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4 Questions to ask to Determine the Ideal Frequency For Surveying Your Staff

A person review staff survey data on a tablet

There’s no precise formula for determining the frequency for surveying your staff. But making sure you do encourage employees to participate in regular surveys is important; understanding how your organisation is perceived helps to build long term loyalty and overall success. In order to make surveys effective, there are factors you need to consider when making the decision on how to structure the way you measure employee engagement.

Here are 4 good questions to ask to help you determine the ideal frequency for surveying your staff:

1. Is your business going through a period of change?

If the answer is ‘yes’, assess how the business is changing or developing. If there has been a major alteration in the business – an acquisition or perhaps some redundancies, tactical surveys can help understand employees reactions. Asking for participation in surveys will keep you properly in touch with the way your people feel about working for you.

2. How are your performance reviews structured?

Surveys can be aligned with your appraisal reviews, feeding in nicely into the performance review or appraisal flow – giving the line managers supplementary information helps make sure they are engaging with their direct reports.

3. What are your workflows?

Consider how you work as a company and if there are any workflows that need to be taken into consideration. This may impact the logic behind your survey scheduling. It’s best not to send surveys during a hectic time, as results may not be truly reflective of the way employees generally feel about your organisation.

4. Are you already conducting activity to improve employee engagement?

If you haven’t been doing much to encourage or improve employee engagement, your organisational culture may be taken aback by you suddenly sending out regular surveys. It might seem odd or even threatening. Make sure you structure a communications plan around the activity so everyone understands the aims behind your surveying activities.

Generally, all this considered, our recommendation is that the ideal frequency for surveying your staff is every 3-4 months. This is why we think this way:

An annual survey is not frequent enough

Things change, and any organisation will look quite different over the space of 12 months. How the people feel will most definitely change with events and changing pressures, so you need to measure that on a more frequent basis.

A monthly survey is too frequent

Unless you are using WeThrive as a tactical tool in a new project team, for example. You generally need time for the organisation to read the information, react appropriately and make real changes, and then time for those changes to bed in before more changes are made. Human beings can find too much change unsettling or even traumatic, so take it at a pace your people can handle.

Don’t survey weekly

A weekly survey will have a significant negative effect and make your people feel micromanaged.  It will also lead to survey fatigue. Fatigue means less people might respond therefore reducing data quality. The exception would be if you are using a software application such as WeThrive, as a tactical tool, in a fast-changing environment where the team need regular support. WeThrive can help you to refocus people on the important areas of working life,  enable teams to be calm and concentrate on core business activities. If you'd like to learn more about WeThrive fill out the form on the right and we'll be in contact with more information.

Establishing a surveying structure which fits with your company and your people will ensure that progressive changes are made which benefit everybody. Start developing your feedback strategy and getting positive quality feedback. Download our free company culture checklist. Start using it today and make a positive impact. At Park City, we can help. Ask us about Culture & Engagement.

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