What to Expect
Getting an Actionable Sample Size
Working to achieve a strong response or participation rate is important for a few reasons:
- Wide sample size = enough data to be actionable
If your goal is to truly improve employee engagement across the organization, then you need to hear from the entire organization. This doesn’t mean you need 100% participation, but you do need a strong enough sampling of feedback that is representative of every department or team.
- Low participation can be a signal of disengagement
If a large portion of employees are opting not to take the survey after significant internal promotion, it may be a sign of disengagement itself. These employees may be voting without sharing any feedback and thinking “will anything really change?” You may be able to shift their perception and participation over time by putting energy into the communication process or acting on the results we do get and showing you care.
What is a Good Response Rate?
Not every organization or company is created equal. Many factors can influence your response rate such as:
- Company size — smaller companies can have higher participation due to individuals proximity and frequency of interactions with company leadership.
- Team distribution — The mix of employees who work in a traditional office environment compared to field-based employees can have an effect on participation.
- Industry — Retail, professional services, and nonprofit organizations can have widely varying participation.
- Email vs. Text Message — Contact method has an effect on participation. We tend to see a lower response rate from text message and personal email delivery than we do from corporate email address delivery.
Calculate Your Target Response Rate
We can identify a target range of responses based on combining a few of the factors above. For #2-4, consider which of these contact options will be your primary method of distribution.
- Company Size: 500
- # of Corporate Email Addresses: 350 X 80% = 280
- # of Personal Email Addresses: 75 X 60% = 45
- # of Cell-Phone Numbers: 75 X 50% = 37.5
- Add the total of #2-4 and divide by #1 = 72.5%
Response Rate Checklist
Getting actionable data and achieving strong participation within the target range you calculated above is within your own power! Below is a recipe for success to help with participation before, during and after the survey is in flight to set a foundation for the coming quarters.
- Pick a Strategic Send Time — Make sure we’re sending the survey on a day/week when employees have the time and mental space to participate. Avoid times of high workload, vacations, annual reviews, open enrollment, or recent acquisition or RIF.
- Provide Clean Data — Take the time to make sure you have the correct email address and/or mobile phone number for employees in your spreadsheet. One tiny mistake can create a bad employee experience and a time suck for you.
- Send an email from the CEO — Use our pre-written email language to send an awareness email “from the top” that highlights why you’re doing this and why it’s safe.
- Whitelist our Email Address via IT (Critical!) — ask IT for help [link here]
- Promote in Weekly Meeting Agendas — Mention the survey in weekly team meeting agendas and daily standups to increase face-to-face awareness.
- Send a Reminder via Internal Communications Tool — Send a final reminder the day before the survey via an internal comms tool such as an intranet, IM, group text, etc.
- Add Posters Around the Office — If your employees are used to clocking in and out of work, add a simple sign above the time clock or in the break room to create awareness.
- Get Your Managers Involved — Ask your managers, directors, and department heads to promote the survey during meetings and throughout the week via email. They will want to see this valuable data to help their teams, so give them an opportunity to help.
- Specific Targeting — If you know your overall response rate is lagging, ask your Emplify representative for a response rate breakdown by team.
- Continue Promotion via Meetings — If important team and company meetings occur on different days, make sure the survey is included on agendas throughout the week of survey flight.
- Send a Reminder via Internal Communications Tool — Send another reminder mid-flight via an internal communications tool
- Field Workers — Ask field managers to allow their teams to take 6 minutes as they arrive at the job site for the day to complete the survey.
- Follow Up email from CEO — Acknowledge the feedback and results via a “here’s how we did” email that can begin to promote upcoming changes. This can also include awareness for the SmartPulse follow up 1 question survey that some employees will receive.
- Include CEO in Results Presentation — Make sure the CEO and executive leadership attend the results presentation in order to get their buy-in and involvement moving forward.
- Take Action! — Signal to your team that their feedback is valuable by making changes quickly. People will be less likely to sit out in future quarters if they know their voice will be heard.