TSI Blog

A Corker Of A Response Rate

February 12th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

Working in partnership with a current client, a global research company, we have just closed their employee survey with an astounding 99% response rate! When you compare this to our current average response rate of 84%, we and the client are delighted that so many employees were comfortable and confident to take part in the survey and give their feedback.

So how has this been achieved?

Firstly, it’s important you have a well-designed questionnaire. Consideration should be given to the amount and types of questions asked and whether the survey should include the company’s branding. A survey that is too long will put your employees off completing it fully, if at all and one that is too short may not provide the information and feedback the organisation is seeking to obtain.

It’s crucial that the reasons for running the staff survey are communicated effectively across the organisation, preferably, using a three week window on the run up to the survey ‘live’ date. This will ensure that employees are prepared for the survey and ‘on board’ with it. Make sure you tell your staff what the organisation hopes to gain from the survey and what they will do the results.

Support from senior members of the organisation are also key, so as part of the communication process, messages from these members direct to the staff i.e. via e-mail, also play a vital part in ensuring the survey gets completed by as many employees as possible, and emphasis must be placed on keeping the identity of individuals confidential.

Briefing middle managers is also imperative.  This is an often overlooked group and also plays a vital role in encouraging participation.  You want your managers to speak positively about the survey, not block it!

Sending key messages both before the survey starts and whilst it is running have proved to be effective in encouraging those members who haven’t already done so, to complete the survey.

So what does a high response rate mean?

A high response rate will undoubtedly give your organisation a clearer picture of how the workforce are actually feeling, it provides validity to the results and adds confidence in the survey and the findings. This is because the answers to the questionnaire are more likely to be honest, open and true as staff are assured that their views will be taken seriously, will be acted upon and kept confidential.

As a result, any action that the organisation needs to take can be planned for in a more effective way.

If you would like information or advice on running an employee survey, then contact us on +44 (0) 1255 850051.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager 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. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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