Creating a survey communication plan that gets more responses
Are you ready to launch your survey?
Imagine this scenario: After weeks or even months of preparation, your employee survey is finally ready. You click the send button on your introduction email and then...crickets.
It sounds like a nightmare scenario. But all too often, employees just don’t respond the way we’d hope.
For most organizations, the average employee survey participation rate is just 30% to 40%. And that’s a serious problem.
Lower response rates often lead to less reliable results. You won’t be able to gain as much insight from your results, making it that much more difficult to create a strong response strategy.
What does it take to get a good survey response rate?
So how do you ensure you get the response rate you need?
There are a lot of factors that play into whether your employees respond to your survey.
The key to a successful survey is part design and part communication.
Before you introduce your employees to surveys, make sure it’s easy for your employees to take and will get you the data you need.
- Determining the goal of your survey and what you want to measure
- Setting the right frequency
- Asking the right questions
- Using a survey tool that makes survey taking easy and provides in-depth insights
Creating an employee survey communications plan
Once you’ve done the legwork and all systems are go, it’s time to create a survey communications plan to engage your employees and promote your survey. How well you are able to communicate your survey will determine how successful it will be.
As you create your communications plan, make sure you identify:
- Who you need engage,
- When you need to engage with them, and
- How you will engage with them (what channels you will use).
From pre-survey to post-survey and everything in between, you’ll need to get buy in from your managers and employees alike. Your employees crave transparency.
They also need to know what’s in it for them. Make sure your communication plan shows them exactly that.
Rallying your management team to champion your survey
As you developed your employee survey, you likely had involvement from your leadership team. Now time to get buy in from your management team. They will be the ones who can share initial concerns their employees may have and report back any additional feedback they receive.
You’ll need leaders on your side who can champion change. They need to be able to effectively communicate the why with employees and get employees interested. When your leaders are excited about your survey, your employees will be too.
Communicating the benefits to your employees upfront
When you introduce your survey to your employees, highlight how your survey will benefit them. This will increase the likeness that they will participate and give you honest responses.
Surveys provide employees a safe place to voice their concerns
Openly sharing concerns can be difficult for employees. Research has shown that more than 75% of survey respondents want to remain anonymous, for example. Using surveys allows them to share more than they normally would without fear of reprisal.
Your survey gives them the opportunity to provide honest, unfiltered feedback. If your survey responses remain anonymous, make sure your employees know it.
Employee feedback brings the real issues to light
Many times, employees and leadership aren’t always on the same page when it comes to identifying challenges. For example, TINYpulse found that while 71% of managers feel they are very transparent, only 48% of their employees share that sentiment.
Surveys bring workplace problems and challenges to the forefront. By listening to your employees, you can better prioritize and select key improvement areas to target.
Employees can take part in the decision-making process
Many employees feel left out of decision-making processes. When surveys are properly managed, they have the chance to say what’s on their mind. This feedback can lead to engaging dialogue and noticeable workplace improvements.
The key is having a strong feedback loop. Be transparent with your timeline for reviewing and sharing results. Involve your employees in post-survey discussions and let them ask questions.
When your employees feel they are heard, they will be more invested in the outcomes and develop more trust in your leadership team.
9 innovative ways to socialize the concept of an employee survey
To get your employees excited about taking your survey, you want to build awareness and anticipation.
Here are nine innovative ways to socialize the concept of employee surveys in your workplace during each phase of your survey communications plan.
Pre-survey employee communications
1. Send a survey introduction email
Before your email goes live, send an introduction email to familiarize your employees with the survey platform you will be using, why you are conducting the survey, and how it benefits them.
Let your employees know what to expect when you go live, who to contact with questions, and share any relevant resources with them.
At [insert company name], we strongly believe our employees responsible for building and shaping the culture of our organization, not just management. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to do just that.
Starting on [insert date], we will be using TINYpulse, a cloud-based employee engagement platform.
TINYpulse will allow us to keep a pulse on our culture and how happy, frustrated, or burnt out employees are. Through TINYpulse, you will be asked one or more employee engagement questions periodically, and your responses are completely anonymous.
You’ll also have the opportunity to recognize your peers by using Cheers for Peers, and at any time you can leave an anonymous suggestion for leadership on how we can improve our culture or create a better work environment. Try to remember to be professional and provide solutions-based ideas.
Please watch this quick video provided by TINYpulse, so you know what to expect. We encourage everyone to participate so we can continue to build a great culture together.
What to expect when we go live?
Look for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll receive all communications from this address.
When the survey goes live, you will receive an email like the one below from TINYpulse. Click the link at the bottom of the email to:
What can I do with TINYpulse?
There are 3 main ways you can use TINYpulse:
1. Survey question(s): Periodically, we will send survey questions for you to answer. These should take less than 3 minutes to answer.
2. Cheers for Peers: Want to recognize a coworker for their hard work? You can use TINYpulse to digitally show your appreciation.
3. Suggestions: Use the suggestion box to anonymously share your feedback with us.
How do I access TINYpulse?
There are numerous ways to access TINYpulse. Choose the one that’s most convenient for you:
Reach out if you have any questions! Looking forward to hearing from everyone! More follow-up and details to come!
2. Record a video to humanize your employee survey
Videos are a great way to connect with your employees and make an emotional appeal. Research shows the average person spends 100 minutes watching videos every day. It’s also the preferred way for many people to receive information.
A short introduction video by a trusted leader helps you engage your employees and increase their awareness. This is especially important with a larger than ever remote workforce.
3. Hang posters in your lunchroom and common areas
Similar to a billboard advertisement, posters physically posted around your workplace work to capture your employees’ attention and “make the ask”.
To ensure your posters are effective as possible, keep the design simple. Don’t include too many details.
Instead, include just enough to get your key points across. For some posters, this includes the:
- Survey name
- Brief description of the survey and how it benefits your employees
- Opening date
- Where they can go to learn more
You can also use a simpler poster to promote your survey. For this, you just need a great graphic and strong call to action.
Below are different TINYpulse survey poster examples.
Employee survey poster sample #1
Employee survey poster sample #2
Employee survey poster sample #3
Employee survey poster sample #4
4. Start a company culture committee
Rather than taking a top-down approach to introducing surveys, you can give your employees the opportunity to take ownership of the process.
Culture committees are typically made up of employee volunteers from throughout an organization. They come together to monitor culture health, analyze feedback from their peers, and join in the decision-making process.
Implementing a culture committee can help you create a shared sense of responsibility. Your employees will be more confident that the concerns they share will be addressed because they are being reviewed by their peers. This, in turn, will increase your participation rates.
5. Highlight your survey in an intranet or newsletter article
Does your internal communications strategy include intranet articles or employee newsletters? If so, you can easily leverage these to promote your survey.
And don’t stop at one, either. Use your articles to keep employees up-to-date throughout the process. After your initial introduction article, you can follow up with a launch article and include a call to action.
When you are ready to share your results, close the feedback loop with a final article providing in-depth results and your action plan.
Survey launch communications
6. Make survey taking as easy as possible
Change is often met with resistance. Whether you’re introducing an employee engagement survey or pulse surveys, your employees may not be comfortable with the new technology.
Try to make it as easy as possible for them to take it. Integrating with platforms your employees are already using gives them a sense of familiarity.
TINYpulse integrates with both Slack and Microsoft Teams so your employees can answer your survey questions without ever visiting the website.
7. Hold an employee survey launch party
Launch parties are a fun way to motivate your employees to take your survey. While an in-person option may not be likely in times of social distancing, you can take the party online.
Create a theme for your launch party and host a live webinar for your staff to attend. You can have different leaders briefly share why the survey is important to them and even hold competitions and giveaways.
8. Have a team to serve as ambassadors when your survey launches
When someone we know and respects recommends something, we are much more likely to trust it. Social proof is a technique used often in marketing and you can apply a similar tactic to increase your survey participation.
Look for a small group of 5 to 10 influential employees from different areas of your organization and ask them to take a pilot survey.
After the survey, get their feedback about their experience and if they’d be willing to provide a short testimonial. You can then use this in your intranet articles and even video promotions.
When you launch your survey, have your team ready to check in with their peers periodically to see if they’ve taken the survey yet.
Post-survey employee communications
9. Send a follow-up email to your employees
After your survey ends, you can send your employees an email highlighting the initial data you received. This could include the total number of responses as well as the responses for each department or team.
Make sure to acknowledge your employees for taking the survey and congratulate the teams with the highest responses.
Are you ready to launch your employee survey?
A strong communications plan can make the difference between a successful survey and a flop.
From pre-launch to follow up, engage your employees during each phase of your survey process and keep the focus on them.
With your employees’ help, you can develop a strategic action to make lasting workplace improvements. Here’s to creating the best workplace you can!
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