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The Annual Employee Survey is Dead

Stefanie Jansen
Stefanie Jansen

Ok, ok—the employee survey itself is not dead. But the annual frequency of it is. If you’re still polling your employees once a year just to check a box, you’re missing out on what true feedback is all about.

Employee engagement isn’t something to take lightly. In fact, Hay Group reports that “companies with engaged employees experience 2.5x more revenues than competitors with low engagement levels.” So considering your employees’ well-being affects your bottom line, perhaps the way you gather their feedback should be a little more strategic?

Here are three reasons why you should “kill” your once-a-year employee survey cadence if you haven’t already:

Employees receive no value out of an annual survey.

Who does an annual employee survey benefit—your HR department or the employees themselves? When a survey is created as a “benchmark” instead of a true capturing of employee opinions, it’s disingenuous, prompting responses of the same caliber.

Less frequent surveys mean low participation.screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-31-36-am

Positioning your employee surveys as an annual occurrence causes them to be time-bound instead of experience-bound, resulting in inaccurate feedback. Ask yourself the same questions—do you remember that company meeting back in Q1? How did last year’s open enrollment process go? By making employee feedback-gathering a regular occurrence, you can collect more accurate, genuine responses that are based on more vivid and recent experiences.

Additionally, once-a-year surveys also tend to be a “catch-all” document that drags on and on because of a build up of missed opportunities throughout the year. Remember—the longer your survey, the less likely an employee is to participate or provide genuine answers.  


Forcing your employees to wait until the end of the year to share their opinions about your company may be convenient for you, but it can be frustrating for them. Without a way to express their opinions throughout the year, employees may become disengaged or leave the company before you’ve even realized it. Take the time to engage regularly—right after a company meeting or as you’re setting new quarterly goals—so employees feel connected and valued as a part of the decision-making process within the company.

Gather Better Feedback

Changing your old ways of surveying and feedback gathering doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to gather better feedback? Leave it to experts who truly measure employee engagement instead of throwing together surveys on your own that only address surface-level issues like satisfaction with benefits, comp, and the general workplace environment. Survey administration is a big job—and employees will only give genuine feedback when they know their answers will remain confidential and result in action from their business leaders.  


Want more employee survey tips like these? Check out our latest quick guide, “10 Employee Survey Questions to Inform Your Engagement Strategy” for expert-sourced advice!


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