TSI Blog

Employee survey communication

May 13th, 2011 by Jaime Johnson

We are about to start work with a client taking up the mantle for their employee survey from a previous supplier.

As part of our planning meeting we discussed pre-survey communication, as it will play a pivotal role in ensuring that we can maximise response rates.

We spent quite sometime talking through the work the client had undertaken as a result of the previous survey – in fact we were impressed to say the least.  They had taken two organisational wide issues (connected with their values and how they communicate) and organised for improvements to be made in a number of ways.  In addition, they were supporting local managers in making changes at local and departmental levels.  They had also been monitoring, anecdotally, to see if the work they were undertaking was having a positive effect and, generally, feedback was good.

All in all, they had taken onboard the feedback from their people, taken action to instill positive change – so, no problems so far.

However, we did hit a snag when we asked the client if they had ensured that employees knew and understood that all this work was a result of their feedback.  It turns out that no link had been made – the changes weren’t communicated in that way.  For all intense and purposes, employees could well take the view that nothing has happened as a result of their feedback!

It is not an uncommon mistake to make and can easily be rectified before the next survey – however, we always advise that any work you undertake as a result of feedback from a survey is clearly communicated to staff – ‘you said, we did’ – clear and simple.

Some top tips:

  1. If you undertake action and make changes to your organisation, either at organisational and/or local level – ensure that your managers and employees know it’s as a result of their feedback.
  2. As part of your pre-survey communication for the next survey – a large part of that communication should be about what happened as a direct result of the previous survey.
  3. Thank your employees for their feedback and that you’ll be taking action again as a result of the follow up survey.

Our client has dedicated a portion of their pre-survey communication to doing just this.  We cannot stress enough how important communication is to the ongoing success of employee surveys.

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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