The Best Time to Ask for Employee Feedback

by Dora Wang on May 4, 2015 11:00:00 AM

The Best Time to Ask for Employee FeedbackWhen you’re creating your employee engagement survey, one of the most important things you need to decide is when to send them out. You don’t want to do it too often and risk survey fatigue. On the other hand, if they’re not regular enough to keep track of the ups and downs of your workforce, you won’t get very useful information out of them.

We asked employees how often frequently they want supervisors to ask for feedback, and here’s what they told us.

A Matter of Time




Nearly two-thirds of employees want you to ask them about their workplace satisfaction on a biweekly basis (at least). Thats a very far cry from the once-a-year schedule most companies use for their employee surveys.

Their answer makes sense, though. After all, so many changes can happen over the course of a year that can have huge effects on employee engagement and happiness. Which means that if you’re waiting that long to ask, you’re missing out on a lot of vital feedback.

Frequent surveys aren’t just a benefit for employees — they’re a benefit for you.That’s why, when we asked supervisors how often they want to receive feedback from their workforce, their answer was nearly identical to the employees’.




You don’t want your employees to spend so much time on surveys that it turns into their second job, though. So how do you get feedback as often as employees and supervisors want without turning it into a burden?

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A Small Footprint Goes a Long Way

The secret is to use the right kind of survey.

  • Don’t think big: Forget the 50-page monsters of the once-a-year breed. A biweekly or weekly survey doesn’t need to try to cram in 12 months’ worth of information, so pick just one or two issues you want to address.
  • Make it snappy: Your questions should be easy for the employees to answer quickly. You don’t want to bombard them with complex questions that take a half hour of deliberation — they’ll just rush through it so they can get back to work. Pick important but specific questions that they can answer thoughtfully in just a few minutes.
  • Take it to go: A great way to make sure your survey doesn’t interrupt employees’ work day is to let them choose when to answer it. Put your survey question online so they can fit it in to their schedule. Even better if they can use a mobile device so they can just tap out an answer during lunch or while sitting in the carpool to work.

The great thing about using a short, fast, and easy survey is that it also helps you. You get employee feedback in manageable chunks rather than getting hit with an avalanche once a year. That means you’ll be much more nimble when responding to the information, so issues actually get taken care of when it matters — and isn’t that what good feedback is all about?



Free Guide to Pulsing Employee Surveys

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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