ali khan
Ali Khan
Co-founder
Published On
March 6, 2024
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How to Design Surveys for Maximum Response Rates

Let's be real, getting your team to fill out those company surveys can sometimes feel like a bit of a thankless task. But, don't worry, we've got your back in helping to boost those response rates

It's all about turning this task into an engaging and meaningful conversation. We're here to guide you through making surveys that really resonate with your team, where every voice feels heard, understood, and valued.

What we do is mix a bit of tech ease with clever question design, keep things anonymous for comfort, and choose just the right timing to encourage everyone to share their thoughts. In our latest article, we're unpacking loads of tips and best practices for getting those response rates up. 🏆

If you're hunting for strategies to not only increase responses but also gather impactful, actionable feedback, you've hit the right spot with us. With Wrenly, it's not just about asking routine questions; it's a commitment to active listening and hearing meaningful responses — making sure your workplace is a truly safe space for everyone to speak up.

12 Best Practices to Maximize Survey Response Rates 🚀

It's super important for you, as an employer, to get the current status on how things are going in the workplace. Using Slack along with Wrenly’s nifty tools makes this whole process a breeze. Engaging employees with surveys is a critical strategy for employers to understand and improve the workplace environment. 

We’re all about helping you bump up those participation rates and reel in some really useful feedback. By weaving these strategies into your Slack chats with a helping hand from Wrenly, you’re setting the stage for honest talks and constant growth in your workplace. 📈

It's all about making your team feel they're truly a part of something, where their opinions aren't just heard but also really valued. And let's be real, who wouldn’t want to be part of a workplace like that? 

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 1. Avoid the Survey Trap 🙅🏼‍♀️

Let me introduce you to what we like to call the 'Survey Trap'. It's a pretty common hiccup, and understanding it can really help boost your response rates. When teams fill out surveys but don’t see any outcome or feedback, they start feeling like their input is just disappearing into thin air. Imagine this: the last time they did a survey, your HR team spent ages analyzing the results and discussing changes, but they never really circled back to the employees to share what they learned. The result? Employees felt like their feedback didn't matter.

By the time the next survey rolled around, you can bet they weren’t exactly jumping to participate. It's like shouting into a void and expecting an echo – if it never comes, why keep shouting?

But here’s a little nugget of wisdom we share with companies: make sure you're giving back to your team. Show them you’re not just asking, but listening. How, you ask? Well, a simple yet effective way is dedicating about 5 minutes in a town hall meeting to talk about the common points or hot topics from the last survey. Some places even have a special segment called “Team Voice” for this. It's a great way to show your team their opinions are valued and are making an impact. When they see that their feedback is being acknowledged, they’re way more likely to engage with future surveys.

And hey, here's where Wrenly comes into play. We use AI to take the heavy lifting out of survey result analysis. Wrenly can automatically highlight trending themes and generate reports for you. This means you can get back to your team with insights and actions much quicker, helping them feel heard and appreciated. So next time a survey goes out, they'll know their voice counts and be more inclined to share their thoughts.

2. Executive Buy-In 🔊

Nothing – and I mean nothing – ramps up participation like having your execs give a shout-out about the survey.

It’s about lending a bit of their spotlight to your survey. When an executive takes a moment in a meeting, or drops an email, or even mentions in a Slack channel, “Hey, we’ve got this survey out, and we really value your input,” it sends a powerful message. It's like a green light from the top, telling everyone that their feedback isn’t just welcomed, it’s vital.

But it’s more than just getting the word out. It’s about creating a culture where feedback is integral, and this starts from the top. When executives are visibly invested in the survey process, it encourages a sense of community and shared purpose.

Surveys should be seen as an extension of the company's brand. The design and tone should align with the overall brand identity to create a seamless experience for employees. This alignment helps reinforce your company culture and values, and it underscores the professionalism of the engagement process. When surveys feel like a cohesive part of the company ecosystem, they can bolster the credibility of the initiative.

3. Utilize Demographic Filters 📝

Even when keeping the individual responses anonymous, it’s super helpful to peek at the participation rates across different departments. This isn't about snooping; it's about understanding where you might need to nudge a little more.

You can use tools (yep, like what Wrenly offers) to see which departments are all-in on the survey action and which might be a bit on the quieter side. With this info in hand, you’re not just shooting in the dark trying to boost overall participation. Instead, you're zoning-in on where the real push is needed. 🔥

You notice a certain department is lagging a bit in responses. What do you do? This is where you tap into the power of friendly internal nudges. Reach out to the managers of those quieter departments. Give them a heads-up.

The beauty of Wrenly is that it does some of this heavy lifting for you. It can send automatic reminders to the managers of departments where participation is a bit low.

4. Assuring Confidentiality in Employee Responses 🗿

The cool thing with Wrenly is it has people go Wrenly when they give feedback – it will swap the  Slack name for a fun animal name. The real magic happens because these surveys pop up right where your team already hangs out – on Slack. It’s familiar, it’s easy, and let's be honest, we all love things that make our lives simpler. Wrenly’s Pulse Survey tool steps it up a notch, making sure everyone knows their identity stays under wraps when they share their thoughts. This means your team can be totally upfront, giving you the real deal on their experiences and views, minus any worries about it coming back to them.

ll this feedback is grouped together anonymously. So, you get to spot trends, give props where they’re due, and tackle any challenges head-on. This isn’t just about gathering data; it’s about smart, informed decision-making and building a culture where everyone’s always looking to get better.

5. Survey Where the People Are 💻

The people are already working on Slack and Microsoft Teams, so we’ll meet them there. Because that’s where our teams are already doing their thing – collaborating, chatting, and getting work done.

It's their digital home base. So, when you pop a survey right into this space, you're essentially bringing it to their doorstep. It's all about making life easier for your team, and let’s face it, we could all use a bit more of that.

With an engagement platform that fully integrates with Slack (and Teams!). This isn't just about convenience; it's about being smart with our time and resources. By using Wrenly, you avoid pulling your team out of their workflow. No more switching between apps, no more ‘Oh, I’ll do it later’ – because let's be honest, 'later' sometimes turns into 'never'.

With many employees using Slack on their phones, it's important to design surveys that are easy to complete on mobile devices. When you design your next Pulse Survey, make sure it looks good on every device.

6. Respond to Survey Results 🥇

Let's chat about something that truly makes a difference when it comes to surveys – responding to individual notes, especially those expressing low sentiment. This is where Wrenly steps up and shines, giving you the ability to reach out and engage with these responses directly.

With Wrenly you have the ability to respond to individuals who expressed a low sentiment. The most valuable information from a survey comes from following up and asking them how the company can improve.

But it doesn't stop there. After you've gathered these insights, bring them into the light of day – talk about them in your company meetings. It’s about showing everyone that when they speak up, you’re listening and ready to act.

There's something really powerful about seeing action taken on feedback. It sends a clear message to your team. It builds trust and shows that you're not just paying lip service to the idea of feedback.

When your team sees that their feedback leads to real conversations and, more importantly, real changes, it leads to more participation. It’s a cycle of positive reinforcement: they speak, you listen and respond, things improve, and then they’re even more engaged the next time around.

Best Practices for Sharing Results

Alright, let's talk about what happens after your team fills out that survey. You know, the one they took the time and effort to provide their honest insights and opinions on. Sharing the results of this survey isn’t just a nice to-do; it’s a must-do to ramp up your organization’s transparency. It's like saying to your team, “Hey, we hear you loud and clear, and your voice matters.”

Here’s a tip: don’t sit on those results for too long. Share them promptly once the survey’s wrapped up. If you delay, it can give off the wrong vibe, maybe even sparking suspicion or making your team less interested. The goal is to keep everyone in the loop and maintain their trust.

boil them down to a clear and concise summary. You want everyone to be able to quickly grasp the key points and understand what it all means. And here’s the crucial part: zero in on what you can actually do about it. Your employees aren’t just filling out a survey for the fun of it; they want to see that their feedback is driving real change.

Give some context where it's needed. This helps in steering clear of any misunderstandings and lets your team see the bigger picture. And don’t just focus on what needs fixing – shine a light on what’s working well, too. It’s a great morale booster and gets everyone rallying around the positives.

7. Time Surveys Appropriately ⌛️

General workplace engagement surveys should be conducted at regular intervals — quarterly or bi-annually, for example — to monitor overall employee sentiment. Project-based feedback should be gathered shortly after a project concludes while experiences remain fresh. Another idea is to collect onboarding feedback from new hires after the first month and then at regular intervals to track their integration into the company.

The timing of a survey can dramatically affect its completion rates. Employers should consider employee work patterns and time zones to schedule surveys when employees are most likely receptive. For instance, sending a survey immediately following a significant project milestone can yield immediate and relevant feedback, whereas a survey sent during a busy period may be ignored.

Determining the frequency of surveys is crucial to avoid overwhelming employees. It's important to establish a cadence that allows for consistent feedback without causing fatigue. A strategic approach might include setting surveys to recur after certain periods or ensuring that surveys are not repeated to the same individuals within a short window of time.

8. Keep Surveys Short and Relevant 📊

Your employees are more likely to complete surveys that are concise and directly applicable to their experience. Long, cumbersome surveys can lead to survey fatigue and decrease the quality of responses. 

You should aim to craft surveys that can be completed within a few minutes and focus on specific topics or events to ensure relevance. This approach not only respects your employees' time but also increases the likelihood of obtaining focused and useful feedback.

9. Use Clear and Inclusive Language 📖

The language used in surveys should be straightforward, avoiding jargon or technical terms that may not be universally understood. Clear language ensures that all employees, regardless of their role or background, can understand and respond accurately. 

Additionally, inclusive language acknowledges diversity and promotes a sense of belonging, which can further encourage participation and ensure that all employees feel that their voice matters.

10. Avoid Survey Overload 😪

Be mindful of how often you survey your employees. Too many surveys can lead to fatigue and decreased participation. Ensure that each survey has a clear purpose and is part of a broader strategy to improve the workplace.

Increasing the frequency of surveys risks over-surveying and can potentially alienate the workforce. You must be careful not to bombard employees with too many surveys, as this could lead to disengagement and a decline in participation. Instead, focus on crafting meaningful surveys spaced out over time to convey respect for your employees' time and maintain their willingness to provide valuable insights.

Defining a High Response Rate 💯

Before you send out your survey, let's set some expectations about what a 'high response rate' really means. Think of a high response rate as having enough responses to confidently say, "Yep, this is what our team thinks." When it comes to employee surveys, if you’re hitting a 70% response rate, you’re doing pretty well – it shows your team is really engaged. But aiming for 80-90%? That's top-notch.

Remember, though, it’s not just about how many people are responding. The real meat lies in the quality of feedback, the actionable insights you pull from it, and how you act on it. It's about finding that sweet spot between setting ambitious goals and keeping it real, with the end game always being to collect meaningful data that sparks positive change.

Final Thoughts

Designing surveys that get everyone chiming in, especially when you're using platforms like Slack and tools like Wrenly, needs a thoughtful touch. It's about asking the right questions in a way that speaks to your team – concise, relevant, and clear. Make sure your team knows why their feedback is gold and how it’s going to help shape a better workplace.

It’s all about creating that environment where everyone feels like they’re part of something bigger, where their opinions aren't just heard – they're valued and acted upon. That's how you not only boost response rates but also build a culture of trust and continuous improvement.

Wrenly offers seamless integration within Slack, AI-powered insights and suggestions, autopilot features, and much more. And the best part? You can dip your toes in the water without any commitment. Try Wrenly for free today and see how it can enhance the way you engage with your team. 

Want to learn how you can build a company-wide and department-specific health score from your next survey? Check out this sample AI report to learn how AI can automate all your reports, identify trending themes, and measure trends over time: https://app.wrenly.ai/explore

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More Articles From Ali Khan

Ali is a co-founder of Wrenly known for his innovative thinking and exceptional drive to create value for every Wrenly customer. His dedication, mentorship, and leadership skills have not only shaped various careers but have also made him an invaluable asset to the Wrenly team.

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