Peoplegeist

Increase survey response rate by avoiding survey-fatigue with micro-polling

Micro-polling uses continuous polling to collect the prevailing opinions instead of constantly mailing everybody all the time.

  • Pulse-surveys manage survey fatigue symptoms but don’t solve it.
  • Micro-polling asks simple and quick questions that can be answered with one click, like google maps restaurant rating.
  • Simple to understand poll results and straight text-suggestions from employees allow for quick actions, driving a positive feedback culture. No more “action planning”

Surveys work well at the beginning but soon you often see declining response rates. This is caused by survey-fatigue; when people get tired of surveys and start to ignore them.

Survey fatigue is a common problem in people-analytics and a barrier in many organizations to get more insights.

Pulse surveys were designed to combat these fatigue symptoms, but they tend to exhibit the same symptoms after a short while.

The main reasons for survey fatigue

In many organizations, surveys evoke in employees almost instant annoyance. This is a clear sign that they are tired of surveys. This can happen because:

  • Long surveys

    Surveys tend to get longer the more you use them.

    Not surprisingly the longer they get the more tedious they become for the recipient.

  • Frequent / many surveys

    Employees get inundated with multiple surveys on top of the mail-flood that it is our modern office-life.

    Sending frequent invites to surveys lowers the response rate.

  • Tedious and unclear questions

    Because you want to be precise, the questions often become very long and detailed.

    Unfortunately, it can have an adverse effect. The longer the question the more complicated it becomes.

    The reader just skips the questions or tends to get confused.

  • Afraid of repercussions

    This is also called “psychological safety”. It is important for the respondents to know, that there are no negative personal repercussions after the survey.

    You must watch out and be alert for repressive behavior not to sneak into your company culture.

    The symptoms can be remedied by anonymous surveys. In companies where an open exchange is the norm, anonymous surveys will be alienating because it implies lack of trust or cowardliness.

  • “Nothing is going to happen”

    This is one of the most widespread issues and probably biggest survey-response killer.

    If nothing happens after a survey, employees will stop caring about them.

    It is important to follow-up with surveys and communicate the actions.

    Such a negative attitude towards surveys can be a downward spiral.

Knowing the reason for survey-fatigue can help you manage symptoms better. A major survey provider also details the problems in their blog (Avoiding survey fatigue).

Pulse-surveys, shorter more – more frequent surveys, were exactly designed to manage these symptoms.

However, managing symptoms is not the same as solving the problem. It’s like managing the symptoms of a food allergy. You severely limit your abilities to enjoy life and every now and then you slip-up and it pops-ups anyway.

Micro-polling avoids survey fatigue in the first place

Peoplegeist’s micro-polling avoids survey fatigue by employing the same techniques as “google maps restaurant rating”.

Micro-poll collects feedback by asking a short single question to only a sample of employees. Micro-polling asks directly the main-question – the bottom line if you will – paired with an equally easy five star rating system.

This is the same technique used in political and market research polls, Peoplegeist does not need to ask all employees to derive the prevailing opinion in the workforce.

The simplicity of the question and the feedback scale further increases the response-rate.

Peoplegeist can reach employees through multiple channels (slack, MS Teams, email, SMS, …) and can ask the employee for feedback on the best channel at the right time.

  • Long surveys

    Many surveys want to be thorough and include sub-questions to understand ratings in more detail.

    Micro-poll asks only the one main question.

    Like on google maps, employees can add an optional comment to explain why they gave a positive or negative review.

    Let people tell you what’s wrong instead of you having to come up with possible sub-questions to ask in a survey.

  • Frequent / many surveys

    Micro-polling only polls a randomized sample of your company.

    Peoplegeist draws a fresh poll-sample periodically and get’s continuous feedback from the workforce.

    A sample group can be as small as 50 employees and depending on the makeup (stratified sampling) an employee might not be bothered at all for more than a year.

  • Tedious questions

    The nature of the simple question further increases engagement because it’s easy and simple to understand.

  • Afraid of repercussions

    Peoplegeist ensures anonymity through chiffre system and separate datacenter-hosting from corporate hosting.

    Sampling makes it even harder for management to guess who said what.

  • “Nothing is going to happen”

    Simple questions are easy to answer and easy for management to understand.

    No “action planning” is needed thanks to the easy-to-understand star-scale combined with comment-feedback.

    This helps management to get a clear reading of what is going on and act quickly.

    This in turn strengths employee’s acceptance of micro-polling.

  • Relevance

    Peoplegeist’s micro-polling increases response-rate by sending feedback-invites on the channel (app, mail, phone) and at the time when it is the most relevant to the user.

    You can ask the employee for “IT help satisfaction”, right after an employee has used IT-help desk.

Use the micro-poll simulator to see how micro-polling reduces survey-load for your employees

Micro-polling simulator

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