The number of respondents is crucial to the success of a Staff Research. A low response rate ensures that the data is not a good reflection of the actual. The result, without sufficient participants, the results will be taken less seriously. When few employees react then this means that the added value of the research is significantly decreasing. These tips therefore help you to get responses to the next research.
Definition response rate
The response rate is the number of unique completed questionnaires divided by the number of invited people (respondents). Typically, this number is expressed in a percentage. For example: When 600 employees are invited and 550 actually complete the questionnaire then the response rate is 91.6%.
1. Ensuring anonymity
For both a higher number of responses and valuable input, anonymity for employees is important. When the anonymity of a questionnaire is guaranteed, employees will be candid in their reply. To answer questions about executives and co-operation with other employees, perception of anonymity is particularly important. Especially when trust is already a problem within the organization then there will be more need to confirm the anonymity of employees.
2. Clear Objective
Explain in any form of communication what the purpose of the questionnaire is. Tell me what the benefits are for the organization and what the employee has to say about this. This creates a level of support and will also encourage others to fill in the questionnaire.
3. Follow-up steps
Shows the follow-up steps after collecting the data. Make clear when the results are shared with employees. Tell me what the follow-up steps are after the data has been collected. What is being done to translate the results into improvements? When this is insightful, employees gain insight into the entire process. This leads to more support and as a result a higher response rate.
4. Support Management
Involving executives when inviting employees can give a boost to the response rate. When the research is supported from the summit, this shows that they are involved in the research. It may therefore be smart to have the responsible manager or executive Board sign the invitation. It is even better to send the research entirely from the management.
5. Compact Questionnaire
Longer questionnaires have a lower response rate. It is important to make a good estimate in advance how long it takes to complete the questionnaire. As a result, employees know how much time they should make for the research. The rule is that it is better to be ready rather than it takes longer than expected. If the questionnaire is relatively long then it is good to give employees the opportunity to complete the questionnaire in parts. The impact on working pressure is therefore limited.
6. Timing and Deadlines
Make sure you think carefully about the time of turning off the questionnaire and that the deadline for employees is feasible. It can be frustrating when the workload is high and then employees are expected to complete the questionnaire within a few days.
7. Fulfilling commitments
In particular, for follow-up research, it is essential that the planning is adhered to. Let in communication to the employees know what has been promised and make clear what the results are. If certain deadlines are ultimately not feasible, please communicate it in time.
What is a good response rate?
This depends on the type of research but usually a response rate above 70% is good. If you get a percentage below 60% then it's smart to take the above suggestions.
Also make sure the correct Technique Behind the research. When it is easy to fill out the questionnaire, employees can quickly complete the questionnaire.
The above points are the important to achieve a higher response rate. Employee survey is, however, highly dependent on the context in which it is applied. That is why it is important to consider beforehand which points can be crucial for your organization. Just remember that there are always improvement points as every research has its limitations.
20 February 2016