Employee engagement is a priority for many organizations. Hence, many organizations have increased the frequency of engagement surveys to check-in with their employees.
However, survey fatigue can be a common issue for organizations. Survey fatigue broadly describes response rates dropping off over time. There are several reasons for survey fatigue.
Common reasons for engagement survey fatigue
1) Survey frequency and length
These are obvious reasons for engagement survey fatigue. Continually asking your employees to engage with you via a survey or having engagement surveys that take significant time to complete can reduce the willingness of the employee to answer. It is important that organizations consider the purpose of the survey, determine the type of survey, and the survey questions (open text vs. scale).
2) Question fatigue
This occurs when the same question is asked in different ways. This can appear in poorly designed surveys, and it frustrates participants.
Understanding the best practices of engagement surveys can help decrease survey dropouts and incompletions.
3) Lack of action
This reason may be overlooked by your employees, but this fatigue occurs when employees are simply tired of talking without being heard. Companies that implement employee engagement surveys and do nothing with the data is a problem.
Do employee responses disappear into the ether and never addressed again? Can employees see the results of their answers to better understand how the organization as a whole thinks? Do organizations take action on the responses and/or feedback from the surveys?
In one poll, 58% of companies reported that they do not take meaningful action on the data from their employee engagement surveys. And guess what? Employees notice this!
One report by Leadership IQ found that only 6% of people say that good suggestions or valid complaints from employees lead to important changes. If organizations ask employees to expend time and energy into answering questions and then proceed to dismiss responses, it is not surprising that survey response rates will decrease over time. Lack of action can also lead to a ‘trust problem’, which can subsequently lead to loss of workforce productivity and increased turnover.
Employers need to be transparent about results
Employees don’t want responses to disappear into the ether. Companies shouldn’t wait too long to discuss the results. Sharing results quickly tells employees that their feedback is valued and prioritized, which is essential to drive employees to provide honest, thoughtful engagement survey responses again in the future.
Employers need to take timely action from engagement survey results
When too much time exists between the rollout of your engagement survey, a discussion of results, and action to be taken from the collected feedback, your employee surveys may lose their purpose as the results may no longer reflect employee’s opinions. Moreover, employees will be less likely to spend time on endeavors they deem as not worth it.
On a side note, taking action on employee feedback significantly improves employer brand. An employee is 18 times more likely to recommend it as a great employer if they believe their organization responds to good suggestions or valid complaints. In other words, if organizations don’t take their employees’ feedback seriously, their employer brand can be hurt.
Engagement survey fatigue is real. Thoughtful survey design, carefully crafted engagement questions, and taking action from employees’ feedback is vital to achieve high engagement in employee surveys. When organizations are dedicated to acting on feedback, employee engagement and performance improves, which subsequently promotes successful business outcomes.
Looking for a partner to help you design, launch, and come up with action plans with employee engagement survey data? Check out our employee survey feature.