How Frequently Should Employee Engagement Surveys Be Conducted?

Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are given the tools they need to thrive and succeed during their engagement. One of the most important aspects of this relationship is continual feedback and support throughout the engagement, even when the relationship is going poorly.

Why conduct an employee engagement survey? Because it’s essential for understanding the gaps in your company’s people strategy, as well as recognising where your company is succeeding. Knowing the sentiment of the workers in your business will allow you to continually improve the experience you provide to them, which leads to increased performance, retention and competitiveness.

In our latest article, we outline how often employers should undertake engagement surveys, as well as sharing our insights into extending these surveys into the contingent workforce.

What is the ideal frequency for employee engagement surveys?

Ideally, organisations should adopt a multifaceted employee engagement strategy that allows for frequent feedback, while ensuring that they’re not obtaining so much information that it becomes unusable.

More and more organisations are converting their staple annual survey into a quarterly or even monthly surveys. By only undertaking surveys once per year, much of the feedback you receive is going to be stale

We find that a balance of four surveys per year to be the ideal employee engagement survey frequency. Employers should also offer workers the opportunity for ongoing feedback on an as needed basis: for instance, providing a happy/sad rating metric at the end of emails or at key milestones.

Additionally, a survey is only as good as the results it generates. You’ll receive more participation if you can demonstrate to your employees that you’re taking action based on their responses.

How do you develop an employee engagement strategy for contractors?

While many organisations have established feedback programs for their permanent workforce, they often miss out on doing the same for their contingent, or temporary, workforce. We see this as a missed opportunity to improve contractor retention and performance.

CXC manages around 10,000 contractors every year, engaging with workers from varying locations, role types and industries. To provide this service to such a diverse workforce, we need to listen to their needs and wants.

Contractors are our employees, and as such we needed to continually and quickly receive feedback on their experience. That’s why we implemented an employee listening strategy for our entire contractor base, made up of:

  • Annual surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Sentiment Pulse surveys
  • Safety surveys and incident reporting
  • Performance check-ins and appraisal
  • Wellness checks, as part of our COVID check in
  • Exit interviews.

This information allows us to identify general sentiment across our clients but also identify differences at a client or individual basis.

Through listening to our contractors, we have developed a number of initiatives to improve the overall experience:

  • Personalisation – Our system strikes a balance between automation and human connection, allowing contractors to self serve from any device at any time.
  • Financial wellbeing – Support with tax returns while contractors have been working from home, as well as access to their pay in advance of the standard pay run.
  • Immediate triage – If we receive any red flags around mental health, safety and emergencies, we immediately intervene.
  • An agile response to the changing COVID situation – Ensuring contractors are set up for working remotely (77% increase of our contractors changed from office work to WFH), have access to their systems, issuing required work permits and increasing activities to support their mental health.

How can surveys be used for talent pooling?

Our listening strategy extends beyond contractors and includes other key stakeholders such as hiring managers.

We often see quality contractors let go by organisations without them being given the opportunity to take on another role or being put into a talent pool.

CXC helps our clients to identify these workers through pulse check surveys. This survey is sent to hiring managers, and includes a simple rating system to determine whether the contractor should be considered for future opportunities.

Pulse survey

CXC’s team can also manage a rolling talent pool on behalf of our clients where new requirements are cross referenced against suitable contingent workers in the talent pool. This rating system allows us to make more informed decisions on the contractor’s fit for further assignments.

Additionally, through Workforce Exchange, we review suitable contractors who have completed engagements of a similar nature at other enterprise clients. Based on availability and interest, these contractors are submitted to our clients’ talent teams who determine suitability and manage the ongoing application process.