TSI Blog

A 25% point increase in employee survey response rates

July 6th, 2011 by Gary Cattermole

As mentioned in an earlier blog we recently started working with a client who had previously been using a different survey provider for their employee survey.

One of the aims of partnering with The Survey Initiative was to increase the number of responses to the survey.  Previously response rates had been low (mid 40’s) and therefore left the client with data that wasn’t entirely representative of the organisation.

What has been interesting when working with this client is that they do take on board feedback from their employees.  They have taken action at both organsiational and local level following the feedback from previous surveys.  However, they were the first to admit that they hadn’t communicated the link between the employee survey and positive action.  So, their employees perceived that little had been done with their survey feedback!

We have just closed this years survey and both our client and we are delighted to have achieved a 69% response rateThis represents a significant 25% increase on their previous response rate and is the highest they have ever achieved.

What’s more – feedback from the open questions and also, more pertinently the question ‘Has action been taken as a result of the previous survey?’ indicates that employees now see the link between their feedback in the employee survey and action.

So, how did we achieve this?

Well, it’s not as complicated as you might think.  In fact, it’s not even subtle!  We advocate the simple premise of communicating ‘You said – we did.’  We worked closely with our client in the run-up to this year’s survey helping them to devise a simple communication strategy.  We used a six-week window – the first three weeks focused solely on what action had been taken from the previous survey and the positive changes made as a direct result of the employees’ feedback.  The final three weeks introduced the forthcoming survey – we developed a brand identity, utilised posters, postcards and online media to promote this year’s survey.

It has had a very positive impact on response rates.  The aim next year is simple – 80% plus and there should be no reason why this isn’t achievable.

To find out more about how we can work with you to maximise your employee survey response rates, simply get in touch.

Written by Gary Cattermole
Gary Cattermole is a Director at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Gary has extensive expertise and experience in a range of employee research techniques from employees surveys and 360 degree feedback to workshop facilitation and action planning sessions, working with a diverse range of clients such as EPSON, Telegraph Media Group, Natural History Museum, AVEVA and Accor. Gary is an avid sports fan, in particular table tennis and football. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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