Six Common Employee Engagement Survey Pitfalls

An annual employee engagement survey is the best way to capture the feedback you need to make data-driven people decisions. In addition, they also ensure your employees feel heard and offer proof you value their input. Done right, an employee survey builds the trust and confidence of your workforce, and research shows this has a direct impact on engagement.

But a lot goes into carrying out a successful employee engagement survey, and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way. Here are the six most common survey pitfalls:


The process takes way too long. Some survey providers take months to process and present your data. When it comes to surveying your employees, the faster you can act, the better the result. Otherwise, you’re acting on old data and damaging trust with your employees.


Your employee engagement survey isn’t backed by research. With all of the technology available these days, it’s tempting to craft the survey yourself. And with 100+ providers out there, it’s entirely possible you’re working with someone who lacks the right qualifications to handle your sensitive data.


You’re only comparing your organization to an industry benchmark. If the data is sliced and diced incorrectly, your true culture story will be hidden or misinterpreted. An effective survey takes into consideration nuances and segments such as department, tenure, and location.


Your survey asks the wrong questions or bad questions. What your survey asks employees has a direct impact on the quality of data it yields. This includes leading or biased statements, double-barreled questions, ambiguity, and more.


The employee engagement survey isn’t anonymous. It’s human nature to want to resolve workplace issues at the source. But this can lead to blaming or berating people. And sometimes, managers aren’t prepared to handle negative feedback when it’s aimed at them.


You can’t make sense of the survey data. Numbers, figures, and overly complicated charts make it difficult to understand what’s going on inside your culture. As a result, it’s almost impossible for you to move from data to insights and action.

Take the first step in making an impact on your culture today.