15 Proven Tips to Improve Survey Response Rates to Over 80%

Graph showing Improve Survey Response Rates

Smart Companies Improve Improve Survey Response Rates
Because employee surveys are only effective when employees respond, smart leaders do what it takes to improve survey response rates. Moreover, you need a high enough Engagement Survey Response Rate in order to collect aggregate, accurate, and actionable data.

What is a Good Survey Response Rate?
Our clients who want to improve survey response rates typically aim for a 95% confidence level of +/- 3%.

It Takes Effort to Improve Survey Response Rates
But getting a high employee engagement survey response rate isn’t always easy—whether your employees are intimidated by the process, don’t believe their individual voices matter, or they’re just plain busy. But that doesn’t mean employers can just sit idly by and hope for the best on their quest for attracting, engaging, developing and retaining top talent.

Fifteen Research-Backed Tips to Improve Survey Response Rates
If you are worried about high survey response rates, you need to do something about it. But what?  By following these research-backed tips our clients have an average employee survey response rate of 84.5 percent.

  1. Create a Survey Team: Put together a cross-functional “Survey Team” made up from a variety of departments and levels. To create survey advocates, have them give input on survey design, survey questions, the survey communication process.
  2. Make It Part of the Routine: If the survey is recurring, survey the same time every year so the survey becomes routine for employees, and they expect it.
  3. Protect Confidentiality: Communicate the importance of confidentiality and stand behind it at all costs.  It is surprising how many leaders want to hunt down individuals for their negative feedback.
  4. Share a Survey FAQ: Distribute an FAQ document to all employees. Download a sample Employee Engagement FAQ sheet here.
  5. Have The CEO Announce It: Send an announcement from CEO before survey launches.
  6. Hold Manager Webinars: Hold frequent manager webinars to provide them with a road map of the process, get their feedback and ask for their assistance.
  7. Hold an All Hands Meeting: Hold a company-wide meeting for all employees to better understand the purpose, the expected outcomes, the rational behind the survey, confidentiality, survey process, and what you will be doing after the survey. Allow for Q&A time.
  8. Be Transparent: Share response rate (and response rate goal) with all regional/division leaders, team leaders, and employees during the survey through intranet or emails. Give your leaders online, real-time access to their team’s response rate.
  9. Set Up Survey Completion Meetings: Encourage managers to have their teams schedule 15 minutes on their calendar to complete the survey.  A simple and very effective approach to increase survey response rates.
  10. Make it Fun: Hold a friendly competition between divisions/departments or reward the departments who reach 100 percent response rate by a certain date.
  11. Focus On the Benefits: Explain what you will do with the data once the survey is complete and how it will help to better attract, developengage, and retain top talent.
  12. Be Grateful: Be appreciative and thank employees for taking the survey after the survey closes.
  13. Be Action Oriented: Hold action-planning sessions with employees.
  14. Create Accountability: Use the survey results as a KPI and make the metrics visible to all employees to increase exposure and accountability.
  15. Get Aligned: Throughout the year, link new company initiatives directly to the survey feedback.

The Bottom Line
High survey response rates are essential to collecting accurate and actionable employee feedback. Ensure you use a confidential survey platform and real-time response rate report to help increase employee participation on your next survey.

To learn more about increasing employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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