Employee surveys are crucial for understanding your organization's vitality, enhancing motivation, and fostering loyalty.

To harness the full potential of these surveys, it's essential that employees comprehend their importance and participate voluntarily.

In most businesses, employee survey response rates vary widely.

While some companies struggle to achieve only 50% participation, others successfully boost it to an impressive 80% or even as high as 90%+.

Fortunately, reaching such levels of participation is not as daunting as it may seem.

In this article, we'll cover three key areas:

Remember: You should aim for quality instead of the quantity of the responses, as larger percentages may sometimes result from poor quality data. (Coercion, missing and unmeaningful responses).

Are Surveys Really That Important?

Of course, they are! Surveys are one of the best ways to understand your employees thoughts and feelings. It helps you understand the pulse of your employees and collect their valuable feedback.

Surveys are essential for the following reasons:

1. Get employee feedback

Surveys give workers a forum to express thoughts, worries, and ideas regarding many workplace topics.

2. Identify issues

Surveys are useful in locating underlying problems and difficulties in the organization. They may highlight patterns or trends that need attention, enabling businesses to take preventative measures to deal with issues.

3. Helps make data-driven decisions

Data-driven decision-making is made possible by the survey data obtained. It offers practical insights that help direct strategic planning, policy alterations, and advancements in many areas, including training programs, work-life balance, and employee perks.

4. Engage employees

Surveys show that an organization cherishes the opinions of its employees and actively works to involve them in the decision-making process by asking for their feedback. Higher employee engagement and commitment result from this involvement, which develops a sense of empowerment and belonging.

Enhance your employees' engagement and elevate their survey experience with ThriveSparrow! Create research-backed surveys in just 2 minutes, gain valuable insights with user-friendly dashboards and trend lines, and make surveys engaging with beautiful templates, humorous GIFs, and captivating background images.

ThriveSparrow's Engagement Surveys
ThriveSparrow's Engagement Surveys

Join us to transform your the way you take feedback! Sign up for free today!

5. Surveys help facilitate organizational improvement

Surveys make it possible for businesses to fine-tune and improve their strategy by measuring the success of current projects and programs. This cycle of constant improvement may boost performance, output, and effectiveness as a whole.

So What If You Have Low Survey Participation?

It's not as light as it sounds. A low level of employee participation in surveys can do damage to your company in multiple ways. Low participation in surveys can lead to several issues for organizations, including:

1. Limited accuracy of survey data

Low response rates might lead to inadequate sample sizes, which reduce the quality and dependability of the data.

Decision-makers could be unable to make wise decisions in the face of inadequate information.

2. The results are biased

When a tiny section of the workforce participates, the data may reflect the opinions of a certain subset of employees, resulting in results that are biased and may not accurately reflect the sentiment of all employees.

3. Missed employee feedback

When there is low engagement, employees' insightful comments and feedback are lost. This could lead to ignoring important problems or possibilities for progress that would have been handled otherwise.

Learn the steps to creating a stunning employee feedback survey.

4. There's a lack of employee engagement

Surveys provide an opportunity to engage employees and give them a sense of worth if there is a lack of engagement. Employees may feel their voices are irrelevant when participation is minimal, which lowers engagement and morale.

5. Ineffective decision-making

Making poor judgments without comprehensive input from most employees can lead to subpar outcomes and missed growth opportunities.

9 Fun Ways to Encourage Survey Participation

Turn those uninterested yawns of employees into enthusiastic 'yays' and transform your employees from survey skeptics to survey superstars.

Here are nine creative ways to increase survey participation:

  1. Interactive gamification
  2. Virtual town hall meetings
  3. Surprise rewards
  4. Employee photo contest
  5. Survey Champion ambassador program
  6. Department competitions
  7. Employee testimonials
  8. Mobile-friendly surveys
  9. Top management involvement

Lets talk about each of them a little bit in detail.

1. Interactive gamification

Create an engaging game out of taking surveys by adding interactive features and incentives. Make a survey in the form of a quiz with amusing inquiries about the culture, principles, or goods of your business. Give points or badges for each question successfully answered, and reward top scorers with extra benefits.

For instance, a software business by the name of "TechQuest" implemented gamification in their yearly survey, rewarding top scores with "Tech Champions" titles and exclusive goods, which significantly increased participation.

2. Virtual town hall meetings

Host live town hall meetings to emphasize the survey's significance and its impact on the company's direction. Encourage open and honest questions from employees.

Employees at "EngageCorp" felt heard and valued as a result of having a platform for direct contact, which raised survey response rates.

If you're concerned about feedback honesty, you can opt for anonymous surveys. ThriveSparrow ensures that collected data remains anonymous by providing random participant names for each response.

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's anonymous survey results
A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's anonymous survey results

3. Surprise rewards

Throughout the survey's length, provide participants with a surprise prize.

Give gift vouchers, more vacation days, or even VIP parking to randomly chosen responses.

This strategy was effectively used by "Energize Inc.", which resulted in more involvement as employees eagerly anticipated unexpected news.

4. Employee photo contests

Plan a picture contest with a subject related to survey participation. Encourage employees to use social media to post original photos of the survey with a special hashtag. A reward is awarded to the entry that is the most creative.

By promoting their poll in this way, "Culture Connectors" at "Inspire Co." attracted a tremendous amount of responses.

5. "Survey Champion" ambassador program

Create a "Survey Champion" campaign where passionate volunteers from various departments promote doing the surveys. These ambassadors can spread unique messages, provide support, and encourage others to participate in the survey.

By utilizing this tactic, "Growth Partners" was successful in getting a 90% participation rate. This was made possible by the diligent work of their Survey Champions.

6. Department competitions

By setting up departmental contests with prizes for the best response times, you can encourage healthy competition. Departments that meet certain goals are rewarded with team lunches, team-building exercises, or announcements to the entire organization.

"InnovateX" promoted constructive competition between departments, which significantly increased survey participation overall.

7. Employee testimonials

Employer endorsements from prior survey success stories should be highlighted. Make written or video testimonials that demonstrate how feedback resulted in advantageous adjustments at work.

This strategy was utilized by "EmpowerYou Ltd." to share motivational tales and inspire people to get involved in determining the direction of the business.

8. Mobile-friendly surveys

Make sure your surveys are easy to access on mobile devices so that employees can participate while on the field.

Employee involvement increased significantly after "Mobilize Corp" made their surveys mobile-friendly. This made it easier and more effective for employees to complete on the go.

9. Top management involvement

Obtain senior management's backing and aggressively involve them in marketing the survey. When leaders publicly support doing surveys, it sends a strong message about the value of employee opinion.

When the CEO of "Visionary Enterprises" started a video campaign to get feedback from every employee, amazing things happened.

To summarize

Surveys are vital for understanding and supporting the heart of any business: its employees. They provide valuable insights to guide actions, from meeting workforce needs to identifying growth opportunities. At ThriveSparrow, we believe in the power of employee engagement to enhance businesses.

Low response rates can hinder decision-making and deprive businesses of crucial feedback. But there's no need to worry! We've uncovered nine innovative techniques to boost survey participation. From employee ambassador programs to interactive gamification, these creative approaches can help organizations achieve record-breaking engagement.

Empower employees to share their voices, fostering a culture of feedback and communication, and propelling enterprises toward excellence.


1. What is a good employee survey response rate?

A good employee survey response rate typically falls between 70% and 90%. However, the ideal rate may vary depending on the organization and its goals. Try achieving high-quality responses rather than a specific percentage.

2. What is the average survey participation rate?

The average survey participation rate varies, but many organizations aim for at least 70% to ensure a representative sample.

Anything significantly lower may indicate a need for improvement.

3. How do you calculate participation rate in a survey?

To calculate the participation rate in a survey, divide the number of responses by the total number of employees or individuals invited to participate, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

The formula is: (Number of Responses / Total Invitations sent) * 100.