What to Expect
Working to achieve a strong response or participation rate is important for a few reasons:
Wide sample size = enough data to be actionable
If your goal is to truly improve employee engagement across the organization, then you need to hear from the entire organization. This doesn’t mean you need 100% participation, but you do need a strong enough sampling of feedback that is representative of every department or team.
Low participation can be a signal of disengagement
If a large portion of employees are opting not to take the survey after significant internal promotion, it may be a sign of disengagement itself. These employees may be voting without sharing any feedback and thinking “will anything really change?” You may be able to shift their perception and participation over time by putting energy into the communication process or acting on the results we do get and showing you care.
What is a Good Response Rate?
Not every organization or company is created equal. Many factors can influence your response rate such as:
Company size — smaller companies can have higher participation due to individuals proximity and frequency of interactions with company leadership.
Team distribution — The mix of employees who work in a traditional office environment compared to field-based employees can have an effect on participation.
Industry — Retail, professional services, and nonprofit organizations can have widely varying participation.
Email vs. Text Message — Contact method has an effect on participation. We tend to see a lower response rate from text message and personal email delivery than we do from corporate email address delivery.
Calculate Your Target Response Rate
We can identify a target range of responses based on combining a few of the factors above. For #2-4, consider which of these contact options will be your primary method of distribution.
Company Size: 500
# of Corporate Email Addresses: 350 X 80% = 280
# of Personal Email Addresses: 75 X 60% = 45
# of Cell-Phone Numbers: 75 X 50% = 37.5
Add the total of #2-4 and divide by #1 = 72.5%