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Continuous Listening Tips for Survey Success

Posted by: People Element

Organizational success depends on agilely responding to the wide variety of factors in the business world. Market conditions, regulations, competitors, customers, suppliers; each of these requires continual monitoring and adjustments to remain profitable. Additionally, you must monitor internal factors, like your workforce, to maintain engagement and improve productivity. The best leaders know that efficiently staying on top of, and responding to, the factors impacting engagement and productivity requires the use of continuous listening, a strategic approach of gathering and acting on employee feedback. Before you can effectively put this into practice, however, you’ll need to consider a few things to best set yourself up for success.

Measuring across the lifecycle
Every organization has employees who are at different lifecycle stages of their experience, from onboarding to exiting and everything in between. Feedback from every one of these employees is valuable. Continuous listening allows you to gather overall feedback from everyone (through a traditional engagement survey or pulse) as well as target certain populations for feedback specific to their experience at that time. For example, you might gather feedback from new hires at 30 days of tenure with a focus on expectations versus reality of the job, or ask exiting employees about what is driving turnover. Each touchpoint throughout an employee’s experience provides the opportunity to collect targeted data for use in improving your organization.

Including the right survey items
When selecting the specific questions or statements to create a survey (we call them all “items”), take care to ensure the items will provide actionable feedback from the target population. Sometimes it makes sense to include items covering a wide variety of topics in one survey rather than several. The right platform will help streamline the process for all those involved by providing customizable survey templates and additional items, as well as minimizing survey fatigue in participants by simplifying the response process. Gathering feedback will produce plenty of opportunities for action, so it is best to minimize administration time so you can spend more of that time taking action and seeing results.

Choosing your survey cadence
Lastly and just as important is determining how often to administer surveys. This part can be tricky, as you want to survey frequently enough to capture trends over time so you know whether things are improving or can respond quickly when they aren’t, while also minimizing the administrative burden and giving yourself enough time to respond to the feedback provided. Full engagement surveys typically go out annually, with a pulse check-in at the 6-month point. If you choose to use an engagement pulse survey, these are shorter and can therefore go out more frequently, as often as monthly, as this gives enough time for managers to act on feedback before it’s time for the next pulse.

By taking the time to plan and ask the right items to the right people, at the right cadence, you’ll have laid the groundwork for an easy rollout of your continuous listening strategy and be on your way to feedback gathering success. For additional tips on ensuring an effective survey experience, please visit our blog, or speak to one of our specialists.

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