Don’t run an engagement survey if…

People are tired. We know that. So, running engagement surveys right now and getting high levels of completion feels against the odds.

What if people being tired is not the main reason we are not getting high completion rates? Anything over 70% is considered good. But it’s worth noting that even high completion rates do not always correlate to high engagement. That for another time.

We run surveys to understand the mood of the workplace. What’s working and what could be better. It’s a really valuable tool. How can we ensure this doesn’t become something that is a ‘nice to do’ rather than essential? 

After looking through and running literally hundreds and hundreds of engagement surveys and working with workplace cultures, this is what I have learned about lower engagement completion rates. You can assess what your reasons might be.

They don’t believe the leadership team will do anything about the data. Yep. ‘There’s no point, nothing will change’ is the voice in their heads. Maybe it’s true. They feel more like a tick list to keep leadership or people and culture happy.

The results are not shared. We are in a trust crisis right now. People don’t trust fancy words. They trust transparency. When you don’t share the data, the good and the bad, we are sending a message that we are hiding something. That’s not helping.

We don’t let people know what we will do about it. My mate Sean Curtain, who has led people and culture in many organisations, prompted me on this one based on my last post. Even if we are not able to give people what they need (to come into work whenever they want, to have free parking) then let them know. And tell them why.

When we do the above, we are sending a big signal. That we are listening. That their voice matters. Saying nothing does nothing for our case nor for building trust.

If you want people to complete surveys then give them something in return. Seems simple. It is.

Can we talk culture? Yes we can. If you want to talk to us about improving your workplace culture, send me a note or DM me now.