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What is survey fatigue and how to overcome it


Before you begin to read this piece about a very hot topic in the HR industry, I want you to ask yourselves a question. Are your employees masterfully dodging the stream of surveys you send them? Or are they just, hear me out, tired of screaming into a void? 

What is survey fatigue?

Occasionally, this could be diagnosed as a perfect case of survey fatigue. It’s when the HR wants to cumulate baseline data via surveys to understand how employees adjust to their business culture, but the employees find almost little to no value in the said surveys. Have they developed a blind spot for the surveys because of the sheer volume? Maybe. Are they almost sure that their responses don’t matter because historically, no action has been taken basis their response? A hundo percent! 


In the U.S., around 3 in 10 surveys are conducted on a mobile device - which means that employees can take a survey pretty much anywhere and anytime and yet they choose not to. 

I have begun to understand that surveys are sort of a black hole, the more effort you put in to ask people to fill it, the less likely they’re going to want to do it. Thankfully, this isn’t Stone Age, the Gods of technology are shining upon us. As employers and people managers, we can do better than constantly nudging our employees to tell us how they feel this quarter on a naive scale of 1-10.



4 ways to avoid survey fatigue in your employees

  • Use targeting and segmentation

What’s a great alternative to combat survey fatigues? Personalization. Do not underestimate the power of asking the right question at the right time to the right people. As against a 30 question trap, personalized surveys ask relevant questions to employees based on their individual experiences. Not only do you get more specific results, but your employees feel happy because targetted surveys actually sound like a human wrote them. 

One of the biggest reasons for disinterest in generic surveys is because employees feel they’re not going to result in a change. Personalized surveys speak action in all languages. If an organization cares enough to ask a relevant question, it will care enough to deliver action on it as well. 

Our take? Surveys are a bit old-fashioned but if you care for a better response rate and higher participation, make sure each question matters...

  • ...Or just leverage the power of AI

Conversational AI solutions have become extraordinarily popular over the last few years, with speedy adoption across almost all industries due to Covid-19. By 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact regularly with conversational platforms, according to Gartner. How’s the HR landscape utilizing conversational AI for employee surveys? Pretty well, I’d say.

Unlike surveys, a conversational bot, Amber's humane chats get honest employee responses without survey fatigue. 


  • Communicate results

The first - and one of the most important - steps after an employee engagement survey is communicating the results to your employees. As soon as you’ve concluded the survey, make sure to inform your employees that along with a note thanking them for their participation. You must also outline the next steps for them. Clearly mentioning timelines and processes can add the much-needed charm to an otherwise boring survey. Finally, when you announce the detailed results, keep it simple, highlight areas of focus, but mostly emphasize upon action steps to follow. Action-oriented surveys will stick with your employees long enough for them to take one more survey in the future.

  • Take guided actions

Remember that one friend who keeps asking for your advice but never truly follows it? You could be that nightmarish friend if all you do is ask questions without any plan to make a move. Meaningful surveys tie back to the organizational goals with a plan in place to implement changes inspired by the responses. Employees who saw action following a survey were 12 times more likely to be engaged the following year than those who don’t experience follow-up. 

Remember that surveys are significant to understand your employees’ well-being but not the only strategy you can implement. Engage with them on a regular basis, plug into their needs with advanced tools at your disposal, and implement them.

It’s time to amp up your survey game like the experts do!Meet Amber!

Shivangi Gautam
Shivangi Gautam

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