Tips to avoid employee survey fatigue


Tips to avoid employee survey fatigue retail market research
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Many organizations place a high value on employee engagement. As a result, many organizations have increased the frequency with which they conduct employee engagement surveys.

While survey fatigue is a factor that anyone conducting employee surveys should be aware of, we have identified several best practices to help you avoid employee survey fatigue and increase response rates.

What is employee survey fatigue?

One of the main worries for any organization that is already doing employee surveys or considering doing so is employee fatigue in the workplace. It affects your survey’s response rate when employees, for various reasons, become less likely to respond to surveys.

If fewer employees participate in your surveys, the results and the changes you make won’t have the desired effect because they don’t reflect the bulk of your employees.

Why should you be aware of employee survey fatigue? 

Survey fatigue can affect the accuracy of your survey results, which is why you should be aware of it. Several factors could be at play here:

  • They have already completed too many surveys.
  • The questions are too challenging or irrelevant for them.
  • Since little to no action has been taken in response to prior surveys and feedback efforts, they do not see any value.

Survey fatigue may have contributed to the responses that distorted your results. Not handling employee survey fatigue can have some negative effects, from abandoned surveys to unfavorable results or employees viewing surveys as an intrusive or ineffective use of their attention and bandwidth.

Let’s delve further to discover why it occurs and tips to avoid it.

What are the 4 types of employee survey fatigue?

The length of the surveys may be the culprit in some organizations. In other instances, it can be that after the feedback is obtained, nothing is done.  In conclusion, it is the responsibility of the management to determine the type of survey fatigue your employees are feeling. Here are some of the types that talk about survey fatigue.

1. Over surveying

Employee surveys should only be used sparingly, and there should be enough time between sending two of them.

 When you send surveys consecutively, employees are forced to speed through surveys in order to complete the survey and get back to their work. By choosing a survey frequency that won’t cause tiredness, HRs can prevent this kind of fatigue.

2. Question fatigue

When you repeatedly ask the same questions in various ways, question fatigue sets in. This type of employee survey fatigue typically occurs in poorly constructed surveys and frustrates your employees. This may result in survey abandonment and incompleteness

Short, direct questions that are simple to respond to and relevant to an employee can help to overcome this.

3. Long surveys

Employee surveys that are too long may leave respondents feeling exhausted and uninterested in the process. Long surveys also frequently drift away from the primary areas of attention.

To prevent employee survey fatigue and from losing track of the survey’s objectives, it is essential to include the most crucial questions pertaining to a single theme.

Employees can be led down a shorter path by using skip logic, so they only respond to the applicable questions. Page breaks can also be used for similar group questions. Don’t forget to moderate expectations and let your employees know in advance how long the survey will last.

4. Disingenuous surveys

Employees who fill out surveys as required by the protocol and see them as merely another duty to perform may experience this type of survey fatigue. It occurs when employees believe or perceive that management doesn’t value their opinions. In such cases, businesses frequently neglect to address the flaws exposed by the survey data.

Personnel in HR must address the issues with the prior surveys if they are to avoid this. Additionally, they must put more effort into customizing these questionnaires to each employee’s experience working for the company.

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What causes employee survey fatigue?

Organizations frequently experience survey fatigue. Response rates dwindling over time is generally referred to as survey fatigue. Survey fatigue can occur for several reasons. In this section, we will learn some of the causes of survey fatigue.

1. Communication problems

If employees don’t know what is expected of them or why their firm is conducting the survey, they are less inclined to participate in a survey. They must understand both the advantages for themselves and the organization. 

Then there is practical information, like the time the survey will be conducted. All these requirements can be met, and prompt reminders to answer can also be given with the use of a comprehensive communication plan.

2. Survey design flaws

Poor survey design can lead to employee survey fatigue. A poorly designed questionnaire lacks context and a clear purpose; it is a jumble of questions thrown together by representatives of the organization.

Such as, does your question lack clarity? Do workers have trouble understanding the questions being asked? Does the survey’s reasoning make sense, or do the questions seem inconsistent with the theme/category? 

3. Continual surveys with no clear outcomes

If you conduct surveys on topics that can benefit employees and increase employee engagement, no action is taken. This would make your employees think the prior surveys were pointless and the aim to enhance the workplace isn’t there.

4. Survey duration

One of the major causes of employee survey fatigue is the duration of a survey. It can be tempting to ask as many questions as possible to get the most out of the fact that you’re conducting a survey. However, your questionnaire should remain entirely focused on the research questions that interest you. 

5. A lack of relevance

If your employees don’t understand what you’re asking them or why you’re asking them – or if they’d rather you asked them something else – they’re more likely to abandon the survey or skip it entirely.

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How to avoid employee survey fatigue?

It is a factor that can affect how well a survey turns out. The following advice can assist your HR team in lessening worker fatigue:

1. Decide the survey’s objective

Make sure you comprehend the rationale for sending the survey.  Is this an exit interview? a survey during onboarding? Or to gauge the level of employee satisfaction?

Each objective will require that the survey concentrates on a certain collection of questions.

2. Use pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are brief surveys that concentrate on one particular area that needs improvement. They aid in keeping tabs on employees’ mental health, emotions, and engagement levels. Regular surveys are longer and more general, whereas pulse surveys are intended to measure the organization’s pulse. This is the contrast between the two types of surveys.

The nicest part about pulse surveys is that they battle the four different employee survey fatigue syndromes while providing management with dependable and consistent data points to deal with.

3. Obey the appropriate survey schedule

We can clearly show that gathering engagement data at least once a year contributes to a more engaged workforce. However, just because you send out a survey every other day doesn’t mean you’ll get more responses. Maintain a consistent schedule that your employees can become accustomed to and anticipate.

Conduct your customized engagement survey at the same time each year, and fill in the gaps with pulse surveys. 

Leverage online survey tools that enable you to create micro-surveys, such as eNPS, EX, etc, to gather instant feedback so you can stay in touch with your employees regularly.

4. Recognize and respond to survey feedback

To avoid employee survey fatigue, a  problem must first be acknowledged to be understood. Only meaningful data that can be used to make decisions are collected during surveys.

Surveys are used to learn about the issues that employees have at work. Neglecting these worries will have negative effects, such as reduced staff morale, employee turnover, worker disengagement, etc.

5. Communicate the importance of employee engagement surveys

When conducting a survey, your questionnaire should be relatable and avoid sounding manipulative. It’s good to acknowledge their generosity when you ask people for their time. 

Employees must understand that their feedback is valued and serves as the primary source of change in the organization. As a result, your employees will take the surveys seriously and respond thoughtfully, which would help avoid employee survey fatigue.

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6.  Ensure confidentiality in all surveys

Employees are reluctant to be truthful in questionnaires since lack of anonymity is a significant problem. Employees must feel at ease answering the questions to gather reliable survey data and foster trust. 

Remember to leave out any questions that ask for identifying information to ensure your survey is completely anonymous. Make it possible for respondents to opt out of receiving survey invitations. Explain why you are collecting the data and how it will be used.


Employee survey fatigue really exists. To achieve high employee survey engagement, thoughtful survey design, well-designed engagement questions, and acting on employee feedback are essential. Employee engagement and performance increase when firms are committed to acting on feedback, which subsequently fosters effective business outcomes.

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