Running a Successful Employee Survey On a Tight Budget

Happy Company Employees Joining Parts of Jigsaw Puzzle

If you’ve never conducted an employee survey on a tight budget at your company, you may worry it’s out of the realm of possibilities. 

We’re here to tell you it’s not!

If your employees are struggling, it’s important to know why.

  • Is it company culture?
  • Not enough areas for growth?
  • Unflexible working conditions?

And that’s where employee surveys come in. 

If employee surveys sound expensive to you, the truth is that many businesses can afford this (very necessary) expense.

In fact, running employee surveys could lead to increased revenue for your company – but more on that later. 

Here’s how to accomplish a low-cost employee satisfaction survey for your company.

Importance of Running Employee Surveys

Since we’re talking about budgets, employee engagement survey questions have the potential to make your business more money. 

How? It’s a ripple effect. 

Currently, only 20% of employees are passionate about their job. That’s far too small a number.

employee engagement statistic

Say your employees are feeling the same way. 

By running an employee survey, you’ll be able to find out what the detractors and attractors are for working at your company. With this knowledge, you can eliminate what’s not working, and improve upon what is. 

This will likely lead to a happier staff, which leads to better productivity and increased employee retention

💡 The Key Takeaway: When you run staff surveys, you’ll find out the pros and cons of working at your company. When you address whatever issues are brought up, employees will likely notice, and produce better work because of these positive changes. 

Tip #1: Use Free Employee Survey Tools

If you’re looking to truly save money, it’s important to research the free options available. While there are dangers to conducting DIY market research, the biggest benefit is the perceived cost savings. 

But, if you’re looking for a low-cost survey option with the help of using a third party for employee surveys, consider the VoE Drive Research platform.

Drive Research employee survey platform

Below, we’ll list out some of the most reliable tools that offer free employee survey tools.


One of the most popular survey platforms, SurveyMonkey allows users to craft surveys for free. It’s known for having a number of useful tools, even within the free version. Additionally, SurveyMonkey boasts a simple-to-use template to help get you started. 

Learn more about SurveyMonkey


This platform is known to have a variety of free templates to choose from and is user-friendly.

While perhaps not as visually appealing as SurveyMonkey templates, Jotform is a reliable option to use when conducting an employee survey on a tight budget.

Learn more about JotForm


Lesser known than the previous two platforms, Empuls still gets the job done and is a great low-cost option for surveying employees.

Designed to inspire employees throughout the process, Empuls templates also include a reward system to motivate respondents.

💡 The Key Takeaway: There are plenty of free options available for staff to take surveys. What matters is that they’re accessible, simple to use, and yield actionable insights. 

Tip #2: Conduct the Survey Online - Not By Phone or Mail

There are many ways to survey employees and improve job satisfaction. Some organizations utilize email surveys while others use phone or mail surveys.

However, when conducting employee surveys on a tight budget, online surveys are the most cost-effective market research methodology to gather feedback. 

With online surveys, there are no costs associated with printing or mailing. Additionally, there are significant time savings compared to having 15-minute phone interviews with 50 employees. 

In comparison, how an online survey project works is quick and easy.

Drive Research online survey process

Once crafted, employees will be sent a survey invite through their email addresses.

The email contains a link where employees can click and navigate to the survey. It should take them no longer than ten minutes to complete. 

From the lens of leadership or HR teams, our employee survey company sends a report link that shows results in real time. Therefore, online employee surveys are not only cheaper, but they offer quick results.   

💡 The Key Takeaway: An employee survey on a tight budget can be conducted online, a common and economical option. This allows you to stay within budget, while still gathering actionable feedback from employees. 

Tip #3: Make It Mini

A great cost savings tip when working with an employee survey company is to reduce the number of questions in the survey. 

For instance, a 50-question survey will take more time and resources to write, program, and analyze the results in comparison to a 30-question survey. 

Not only is this a great tip for conducting an employee satisfaction survey on a tight budget, but there are other benefits of shorter surveys. 

Smaller surveys, 15-25 questions, assist in increasing employee survey response rates.

Your staff might not be willing to give up 30 minutes of their day to take a survey. Even if taking the survey is mandatory, by the 30th question, they will experience burnout and start to answer questions quickly, without giving genuine answers. 

Therefore, with longer surveys, your organization will spend more money and time on a study that will not provide the quality results needed to improve workplace culture.

Looking for more information on factors that impact the cost of outsourcing an employee survey? Watch our video below.

💡 The Key Takeaway: A smaller employee survey template is a great way to save money–and your employee’s time–to gain solid data. If you think your employees would be more willing to complete a shorter survey than a longer one, this is an option to consider when needing to conduct an employee survey on a tight budget. 

Tip #4: Work With a Third-Party 

Just because you have a smaller budget for employee surveys, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice outsourcing the study to a third party.

Depending on your unique needs, an outsourced firm can help you customize a survey or provide a ready-to-go survey template.

For instance, our own turnkey survey template can take on businesses with up to 500 employees or more and is expertly programmed–just as a customized survey would be. 

It combines the benefits of using a third party for employee surveys (anonymity, expertise, and quality survey design) without breaking the bank.

Additionally, when you work with an experienced team, you’ll be able to carefully craft a budgeting plan that you can afford. 

An employee satisfaction survey firm can help you customize your budget based on other important research factors, like:

  • Company size
  • Preferred research methodology
  • Survey length
  • Type of reporting 

💡 The Key Takeaway: When working with a credible third-party research team to conduct your survey, you can feel at ease knowing they’ll work to create a project that will fit within your budget. Our turnkey solution is a great option for those looking to save money while obtaining valuable feedback. 

Recommended Reading: What is the Cost of an Employee Engagement Survey with a Third Party?

Contact Our Low-Cost Employee Survey Company 

Don't let a smaller budget hold you back. Even if money’s tight for you, there are a number of ways you can run an employee survey on a tight budget

In some cases, our turnkey employee survey platform may be the best option for you. In other cases, you may find a customizable online survey is the answer.

Since they offer such important information for a company, we think it’s a very necessary expense! 

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. Our team of survey pros can work with your budget to create a customized, sophisticated employee survey experience. 

Want to learn more about our market research services? Get in touch with us using the information below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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Employee Surveys