Using a Third Party for Employee Surveys: Costs, Benefits, & Process

The good news is you’re here!

This means you already find value in or understand the need to conduct employee surveys. 

Remember, happy employees = happy customers 🎉

Your next choice is deciding between using a third party employee survey company or conducting the staff survey in-house.

This ultimate guide answers everything you need to know from employee survey costs, processes, and benefits to help make your decision easier.

Article contents 📝

What is a third party employee survey?

A third-party employee survey refers to the process of conducting surveys on behalf of an organization by an external entity or vendor, known as a third-party survey company or market research firm.

Instead of conducting surveys internally, the organization outsources this task to a specialized company with expertise in survey design, administration, data collection, analysis, and reporting.

What are the advantages of third party employee surveys?

An employee engagement survey is a common form of quantitative research where your staff becomes the focal point of your research.

Partnering these efforts with an employee engagement survey company will help target what is most valuable to your staff and what improvements need to be made.

Here are five reasons you should work with a third party for your employee survey.

1. Customized survey template 📄

When working with a third-party market research company, you will receive a custom employee survey questionnaire, designed specifically for your organization. 

An employee engagement company will use simple techniques to determine priority areas of improvement and priority areas of strength. 

From there, the market research company will create unique questions reflective of your employees' needs and wants.

By using a third party for employee surveys, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you are asking the right questions. 

2. Unbiased employee survey questions ❓❓

When employers design their own employee surveys, they unintentionally bias the questions. Let's compare the differences.

Survey question written by internal HR and leadership teams: Our revenue has increased 5X in the past 3 years, do you think the company will be better in 5 years than it is today?

Survey question written by an employee survey company: Do you think the company will be better 5 years from now than it is today?

Here, you see how the survey question developed by an employee engagement company has been left open-ended.

What does “better” mean to the staff member?

It doesn’t have to be pinpointed to an increase in revenue, as shown in the survey question by the employer.

A “better” company could mean a multitude of improvements – whether it be the organization’s culture, work/life balance, leadership team, etc.  

One of the benefits of using a third party for employee surveys is asking questions in a strategic way to generate greater employee feedback. 

3. Open communication with staff 💬

Honesty among staff is a key factor for success within any organization. But how comfortable are employees with being completely transparent with their superiors? 

Research shows that 48% of workers felt their employee surveys did not provide an accurate assessment because employees didn't answer the survey honestly.

That's likely because employees fear they will be penalized when providing their honest feedback to employers.

This discrepancy can lead to misleading employee engagement survey results by not reflecting the real issues staff members are having at work. 

This is why employee research is essential to any organization. With survey results delivered from a third party, employees are less concerned with being reprimanded. This privacy allows for genuine feedback and complete honesty.

4. Accurate survey feedback 🗨️

Using a third party for employee surveys is necessary for this type of market research to ensure the privacy and anonymity of the survey results.

This is one of, if not the biggest, reason organizations use employee survey companies like Drive Research.

The third-party tie-in is essential to let your employees know their responses will be anonymous and confidential.

At the end of the employee survey process, a market research company will detail which factors have the greatest impact on overall employee loyalty and satisfaction. Techniques include regression and correlation analysis.

Ultimately, the results from your employee survey will allow you to address any changes you see fit. Understanding employee motivations leads to greater company success and culture. After all, happy employees make for happy customers. 

In fact, a 2022 study conducted by Gallup, found that organizations with engaged workforces outperform competitors in earnings per share by 147%.

Employee engagement statistic

5. Employee survey benchmarks

Another key benefit of using a third party for employee surveys is the ability to benchmark results.

These third-party companies have access to benchmark data to compare your employee survey results to peers in your industry. This may include geographical comparisons or industry comparisons.

Learn more in our article, How to Use Employee Survey Benchmarks.

💡 The Key Takeaway: There are many reasons to partner with an employee survey company to gather feedback from your team. Perhaps the most influential benefit is receiving more accurate survey feedback because employees feel more comfortable sharing their opinions with an unbiased third party. Confidentiality is key in market research.

How does a third-party employee survey work?

The two most common options used by our employee survey firm are:

  1. Online surveys delivered through email
  2. Paper surveys delivered through the mail or by a handout

Online surveys are cost-effective, offer a quick turn-around, are measurable, and gather quality feedback from staff.

The combination of these benefits creates a strong ROI. If you have access to employee emails, we highly recommend this approach to your organization.

Phone surveys are rarely used. However, phone call reminders are often a nice supplement to email or mail surveys to remind non-responders to participate as a final nudge.

In this section, we’ll break down the process for each of these two commonly used approaches. 

Drive Research follows a systematic in-house approach our team has built for employee survey projects.

Our method uses a step-by-step and task-oriented approach to project management from kickoff through completion. Each of these steps is detailed below for the (1) online/email surveys and (2) the paper/mail surveys.

The process outlined below is very similar to an email and paper survey, but we’ve noted differences in the mail survey using the 📭 symbol.

online survey process

1. Contact a third-party vendor 🤝

First, you have to contact an employee survey company like Drive Research. The best will respond back within a few hours with some additional information to get the process started!

In cases where your employee survey is more complex or you need some advice to walk through your options, the market research team will schedule a short 30-minute discovery call with your team. 

During this call, they’ll talk about your objectives, what you want to accomplish, the size of your employee base, options for methodologies, and other key criteria that go into a proposal.

2. Proposal 💍

The market research request for proposal for your employee survey is the next step of the process.

The firm takes all of the feedback from your request and discovery call and builds out a custom proposal to address your needs. This document walks you through your unique project from A to Z.

It includes an all-inclusive fee, timeline, and deliverables.

3. Kickoff meeting 🏈

If you deem our employee survey firm to be the best fit for your team, the next step is to schedule a 30-to-60-minute kickoff meeting

The team sends an agenda before the meeting to guide the discussion as much of the conversation centers around the survey topics.

It includes listening to your custom needs as well as our team recommending specific questions for your organization or industry.

For the kickoff, plan on inviting a small team of key stakeholders (2 to 3). We often find the discussion more fruitful with a smaller, more focused team.

4. Workplan ⚒️

The workplan is exchanged within 24 hours at the end of the kickoff meeting. This document highlights key tasks, deliverables, and dates.

It ensures the project stays on track and both teams understand what deadlines are approaching.

5. Survey draft 📝

The core deliverable. This document makes or breaks the project. 

It is essential to draft a strong survey draft with the right questions to address the objectives. The outcomes, analysis, and report you read after fieldwork closes will be reflective of the questions you ask your employees through this document. 

Garbage in. Garbage out. 

This is the most important piece of the employee survey process and is the critical reason to use a third-party market research company. 

Writing a survey is an art and a science. It takes many years to perfect the survey writing process and there are always things to learn.

While writing a survey, a third-party market research company thinks about order, flow, wording, bias, types of questions, potential results, skip patterns, masking, and many other criteria.

This document is developed in Word to allow for comments, edits, and feedback from your team.

6. Exchange of employee database 🗄️

As we prepare to take the next steps with the survey, now is the time to exchange your employee database. In nearly all cases, this is delivered as an Excel file or CSV.

🔑 Tip: If you have other fields available in your database, think about adding those categories to your file.

These fields can be embedded in the survey for additional analysis. If you want to break down results by age and tenure, and you have DOB and date of hire in your database, include them.

These fields can be added to the survey file and save them from asking additional questions you already have the answers to. Other ideas include department, supervisor, gender, etc.

📭 The database exchange is similar to the mail survey.

However, in this case, your team would include the physical mailing address for where the survey must be sent.

7. Survey programming

Once the survey draft is finalized, the document is programmed as an online survey. The team ensures the layout is correctly formatted for mobile, tablet, or laptop/desktop.

Interested in learning more about programming a survey? Watch our short video.

📭 How does this work for a mail survey?

Rather than programming online, the mail or paper version of the survey is formatted into an easy-to-follow layout on a formal Word document or booklet. This is often printed front and back, or part of a 4-page booklet. 

Once the survey is formatted correctly, these can either be printed and handed out to staff with an option to return or the surveys can be mailed directly to households.

A postage-paid return envelope is often included in the mailing to make it easy for the employee to return back. A unique number or code is added to the bottom of the survey to have the option to trace the employee back to the database to sync fields. Or you can choose to make them completely anonymous.

Oftentimes, a link to take the survey online is included in the paper version as well for those who prefer utilizing technology. Typically only 15% or less end up taking the survey online when the paper questionnaire is mailed.

8. Pre-notice 📧

If the email survey route is chosen, Drive Research recommends the sponsoring organization send a pre-email notice to all employees.

This announcement helps introduces the upcoming employee survey and other important details such as:

  1. When employees can expect an invite
  2. Why a response is important
  3. Confirms the credibility and third-party aspect of using a separate market research company

Ultimately, it sets a good tone.

📭 If the survey is mailed, the same effect can be accomplished through a cover letter.

Template language would be provided by the market research company to explain similar key points. This is included as part of the mailing and is signed by a stakeholder from your organization.

9. Testing 🧪

Test. Test. And test some more.

The survey runs through our entire team of assistants and analysts who test it for:

  • Grammar
  • Context
  • Comprehension
  • Skip patterns
  • Logic
  • All other issues

The test link will also be sent to the client for review so the team can view the survey as if they were an employee participating.

Your job is to break our survey – or at least attempt to!

10. Invitations and reminders 📨

Once the survey has been thoroughly tested, it is ready for launch. The initial email invitation is sent followed by one or two reminders depending on the response rate. Additional reminders may be emailed at no cost.

📭 For a mail survey, we do not recommend sending a second mailing to the same employees if response rates fall below expectations.

The minimal return from a follow-up mailing often does not match the costs to print, assemble, add postage, and manage data entry. If the response rate is low on a mail survey, email reminders and/or phone call reminders are often more viable.

📊 Feature: As part of the base employee package with Drive Research, your team is provided an online dashboard of the results using real-time charts and graphs.

This passcode-protected portal allows you to log in and see a sneak peek of the results before the fieldwork is closed. These reports can be exported in Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, or Word.

A client dashboard looks something like this 👇👇

Drive Research employee survey portal

11. Close fieldwork 🔒

Once responses have been exhausted or you have reached your response goal for the employee survey, fieldwork is closed. The survey company closes the online survey and posts a message for anyone who visits the link that the survey is closed.

📭 This is a little trickier for a mail survey because a date must be indicated in the survey itself or a cover letter.

Although fieldwork closes on a specific date, surveys inevitably roll back to the employee survey company after the deadline.

These are often saved cases and additional surveys shared with the organization, but do not make their way into the report.

12. Analysis and reporting

Now the real fun begins when the employee survey company digs into the data to summarize key insights, feedback, and recommendations from the data.

This includes basic and advanced analysis such as correlation and regression.

Additionally, several different levels of reporting options are available for your organization. 

These include 3 typical levels of packages:

  • Bronze: Online portal with exportable charts and graphs
  • Silver: Topline summary of the results with key insights (bullet points of 2 to 4 pages)
  • Gold: Comprehensive report with a summary, recommendations, and full cross-tabulations

📊 Feature: The client will receive a full Excel CSV file of all survey responses.

The interpretation of data and results is a true differentiator for Drive Research. Receiving feedback is only the beginning of the process for us.

We provide you with a comprehensive yet digestible employee survey report

The report has several pieces that can be shared specifically to separate locations or management teams.

Since the reports are created in PowerPoint they are easily shared and can be used as part of presentation decks internally for our clients.

13. Debrief 🗣️

After the report is delivered, the employee survey firm will schedule a 30-to-90-minute follow-up conversation with your team.

The presentation will walk you through the background and methodology, key findings, recommendations, action items, next steps, and showcase the layout of the deliverables to help you navigate through the feedback as part of your strategy.

Although the report and debrief is the final step of the market research process with our team, we’ll check in after the project concludes. As you dive deeper into the results, questions often come up and our team is happy to respond.

14. Thank you note or email 🙏

After the project is completed Drive Research recommends sending a short thank you email to all employee contacts (both those who responded and those who did not). This email language template can be developed by Drive Research and sent to the client. 

The email should feature 2 or 3 highlights from the feedback and expected changes that are being reviewed as a result of the employee feedback.

This final email ensures employees their feedback is being acted upon and that you listened to their needs. 

It also helps with the response rate to future employee engagement.

💡 The Key Takeaway: In short, an employee engagement survey firm acts as a trusted partner for all facets of your project: survey design, programming, fieldwork, and reporting. While we can work as fast as you need us to, typically employee survey projects take 4-5 weeks to complete.

What should you not do with an employee survey?

Why don't employee satisfaction surveys work?

They DO if administered through a third-party employee survey company. 👍

They DON'T if administered in-house through a company's human resources department or management. 👎

There are many best practices when it comes to market research, particularly with employee satisfaction surveys.

A few red flags that come to mind with employee satisfaction surveys include:

  • Employers who are too afraid to collect feedback so they never ask
  • Employers who think they have a good understanding of employee satisfaction (spoiler alert, this isn't always the case)
  • Employers who do not follow the rules when it comes to employee confidentiality

The truth is employee surveys work great when executed properly. The results can help organization leaders increase revenue, and satisfaction, reduce turnover, increase productivity, increase communication, reduce safety accidents, and more.

Gallup conducts many employee benchmark research and engagement studies so check out their latest data for recent metrics.

Here are 4 reasons employee surveys fail when administered in-house instead of using a third-party employee survey company firm.

1. The right questions are not asked 🙅‍♂️

Survey design is an art form. When the right questions are asked in an employee satisfaction survey, market research analysts can pinpoint priority areas to maintain and improve.

There are a ton of potential questions that could be included in an employee satisfaction survey.

Oftentimes, an employee satisfaction survey is created based on industry benchmarking questions. The results for a particular organization can then be compared to the results of the industry as a whole. 

Through this, organization leaders get a better understanding of areas of success and weakness as it compares to the industry as a whole. This can identify how similar employers match up in regard to the employee experience. This includes overall satisfaction as well as other factors like pay and benefits.

2. Employees are too scared to provide honest feedback 😨

Using a third party for an employee satisfaction survey company is crucial.

Again, in case you missed it, using a third-party employee satisfaction survey company is crucial.

If organizations conduct employee surveys in-house there is a ton of risk of bias. Bias means the data collected is tainted and is not reliable. In addition to bias, using a third party for employee research opens lines of communication and gathers more reliable feedback.

If an employee survey is administered through a member of a leadership team or human resources, employees are less likely to offer their honest feedback about the company.

Employees fear their job is on the line if they provide anything but stellar reviews.

In the long run, this type of feedback is not helpful for HR or employees because no real change will be made.

There really would be no point in administering an employee survey in the first back, if it is not going to allow for a real difference to be made.

3. Results are not properly analyzed 📊

Suppose an organization crafted a great employee survey and conducted the research with the help of a third-party market research company to ensure employee confidentiality.

Even if great data is collected, experienced analysts need to be able to report on the data, uncover key findings, and recommend the next steps. 

To give you an inside look, a prior employee satisfaction survey answered the following questions:

  • How satisfied are employees?
  • What are employees most satisfied with?
  • What are employees least satisfied with?
  • What drives satisfaction?
  • What is most important to employees?
  • How do employees describe the manufacturing company?
  • How can the manufacturing company improve?

Check out the complete overview of an employee engagement project.

4. Nothing is done with the results 😶

Even with a perfect employee satisfaction survey and the third-party company conducting the research and report, the project truly becomes successful when the next steps are taken with the results.

After employees take the time to share their thoughts they want to be heard. Use the results to drive and implement change. Once this final piece is complete, the true value of employee satisfaction surveys can be realized.

Want more? Check out these 5 employee survey benefits.

💡 The Key Takeaway: DIY employee survey tools are great for a quick solution, but they don't always generate the best results. There are many things that can go wrong when surveying employees such as survey design and lack of anonymity that impact the quality of the data. 

How can I choose the best employee survey company?

Strong employee engagement is key to creating a workplace culture that facilitates high productivity and quality services or products.

However, because employee engagement or satisfaction is often difficult to measure, this makes employee surveys, particularly of value, but only when administered correctly.

It is crucial to look for key characteristics when choosing an employee survey vendor. You'll want a firm that helps with survey development, administration, analysis, recommendations, and more.

Here's a closer look at the four key things to look for when choosing an employee survey company.

More than a self-service platform

When looking for an employee survey company, oftentimes organizations are presented with self-service survey platforms. You are only provided with...

  1. A bank of survey questions to choose from
  2. Ability to upload an email list of employees
  3. Send the survey invitations yourself
  4. Interpret the data on your own

A national employee survey vendor acts as an extension of your team.

It works one-on-one with leadership teams or human resource departments to provide end-to-end project management.

This includes writing the survey based on questions specific to your research objectives, sending confidential survey invites, and analyzing team feedback in a way that is concise and actionable.

An employee survey company also provides recommendations and department-specific insights.

Your team will not be responsible for sifting through the data alone but can rely on an unbiased third party to create employee initiatives that work.

Interpret data and create solutions

You can have the best research partner in the world to help you create and deploy employee surveys. This company can use the survey results to create beautiful charts and infographics, too. But collecting and showcasing the data isn't the goal (or it at least shouldn't be).

The goal is to see where you need to improve employee engagement and then to actually make the improvement.

To do this, you need an employee survey vendor that helps create and deploy the surveys as well as offers recommendations and next steps, such as employee programs that your company can start. 

For example, after reading the results of an employee survey, a third-party vendor concludes there are two major issues among employees that are hindering better engagement: 

  1. Employees want more time with their families
  2. Employees dislike the unpredictable on-call schedule

You now know the primary sources of low employee engagement levels in your workplace, but how do you address them?

With the right employee survey company, you won’t only be told what areas your organization can improve, but how to improve them.

Sending third-party invites

To get the most honest answers from your staff, it's imperative that the survey is sent from a third party. This means the survey vendor must support the ability to send employee survey invitations through a private platform.

The more honest your employees are in answering the survey, the more reliable the data will be, thus making it easier to pinpoint and create employee programs that provide a strong return on investment. 

When employees see the survey is sent from a third-party research firm, and not their boss or HR department, they are most likely to be 100% honest with their feedback. This extra level of security assures their responses are completely anonymous.

Sending third-party invites is also of benefit because it gives you more time to make use of the survey results.

If employees know the survey comes straight from your HR office, they will assume some kind of immediate response.

With a third-party invite to the survey, such an immediate or direct response isn't typically assumed.

With this extra time, you and your choice of survey company can make better use of the survey results by developing deeper insights than the insights you can acquire with less time.

Ask custom questions

To create a survey that helps you achieve one or more specific goals, the questions themselves must be customized, meaning you must first assess your goals.

If the goal is to create a more unified culture, then the survey questions should focus solely on aspects of the existing workplace culture as well as characteristics of the future workplace culture that the employees would like to see.

A quality vendor will help you perform an assessment that not only identifies your goals but ranks them according to priority too.

It is also helpful if the employee survey vendor has worked with similar organizations in your industry. This will allow for more accurate recommendations for what type of questions should be asked in the survey.

Since no two workplaces are exactly the same, even among companies with multiple locations, this makes it all the more imperative to choose an employee survey vendor that custom tailors survey questions based on each client's goal.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The first step to improving workplace culture for better long-term employment, is choosing the best market research company for your needs. Find a partner like Drive Research that has the flexibility to collaborate on survey design, pricing, and interpreting the results. 

What categories are addressed in an employee survey?

Most employee survey companies have a bank of questions that can be benchmarked to nationwide averages and industry averages. This is in addition to creating custom questions based on specific needs. 

The optimal length for the employee survey is 40 to 50 questions (including those listed in a grid series) which take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. This should include 2 to 3 open-ends.

Open-ended questions are free-text responses with no button selections for respondents.

These open-ended questions are proofed, categorized, and coded in the final report and take considerable time to read through and analyze.

They are absolutely crucial to give employees an opportunity to add context and detail.

We hate, hate, hate seeing employee surveys without a single open-ended comment box. 


Potential survey category questions may include topics like:

  • Mission and purpose
  • Teamwork
  • Quality and customer focus
  • Compensation
  • Feedback
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Workplace and resources
  • Communication
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Work-Life balance
  • Fairness
  • Respect for management
  • Respect for employees
  • Performance and accountability
  • Personal expression and diversity
  • Satisfaction and engagement
  • Career development
  • Work engagement
  • Compensation
  • Relationship management
  • Benefits
  • Work environment
  • Demographics

Recommended Reading: How to Conduct a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

How do we benchmark our employee survey results?

If you plan to conduct an employee survey, make sure you add context. 

If results come back and say 80% of your employees are satisfied with your company will you know if that is good or bad? Will you know how that compares to your industry peers? Will you know how that compares to best-in-class organizations?

Likely you will not, so this is why benchmarking data is so crucial to adding insight and understanding of the process. Employee surveys are a tool to understand a variety of factors about working at your organization.

The school of research teaches us happy employees equal happy customers. So in order for this to happen, you must first address employee engagement and satisfaction.

Employee surveys are an excellent way to benchmark your organizational culture and performance to key industry peers.

What are employee survey benchmarks? 🤔

Benchmarks are measurements or data in which you can compare your own scores to understand the context. This includes benchmarks for employee net promoter score (eNPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and employee satisfaction (ESAT).

Benchmarks may be listed as mean scores, top 2 boxes, or even quartiles to help with analysis and interpretation.

Although employee engagement surveys offer a lot of value, benchmarking your data can take your insights to the next level. A statistic alone is just a statistic unless you know how it compares.

At Drive Research we always talk about 4 benchmarks:

  1. Best-in-class
  2. Industry peers
  3. Competitors
  4. Yourself

We discuss these four benchmarks in greater detail in this short video.

What are some category options for benchmarks? 🏢

At Drive Research we offer several different benchmarking capabilities for our employee surveys. These include industry benchmarks, organizational size benchmarks, and regional benchmarks.

1. Industry

Several industry benchmarks exist to compare your employee engagement scores to your peers. These include:

  • All technology
  • Consumer goods and services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare providers
  • Industrial
  • Manufacturing
  • Non-profits
  • Professional services
  • Small professional services firms

2. Organization Size

Four industry size options exist for employee engagement benchmarks including:

  • Large enterprises (250 employees or more)
  • Medium-sized enterprises (50 to 249 employees)
  • Small enterprises (10 to 49 employees)
  • Micro-enterprises (5 to 9 employees)

3. Region

Current regions for benchmarking include:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. The United States

💡 The Key Takeaway: Employee survey benchmarks help showcase how your organization compares to others in your industry. When working with an employee satisfaction survey company they can tell you how your survey results match up to your competitors and best-in-class organizations.

What is the cost of an employee survey?

Although the cost for an employee survey varies greatly based on the size, scope, and needs of the market research, most employee surveys conducted through email or online fall in the range of $3,000 to $15,000.

This includes end-to-end management from your third-party employee survey company.

Items that impact the scope and cost include the following:

  • Number of employees
  • Number of questions
  • Mail components (printing, assembly, postage)
  • Phone call reminders
  • Level of reporting
  • Benchmarks requested

The addition or subtraction of these components will increase or decrease the cost of your study.

If you are concerned about budget, but still want to work with an experienced company, consider using our turn-key employee survey solution.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Unfortunately there is not a set cost for surveying employees. However, when contacting an employee survey vendor, let them know your budget. They can offer ways to lower the cost to fit into most budgets.

How long does an employee survey take?

The typical email employee survey project takes 4 to 5 weeks. Once the agreement page is signed and returned, Drive Research can send a standard NDA to the client or sign an NDA the client uses as part of its operations.

The kickoff and survey setup takes approximately 1-week to complete, fieldwork lasts approximately 2 to 3 weeks, and reporting is completed in 1 week after fieldwork is closed. 

This timeline can be accelerated if feedback and sign-off are received quickly or if a lower level of deliverable is needed (such as a topline summary report).

Online or email employee survey

  • Best case: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Typical: 4 to 5 weeks

Paper or mail employee survey

  • Best case: 4 to 6 weeks
  • Typical: 8 to 10 weeks

The mail or paper employee survey does add to the timeline. The additional time is baked into the printing, assembly, and mailings.

This includes both times to mail to the participant, time in transit back to the market research firm, and time for data entry.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The length of an employee survey varies based on your methodology of choice. The best approach from our experience is conducting online surveys because they offer fast, measurable data at a lower cost when compared to paper or mail methodologies.

Third Party Employee Survey Case Study

Objectives of the employee survey

Drive Research partnered with Advance Media New York on an employee survey market research study for a product design and engineering group on the West Coast of the United States.

This market research is part of a data-driven strategy to develop digital marketing campaigns and tactics to grow business for the firm. This market research project focused on building employee content for the new website.

This was a follow-up to an extensive Voice of Customer (VoC) project conducted on behalf of the firm.

The VoC conducted with current customers, former customers, lost customers, and wish list prospects concluded users were looking for very specific information when visiting a product design and engineering firm's website.

One of these items was identifying staff and talent who would be working on a project. The experience was viewed as a crucial element to choice.

In addition, decision-makers wanted to know what the background of employees was, what made them unique, what special training they had, and how they could help the client in a way no other firm could.

These website objectives identified through VoC became integral parts of this project to build-out employee profiles for the website.

What was the approach and methodology of the market research?

In order to address the objectives at hand, Drive Research created a short online employee survey.

The President of the company first sent an email to generate awareness of Drive Research, Advance Media New York, and the upcoming employee profile survey.

The email mentioned the importance of the feedback and what it will be used for. This set the tone for the survey.

An initial invitation was sent to all employees with a direct link to the survey.

Several reminders were sent as follow-ups since fieldwork ran over the holidays. Personalized emails and phone call reminders were placed to encourage the final set of responses.

The survey lasted approximately 3 to 5 minutes and included about 10 questions. Questions were designed to address what decision-makers would be looking for when reviewing staff profiles.

The short survey filled out by employees included the following questions:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Title
  • Discipline(s)
  • Areas of product development
  • Training and degrees
  • LinkedIn profile link
  • Word or phrase clients would use to describe an employee
  • What do you like best about working at the company?
  • What makes the company unique?
  • What do clients like best about the company?

This survey saved the client both time and money by avoiding the need to personally reach out individually for feedback to build these employee profiles for the website.

Without a structure in place, feedback would have likely been unorganized and scattered.

Directing all employees to the same online survey where they were forced to answer the same questions streamlined the profiles for the website build-out. It created a more cohesive and themed profile page.

Results of the employee survey

The structured process used by Drive Research for this employee survey yielded a 100% response rate.

All 50+ employees responded to the survey reach-out. Responses were unique to each individual yet all followed a streamlined questionnaire.

This feedback provided by employees will ultimately be structured into a brand-new website for the client. This website will be structured to perform well for content and SEO.

This employee data will improve the client's chances of closing new business. Providing the information decision-makers are seeking on the website ensures it meets expectations.

This will ultimately result in more time on-site, more form fills, and more leads for the client. All because market research and a structured survey process were used to build out employee profiles on the website.

Recommended Reading: Case Study: Employee Engagement Survey for a Manufacturing Company

Contact Our Third-Party Employee Survey Firm

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emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


Employee Surveys