Employee Survey Frequently Asked Questions [Answered By Experts]

Employee Survey FAQ

In today’s dynamic workplace, employee surveys are essential tools for gauging morale, identifying areas for improvement, and fostering a culture of continuous feedback.

As a leading employee survey company, we frequently receive questions about the process, implementation, and utilization of these surveys.

To assist those in the same boat, Drive Research addresses the most frequently asked questions about employee surveys below.


How will employees receive the survey?

Employees will receive the survey via a secure link sent to their company email addresses. Each employee email is assigned a unique link embedded with a unique code. It allows us to track who responded and who did not, to focus our future efforts on reminding non-responders to take the survey. 

We can also use that unique invite code to tie in other profiling data you may want to tie to responses for segments such as tenure, department, etc. This is the best approach rather than asking the employee to provide that information as it can make them feel their answers are not confidential.

What is the difference between the varying types of employee surveys?

As you start to explore options for survey employees, you’ll quickly learn there are various types and names for these studies: employee engagement surveys, culture surveys, DEI surveys, etc. 

You may be wondering, what’s the difference?

To be honest, they all tend to blend together, and engagement, culture, and DEI can be addressed in a well-written employee survey. For instance, the employee surveys by Drive Research often touch on all three. 

In most cases, your survey will address the following categories to give you a comprehensive 360-degree view:

  • Career development (i.e., growth, development, training, opportunities)
  • Work engagement (i.e., excitement, adapting to change, initiative)
  • Relationship management (i.e., good leaders, trust, working relationships)
  • Benefits (i.e., healthcare, retirement, paid leave, flexibility)
  • Compensation (i.e., fair pay in comparison to market)
  • Work environment (i.e., job security, social responsibility, diversity, culture)

How often should companies survey employees?

Companies should conduct employee surveys once a year to gather comprehensive feedback and insights.

Though, depending on the organization's goals, quarterly or monthly employee pulse surveys may be more suitable to capture more frequent snapshots of employee sentiment.

By regularly surveying employees, organizations obtain valuable benchmarking data to measure changes in employee engagement, satisfaction, and other key metrics. 


How do you reassure employees their survey responses are anonymous?

That is perhaps the biggest issue with earning high employee survey response rates. It’s why it is best practice to hire a third-party employee survey company to add a layer of privacy. 

To combat this, Drive Research does a series of actions for our clients.

First, Drive Research shares a template email for the organization to send to their staff. It details that you have hired a third-party employee survey company to protect their confidentiality and anonymity. 

Employee survey invitation example

When we send the invites and reminders, we also reiterate that invite responses are anonymous and responses will only be reported in aggregate. 

Secondly, we can brand the survey completely as Drive Research to drive home that experience further. 

Should I ask for any personal identifiable information (PII)?

We do not typically recommend collecting any PII in the employee survey such as names, job titles, phone numbers, etc. Doing so makes an employee feel like they could be singled out. 

If you have that profiling information in your contact database, we can seed that data into the analysis on the back end/behind the scenes without asking them to provide it in the survey (e.g., tenure, age based on DOB, department, manager, and location). 

Response Rates

What is the average employee response rate on surveys? 

From our decades of experience, it truly varies from organization to organization. The best benchmark is yourself and a prior wave of surveys you've conducted. 

We generally see response rates as low as 10-15% for global organizations with 10,000+ employees and up to 80-90% sometimes for smaller organizations with ~100. 

Though, there is no guarantee. The response rate can be a finding in itself that tells a story about the relationship and engagement.

How can I increase my employee survey response rate?

Choosing to use a third party for employee surveys typically provides a lift in the response rate. An added benefit is that you'll see a bit of a shift in the feedback (good and bad for specific things) as employees feel they can be more candid due to it being truly anonymous. 

It creates a more accurate picture of your culture. 

Other ways to increase employees participation in surveys might include: 

  • Posting reminders in lunchrooms
  • Verbal reminders during staff get-togethers
  • The third party employee survey company can place reminder phone calls and texts
  • Posting survey links/QR codes on your company’s intranet site

There are a lot of options to maximize return! Regardless, Drive Research keeps you posted throughout and can make recommendations to boost response rates.

Recommended Reading: How to Increase Your Employee Survey Response Rates

What is the best time to send an employee survey?

There isn't a universally optimal month, day, or time for conducting an employee survey. However, certain periods should be avoided.

Organizations should refrain from sending out employee surveys during:

  • Holiday-shortened work weeks
  • Significant organizational changes
  • Weekends, as employees are less likely to check their emails
  • Busy seasons (e.g., surveying tax professionals in March and April)

We also recommend keeping the data collection period open for at least two weeks to accommodate employees' varying schedules, including time off, work priorities, and vacations. 


How much does an employee survey cost?

Many elements drive the cost of an employee survey.

For instance, if choosing to outsource (the recommended approach) the survey, the scope will vary depending on the length of the survey, the size of your organization, the methodology, and reporting needs.

Plan to budget anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 for a basic full-service study with a consultant and more for fully customized research.

What factors influence the cost of an employee survey?

Several factors can affect the cost of an employee survey, including:

  • The number of employees being surveyed
  • The level of customization required
  • The type of survey platform or tool used
  • The need for analysis and reporting services
  • Additional features such as anonymity, benchmarking, and follow-up surveys

Is it more cost-effective to conduct surveys in-house or to hire an external vendor?

Conducting surveys in-house can be more cost-effective if you have the necessary expertise and resources. However, external vendors provide a lot of value that justify the additional cost. 

For one, employee survey companies bring a wealth of experience and specialized knowledge in survey design, administration, and analysis. They can ensure your survey is methodologically sound and effective in capturing the information you need. 

But most importantly, an external vendor adds a layer of confidentiality to the process, which can enhance the credibility of the survey and encourage more honest feedback from employees.

Implementing Employee Feedback

What should be done with employee survey results?

Once survey results are collected, Drive Research performs a thorough analysis to unveil underlying trends, patterns, and critical areas necessitating attention. 

Based on the findings, we recommend actionable strategies to tackle identified concerns, fostering tangible improvements in the workplace. 

Additionally, tracking progress over time ensures that initiatives remain aligned with evolving needs and effectively address ongoing challenges. 

How can employee surveys contribute to organizational improvement?

Employee surveys serve as invaluable tools for organizational improvement by providing actionable insights that inform decision-making and drive change. 

By listening to the feedback of employees, leaders can identify areas where processes can be streamlined, communication can be enhanced, and resources can be allocated more effectively.

This proactive approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement, where feedback is not only welcomed but actively sought after. 

Additionally, addressing concerns raised in surveys demonstrates a commitment to employee satisfaction and engagement, which in turn boosts morale and productivity. 

Contact Our Employee Survey Company

Drive Research is a full-service market research company specializing in employee engagement surveys. Whether you are looking for a low-cost employee survey option or a full-service project, our team can help.

With our third-party employee survey company, you will walk away with understanding what is important to your employees, how satisfied they are with those factors, what improvements are necessary to increase retention, and more.

Contact Drive Research today to learn more or receive a quote.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at[email protected]
  3. Call us at888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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