates are high.

Today, we closed a survey for one of our clients – they were delighted with the response rate to say the least. Together, we worked to achieve a 97% response rate (it should be pointed out that the organisation has both office and field based employees).  The point here is that we worked alongside our client, we can offer our advice and expertise as to what works in terms of survey communication but, in our experience, those clients that take ownership of the survey, its outcomes and the communication achieve the highest response rates.

We thought we would share three tips with you, that you might find useful:

  1. A clear message – employees must know and understand why the survey is happening, when and how it will happen and what will happen with their feedback (make a point of committing to publishing the results – ideally name a date!);
  2. Senior Support – ideally those messages should come from the Chief Executive/ Managing Director, it should be both a personal and organisational commitment to the survey, it’s findings and outcomes – by obtaining support from the highest level, employees can see the survey is being taken seriously and their views and opinions are genuinely sought and valued;
  3. Survey champions – these are designated employees (not managers) within the organisations that are ‘go to’ people for anyone with any questions relating to the survey – they are openly supporting and advocating the survey.  During the survey live period champions actively encourage their colleagues to take part and complete the survey.

There are many other ways of achieving high response rates and we would be happy to share these for those that are interested.

We’ve looked at our response rates over the past 12 months for our employee surveys – on average, together with our clients, we achieve a response rate of 84% – we think that is pretty good!

For more information, send us your details via our contact form.

Written by Jaime Johnson
Jaime Johnson is the founder of The Survey Initiative. With an MSc in Applied Social Research coupled with nearly ten years employee research expertise. She originally worked within the Ministry of Defence, then moved to a dedicated psychology based consultancy, before founding The Survey Initiative. Jaime has worked with countless national and international clients meeting and exceeding their employee research needs. Clients have included Kent Police, Boehringer Ingelheim, GAME, THUS and Red Funnel Ferries. Jaime loves a good coffee! Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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