Friday, April 24, 2009

5 Common Questions - How do I get a higher response rate?

From Walker Information's Blog on Employee Engagement

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 by Chris Woolard

I am often asked how can I get a higher response rate or if the company has never done an employee survey before, they want to ensure they get a good response rate. Below are some tips to ensure a good response rate:

  • Have a Senior Leadership sponsor. Having a Senior Leader stand up and say the employee survey is important to them and they fully support it, shows the commitment the company has to the survey. This Senior Leader should have their name on the communications and where possible, talk about the survey in employee meetings. The employees will be more likely to believe the company will act on the survey results, and thus more likely to complete the survey if a Senior Leader takes ownership of the program.
  • Open communication and dialogue on how to complete the survey and what will happen to the results. My last blog discussed the types of communication that need to happen to make an employee survey successful. -Act on the information. The worst the thing a company can do is conduct a survey and not act on the results. Employees will be more likely to complete future surveys if they see you took the time to make changes in the company based on the feedback from the survey. I will be writing a blog next week on how to act on the information.
  • Ensure confidentiality. Employees will be less likely to complete a survey if they fear their responses will not be kept confidential. Hiring an outside third-party will help with the perception that results will be kept confidential. What will help the most though is showing that you will not use the results of the survey against an employee. This will help create trust and employees will be more comfortable completing the survey. It is not uncommon to have a small group of employees who complain about confidentiality but if you are open and honest about how confidentiality is ensured, how the results will be used, and do not single out an employee for their responses, the majority of employees will feel comfortable giving their honest and open feedback. My next blog will cover, how to know what areas to work on.