Plan Your Engagement Survey

Prep for a successful engagement survey.

We all know the feeling of being enthusiastic about implementing an idea and having it go over like serving ketchup on cheesecake. We know you want as many employees as possible to buy into your vision, resulting in a high participation rate for your employee engagement survey. With a little planning and creative vision, you’ll be able to increase buy-in and get the useful feedback you’re hoping for.

Here’s a timeline guide for your engagement survey, with strategies and ideas.


GOAL: Make a plan!

TIMELINE: Six weeks before the survey starts.

Build Your Culture: A successful engagement survey communicates how much you value employee engagement. Use the survey as a culture-building tool. If management buys in, your employees will too.


  1. Make a plan
    1. Use our downloadable PDF guide
    2. Make a schedule
    3. Decide on any rewards you plan to offer
    4. Delegate and divide tasks
  2. Set participation goal
    1. Typical participation rate goal is 60%
  3. Brand your survey
    1. Prep communication materials
  4. Review & update employee contact info
    1. Generate respondent profile cards and hand them out to employees who need to update their contact info

TIP: Brand Your Survey

Communicate clearly and cohesively with branding elements.

  • An eye-catching logo or design element
  • A pun or play on words
  • A tagline
  • Distinctive colors


GOAL: Get the word out!

TIMELINE: A week before launch day


  1. Send teaser announcement
    1. Make employees aware, but don't overwhelm with details right at first
  2. Start other avenues of promotion
  3. See the tip box "Get the Word Out" for ideas
  4. Mention rewards

Be clear

Include on your promotional

  • a clear call to action
  • the survey launch date and closing date

TIP: Get the Word Out

Employees can't take your survey if they don't know it's going on. Using multiple channels means if they miss one, they'll likely see another.

  • Email
  • Text messages
  • Music
  • Video
  • Posters
  • Newsletters
  • Email signatures
  • Department meetings
  • Slack or other messaging app


GOAL: To reach your participation goal
TIMELINE: A month, starting on the first of the month

TIP: Include in the announcement

  • Who will be taking the survey
  • Survey dates
  • Types of questions
  • What will be done with the results


  1. Send launch announcement
    1. Try a fun “survey’s open” announcement
    2. Example: Attach two pennies to a card and let employees know you value their “two cents.”
  2. Send regular reminders
  3. Retain automates this step and regularly reminds only those who haven’t participated

TIP: Increase the motivation to participate by

  • Identifying employees with influence and ask them to encourage others
  • Mention examples of changes made based on past feedback; this will help employees know their feedback is taken seriously
  • Reserving time during the workday specifically to complete the survey, like the first 15 minutes after lunch

Build Your Culture:

  • Set up survey traditions
  • Avoid using guilt as a motivator
  • Place value on the survey. Don't apologize or act like it's a bother
  • Link participation with stated goals and values of your organization


GOAL: To ensure participants know their responses are valuable

TIMELINE: After the survey has closed

TIP: Ideas for a Reward

  • Food-centered ideas:
    • Ice cream sundae bar
    • Pizza social
    • Catered lunch
  • Leader of organization does something silly: performing karaoke or dressing up in a ridiculous outfit
  • A trophy that goes to the department with the highest participation and moves on after the next survey
  • A tie into a reward system you already have in place, such as Motivosity


  1. Send out thank you
    1. Let employees know the survey is closed and that you appreciate their participation
    2. Announce any goals that were met or rewards
    3. Also let them know what’s coming next: if you plan on sharing results, let them know when
  2. Utilize your results
    1. Use Retain reports to help you decide where to focus your energy and monitor how your company improves over time

Build Your Culture: Employees won't feel heard if nothing is done with the results of the survey! Communicate after the survey and connect improvements to survey results.

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