Things you say that no-one believes: 

  1. ‘Look at my colleagues on social media? Never done it. I’m just not that interested in what they get up to in their private time.’
  2. ‘Use my phone when I am on the loo? No way! Never done it. Eww.’
  3. ‘Fill out this survey – and do be honest! It’s completely untraceable. You won’t get into any trouble and we can’t even tell who is who on the responses! Your feedback matters. We WILL be listening to what you say and acting on it.’ 

We all live in the grey area between being 100% honest and 100% ‘Liar Liar.’ But when it comes to the annual engagement survey, are we leaning a bit too close to the side of dishonesty, for fear of rocking the boat?

We ask as it’s nearly time for your to buckle up, knuckle down and brace yourself for the annual engagement survey. If you aren’t familiar, this is the time of the year when you ask, nay, beg your colleagues to fill in their deepest thoughts into your survey system of choice.

Whilst your reasons started as pure and good, to increase motivation and engagement and facilitate real change – it can feel like it’s now just a tick box exercise.

‘Are they engaged?’


‘But what response rate did we get? I’m done with this. If it’s at least 60%, let’s put this thing to bed.’

Surveys are brilliant in brilliant companies. In lacklustre, distrustful or slow to adapt companies, they can be a nightmare. Uncompleted, unloved, or just dismissed as a fad.

So – do you keep your annual survey or not? Are you being less than honest about it’s ability to drive change, it’s impact and it’s importance? If so –  who’s behind the drive for the survey and what can you do to put an end to doing the tasks that just don’t matter?

It all depends on the results you are getting and what you feel is actually coming out of the activity. If it’s a turkey – you can make a case to drop it – but playing devil’s advocate –  why not keep it going – all with a view that this is no longer the ‘bread and butter’ – but just the cherry on top of your engagement plan?

The benefit of this method is that there’s no chasing for responses. No lame notes on the back of the toilet doors reminding people to ‘have their say’. (People are on social media on the loo anyway.) It means you can extract some data from the annual survey, whilst focusing your efforts on other smaller, more frequent campaigns and varied tactics.
What’s your opinion? Does the annual survey work for you? If it doesn’t work – is it all in the delivery?  Leave your comment below – remember, your thoughts matter!