Ten ways to get more engagement in your employee surveys

October 7, 2016 Yash Chitre Employee Analytics, Employee Engagement Strategies, Employee Feedback Strategies, Employee Gamification, Employee Mobile Apps, Internal Communications Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments
Perhaps the number-one “best-selling” tactic request that we hear from our enterprise customers is, using mobile to increase effectiveness of employee surveys. Specifically, how do you get more of your people to engage and participate in company-wide employee surveys?

dilbert surveys comic strip

Nearly every company of any size that approaches us, is already deploying surveys to their people. Some of the surveys are very simple, such as quick 2-3 question pulse-surveys, while some of them are more detailed multi-question, multi-format laddered surveys. They are deploying through online tools like Survey Monkey, or internal intranets. Some of them are even doing it through paper and pencil. The problem isn’t that they need help creating their surveys, or even the content that goes into their surveys. They are the masters of their content domain. They need better engagement; they can’t seem to get their people to participate and actually take the survey or take the time to get thoughtful and meaningful responses that can help affect change.

Lots of questions come up…
  • Should we incentivize the survey with the right rewards and recognition to get more people to actually take it?
  • Should we consider doing them more frequently, so that we can average the responses over a period of time to get a more accurate sample?
  • Should we try to target them at better times during the day, so that it’s not a “nuisance”?
  • Should we not do surveys at all and instead pursue a different route of getting qualitative and quantitative data from our workforce?
These are all good questions and we hear them all the time from our customers. Let’s address each one of these questions in ten ways you can increase engagement in employee surveys using mobile app platforms such as hubEngage:

  1. Distribution Vehicle. People come to hubEngage for the obvious reason–they want an employee app to increase internal communications and engagement. By simply taking your existing digital content and pushing it out through a more flexible, robust, intelligent app platform, you content gets to employees faster. But remember, it’s not just about taking your existing web content and making it “mobile friendly”. That is the biggest mistake so many companies stumble over all the time. (See this previous post: The Benefits of an Employee App Platform for Communications and Engagement Versus Mobile Intranet. While creating a mobile survey will give you a quick lift in engagement, you need to make it more dynamic in its features, accessibility, content and style to get people to actually participate. Otherwise, your survey will get lost in the mix of everything else you’re pushing out to them.
  2. Push Notify–Location Matters! The biggest and most effective way to get your people to engage in your survey content is to approach them at the right place, at the right time. This can be achieved through mobile location technologies in employee engagement platforms such as hubEngage. Using tools such as geo-location, you can push surveys instantly to your people inside of a mobile app at the right time at the right place, every time. For example, we have a large enterprise client that has its headquarters inside a large skyscraper in New York City. One of the things we noticed when we watched employee behavior, was that every morning, hundreds and thousands of employees would arrive to work off the subway and enter the world headquarters building where they would stand on and escalator for a solid three minutes until they would arrive on a mezzanine level where the main lobby has multiple banks of elevators to ferry them off to their respective departments. We knew that that three-minute ride on that escalator was the perfect time to push a pulse survey. As they enter the building, they cross over a virtual geofence, which then activates a quick notification on everyone’s devices. That leads them to a quick pulse survey where they would answer five or six simple questions. Survey engagement was instantaneous. The data poured in and we’re instantly able to show on our dashboard all sorts of metrics and feedback based on the survey content.
  3. Segment Audiences to Hyper-target. Targeting your workforce with surveys that have specific content based on their role and responsibility helps to keep things relevant. Don’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to your survey content. By using tools such as employee segmentation, you can tailor your content automatically so that you hear from different employee populations all at the same time. A good example of this is one of our manufacturing customers that uses employee segmentation tools inside of hubEngage to target hourly workers on the production line much differently than say executive leadership and department heads at the home office. They can then cross tabulate this information between different employee segments and see where the disconnects are in terms of content interpretation, moral, operational efficiency, and a variety of other metrics.
  4. Make it Fun and Easy! Make the content easy to access, as well as fun and engaging by gamifying it so that you attract all audiences (including millennials, the most coveted of all). Remember, information is best absorbed when it’s bit-size, non-complex and easy to understand. Using a variety of visual formats helps too. Make sure your app platform gives you lots of options in it’s CMS to be able to accommodate “stylized questioning”. For example, add quizzes into your survey to test knowledge and show scorecards after the session so that users can see how well they understood the content and also give you insight into how well your programming is getting through to mindsets. Deploy leader-boards so there’s a competitive effect. Use features such s augmented reality scanning that lets you bridge the gap between digital and physical…paper to screen. Unlock content when users scan objects such as posters or QR/bar codes to get more information they can like and share.
  5. Use Engaging Formats. Use different formats to captivate your audience. For example, when you create your surveys using a tool such as hubEngage, you can use many different question types and answering capabilities that lets you get really creative with how you extract information from your employee workforce.When you can attach photos, video and other content attachments such as info-graphics and tech sheets, you increase the engagement factor exponentially. Multimedia content embedded into survey questions can model LMS and training systems in order to educate your people in the process.
  6. Two-Way Feedback Mechanisms–Solicit Stories. Being able to let your employees submit content in the form of photos and videos along with stories is incredibly effective for knowledge sharing peer to peer and also leadership learning. For example, one of the survey questions maybe to ask your people to share a customer service story where they helped a customer get what they needed when they needed it and made a sale (See how the Wynn Las Vegas did this). Or maybe you ask your manufacturing workforce for ideas around implementing a new process or how something should work. Giving them the ability to submit not only words, but also photos and videos using their employee app on their smart phone device and tablets allows them to be a part of the solution. It gives them a sense of participation accomplishment, and pride to be a part of the conversation and ultimate solution.
  7. Share-ability = Viral Count. Make your survey content shareable and likeable. When your people become your own bullhorn to get the word about your corporate initiatives, the effect can be very impactful. Let your employees share your survey or include it in instant messaging features such as the individual & group messaging feature inside hubEngage’s employee communications mobile app platform.
  8. Recognition Counts. Reward and recognize your employees for their contributions and feedback within surveys. You can easily do this with points, badges, prizes and good old-fashioned recognition from leadership. You’ll be surprised how far something tangible such as a recognition certificate or a voucher for a simple cup of coffee can go. It has a peer-to-peer effect in creating intrinsic motivation for people to also jump on the bandwagon and engage.
  9. Use Deep Analytics to Refine Survey Content. Make sure your survey mechanism gives you deep analytics that help you understand not only the incoming stream of data, but test the efficacy of your content itself. hubEngage’s intelligent employee app platform gives you metrics such as knowledge scoring, engagement, amplification, brand advocacy, employee net promoter scoring (eNPS–see previous blog post on this), app dwell time, location analytics, and others in real-time so you get the big picture fast, as well as the ability to deep dive into the granular with simple clicks on your back end dashboard. We’ve had customers that have literally, completely change their content creation strategies for 2017 based on the intelligence they’re getting from hubEngage’s built-in analytics reporting.
  10. SmartApp Re-targeting. You can take it a step further and use employee communication and engagement platforms such as hubEngage, that have built-in smart algorithms in its re-targeting software that can learn from your employees’ in-app behaviors, in terms of where they are interacting with your content, how often they are engaging, and if its effective or not by measuring knowledge scoring, net promoter scores, and brand advocacy. That data can be used to re-target them for future surveys and future content pushes with increasing relevancy. Give them more of what they like/want and less of what drives them away!
If you’re looking to enhance and increase engagement in employee surveys, consider using a total employee communication and engagement mobile app platform that has lots of proven best practice tactics such as hubEngage. When you use mobile as a effective distribution vehicle for your survey content, you will see a difference between night and day in terms of how your people are engaging and the kind of information that they can give you in return. Give us a call, or request your free tour and demo with a trial employee engagement app to see how powerful hubEngage can be for you!


  1. London Management Centre 9 months Reply

    Engagement with your employees should always be a priority for all companies. Keeping your employees engaged can be really quick, free and has great positive effects on the team.

  2. Harold Groves 6 months Reply

    Definitely, using mobile to increase effectiveness of employee surveys is the number-one best engagement tactic. With increased emphasis on employee engagement and greater access to employee generated data and insights through surveys, it makes sense to invest in tools that are mobile-ready so respondents can access easily. By analyzing results from these tools, one can address certain systemic failings almost immediately.

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