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Is your employee survey broken? 6 fixes for meaningful engagement

Shivangi Gautam

16 January 2024

In this article:

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πŸ”Š Big shoutout to Saloni Goyal, our rockstar Senior People Scientist and the genius behind this incredible research.



There you are, hitting 'send' on your latest year-end employee survey, filled with a mix of hope and hesitation. Will this be the time you finally crack the code of employee engagement?

At inFeedo, we've helped 275+ CHROs navigate this challenge and discovered strategies that turn employee surveys from mere formalities into genuine change.

So brace yourselves as we find out if the key to high response rates lies in the questions YOU might not be asking yourself. To make your action planning process fun, we have also included a handy checklist. πŸ‘‡

1. Is your feedback loop a bridge or a pier? 

Think about the last time you gave feedback that sparked real change. That's the gold standard we're aiming for. Show your team that their input doesn't just end up in a report, but it sparks real change.

Amber research suggests that not closing the feedback loop can lead to a negative ripple effect internally, leading to an uptick in employees with attrition intent.

Quick self-check:
  1. Did I share the last survey results with my employees?
  2. Are we implementing 1:1 and 1:many action plans survey insights?
  3. Have we reached out to employees with negative or no feedback?
  4. What % of my top performers get acknowledgment emails for their feedback (positive & negative)?

2. Transparency: a core value or a buzzword?

Let's talk about the 'why' behind your employee surveys. Are your employees clear on why their feedback matters and how it's safeguarded? It's like giving them a backstage pass to the survey process – the more they see and understand, the more they'll engage. πŸ™‚

For instance, Amber research suggests that employees who give feedback consistently are often the ones who experienced the big first launch experience of the survey/listening tool.

Quick self-check:
  1. When did we last emphasize the importance of our employee feedback tools?
  2. Do we introduce our listening tools as part of the new joiner onboarding process?
  3. What % of employees feel that with the current feedback mechanism, they’re being heard?

3. Are leaders walking the talk?

Leadership endorsement is not just about sending emails urging participation. Are your leaders merely encouraging employee surveys, or are they actively participating and endorsing, and championing employee engagement? Their involvement (or lack thereof) is a powerful message to the rest of the organization.
Quick self-check:
  1. Do leaders in my organization own any EX outcomes as their KPIs?
  2. Do leaders regularly monitor and discuss the resolution time of employee grievances, with their HRBP leads?
  3. Do leaders regularly discuss department results and improvement areas with their employees?
  4. Is there an SOP to raise an alarm for these leaders when their top performers are continuously disengaged?

4. Are your employee surveys timed for impact or convenience?

Aligning surveys with key organizational moments ensures they're relevant and top-of-mind. This strategic timing can be the difference between a survey that's an afterthought and one that's a focal point.

Quick self-check:
  1. Do we have a high drop-off rate in the surveys?
  2. Are employees expressing concerns about survey fatigue, or feeling overwhelmed by the frequency of HR surveys?

5. Are you speaking their language? Literally.

Diversity in communication channels is not just a nice-to-have; it's essential for employee engagement. Whether it's a chatbot, an email, or a face-to-face meeting, find the channel that resonates. 

Quick self-check:
  1. Would some employees in my organization prefer to write surveys in a different language than what we currently use?
  2. Is everyone in my organization comfortable writing survey responses in English?

6. How personalized and relevant are your employee surveys?

Personalization is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Are your surveys just a list of questions, or do they also serve as a platform for sharing updates, celebrating milestones, and providing valuable information? Turn your surveys into a platform for dialogue, not just a questionnaire.

Make each interaction count. β™₯

...So are we just scratching the surface?

So far we know that when it comes to understanding our employees, it's not just about the initial response; it's about the rich, nuanced insights that lie beneath. Here's our piece of advice:

Redefine employee surveys with inFeedo!

At inFeedo, we're not just about crunching numbers; we're about sparking conversations. Our People Science team is on a mission to transform your employee surveys into a 2-way dialogue stream, and a world of employee engagement insights. We're here to help you craft strategies that resonate, inspire, and lead to real change.

Don't let another survey fall flat! Dive into your feedback strategy and start your journey toward truly effective employee engagement.

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