How Often Should You Survey Employees?

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If you’re an HR professional, you know how important it is to survey your employees.

However, we know that there are lots of fears that tend to come along with surveying your employees too often:

  • “What if we’re unable to act on the feedback?”
  • “What if we’re surveying too often? We’re afraid of survey fatigue.”
  • “Our employees already have a lot on their plates. I don’t want to overburden them with one more task of completing a survey.”

These are all valid concerns, but they can hold you back from gathering invaluable insights.

Rest assured, your fears around surveying “too often” can be addressed with some careful planning and follow-through:

What to think about when planning a survey cadence

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating a surveying cadence. However, we can offer some food for thought based on our findings in working with thousands of organizations every year.

Before launching an employee survey, it’s worth asking yourself:

  • What is my goal for launching a survey?
  • If I send out a survey, does my team have the bandwidth to act on the results?

Here are some example survey objectives:

  • I want feedback on how to better support my employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • My employees are returning to the office soon and I want their feedback on how to make this transition as smooth as possible
  • I’ve never surveyed before and need to gather baseline data so I know how we should focus our strategic planning moving forward.

If your leadership teams don’t currently have the space to act on the survey results, you should hold off on surveying until they’re able to do so.

For example, maybe your organization has busy seasons which would make it tough for leaders to act on feedback if you were to roll out a survey during those times.

If now isn’t the right time of the year for your organization to survey, figure out when would be a better time and commit to it. Don’t keep putting it off.

Most companies survey at least once a year

90% of our customers survey their employees once a year. There are myriad reasons why.

Consider how often your workforce makeup and demographic changes – certainly more than once per year. Then add on the events employees have had to deal with since March:

  • Dealing with anxiety and stress over the pandemic
  • An abrupt transition to remote work
  • Protests after George Floyd’s death are new calls for racial justice and equality.

The rapid pace of change makes capturing your employees’ experience at least once per year essential to understanding and responding to your organization’s ever-changing needs.

Checking in with your employees 1:1 is obviously necessary as well. However, not everyone feels comfortable sharing feedback in person, and surveys provide an avenue for employees to do so openly, honestly, and confidentially.

Besides, it’s easier to get buy-in for new initiatives when you have data to back your suggestions.

Advanced listening calls for pulse surveys

Many organizations with advanced listening strategies take advantage of survey data by using more frequent surveys. There are many different cadences, but the most popular are twice yearly, quarterly, monthly, or even weekly (like Workday’s Feedback Friday survey.)

Once you’ve gotten used to working through your survey feedback once per year and communicating the results out to your employees, start thinking about surveying more often.

However, it’s not a good idea to survey just for the sake of surveying. It’s important to analyze the results and use them to inform your next survey.

First, look at the results from your first annual survey and identify your main growth opportunities. Then, think about launching a pulse survey around one or two specific growth opportunities once you’ve done some work with your feedback.

For instance, maybe your survey results show that your tenured employees are having a less positive experience than your new hires. Think about following up with a pulse survey geared specifically towards asking your new-hires some follow-up questions about their training and onboarding experience.

We also recommend facilitating a listening session with your newest employees to better understand why they’re having a less positive experience.

Here at Great Place to Work®, we take our own Trust Index™ survey once a year and run pulse surveys on an as-need basis:

  • Our leadership team rolled out a pulse survey in March to better understand how to support our employees during the pandemic.
  • We hired about 10 new employees towards the end of 2019, so our leadership team decided to run a pulse survey to gauge how their onboarding experience has been.

How often is too often? How to avoid survey fatigue

Survey fatigue only occurs when it becomes clear to employees that leadership doesn’t take their feedback into consideration.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid this feeling:

  • Express genuine gratitude for your employees’ participation and feedback
  • Facilitate listening sessions to gain more context into your survey results
  • Summarize leaderships’ key takeaways and commitments to action
  • Take action as promised
  • Clearly communicate results from new initiatives and programs created as a result of the survey.

Whether you survey once, twice, or 20+ times a year, if you develop a careful listening strategy built on employee surveys, you’ll gain insight that helps you make more data-driven business decisions, support your people and take impactful strategic action.

Ready to start your pulse survey strategy?

Contact us to learn more about our Trust Index survey and how we can help you create survey cadence for your organization.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees