Curious about setting realistic participation expectations?
Before you launch the #BeHeard Survey, it’s important to set a participation goal and share it with the company to encourage cooperation. This is also a great way to level set with the leadership team who may want 100% participation. Most think that 100% involvement would be positive, but you must also take into account the quality of the responses if participation is forced. Employees will be hurried and will give little thought to their answers. Either way, this is just a great way to set a benchmark so expectations are aligned and reasonable.
Participation rates also give you a look at your current engagement through a different lens. In the full and free report you will receive participation data. Depending on how you upload your employee data you will be able to filter this by different workplace demographics while keeping employee confidentiality. It's always interesting to see where participation falls flat and excels within different areas of your organization.
Ideal Participation Rates
To get an idea of what that goal should be for your company or department, below are target participation rates by employee count.
|Ideal Participation Rate
|Less than 50
|80% - 90%
|70% - 80%
|1000 or more
|65% - 80%
Some companies include incentives if the participation goal is met on a company level or by different departments. However, as we mentioned previously, if you want credible data, you don’t want to motivate quick and meaningless responses. If participation incentives is a good strategy for your culture and survey experience, here are some ideas to celebrate when you meet or exceed your survey participation goal while keeping the confidentiality promise:
- We love the idea of celebrating participation, so a new feature we will be introducing is the option to include gift cards to those who participate in the survey based on your budget and goals. These gift cards will be delivered from an external provider. Due to confidentiality, we cannot share who those gift cards went to, but will be able to provide the participation data to highlight the number of participants to align incurred costs.
- Celebrate with an internal company raffle and make sure that everyone is eligible for a reward regardless if they participated or not. If you only include those who participated, not only will confidentiality be in question but most don't want their peers and manager to know - especially if the overall outcomes are not favorable. Note: Even with the best of intentions, if confidentiality is in question it will impact the integrity of future survey results; employees will be fearful to give honest feedback if they think they can be identified.
- Engage the company in another way to celebrate this win. If a companywide raffle doesn't sound fun, consider allocating dollars towards peer nominated awards for example. You can include the survey theme and base eligibility requirements on your top engagement strengths and/or company culture focus areas, such as recognizing those who exemplify the core values. If you want this experience to ripple throughout the organization have a nomination by department or team so everyone is included.
As a tip, "Sparck" the nominees by personalizing the reward based on personal hobbies, interests, or goals. For example, Bernard loves playing golf so you could give him with a gift certificate for a foursome at a local course.
Remember, the best way to inspire higher participation and authentic responses is to share the survey results AND take action. Based on your outcomes it’s important to explain why you are or aren’t focused on certain areas based on the results. This type of communication shows employees that their voice is being heard and their opinions and feedback make a difference when they participate in these surveys. Not everyone will always be happy, but when they understand the “why” it will make a world of difference.