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Frequency of Employee Surveys

This isn't an issue that is discussed a lot, but one that I think is important. How often should you do employee surveys to gain maximum impact?

I read an article on this topic and it got me thinking about a few key points.

  • The point of the survey is engagement, which means the survey itself is only the beginning, it is the actions after the survey that are more important. In other words, what did the company do with the information.

  • I believe shorter surveys that are done monthly is the best way. Shorter means it should take less than 10 minutes to do. This means you have to ask fewer questions. My suggested path is that you have a few "always" questions (ones you ask every month) and then a few topical questions (ones that you ask maybe once a year).

  • Take immediate action. Many companies do the annual survey and then take months to analyze and announce the results. It is like giving feedback 3 weeks after the observed behavior. It has no impact.

  • Hold managers accountable. At least 1 goal of every manager should have something related to the survey. If it doesn't, it feels like the survey was ignored.

  • Scores are nice - actions are better. In other words, promoting that 70% of the people feel the communication is appropriate is great. Knowing what specific actions around communicating you will keep doing and what you will change is better.

I am not a survey or data expert in any way. But I understand how it impacts behavior and how employees respond to it.

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