Employee satisfaction surveys are far more useful when you have multiple baselines of data. Indeed, ideally you will not just look at the number itself, you will also look at the way that number changes over time. Trends tell you more about your employee satisfaction than any number can, which is why companies often wonder how often you should run a survey in order to find out if employee satisfaction has changed.
Why You Should Run an Employee Satisfaction Survey Once Every Year
Most experts agree that you should only perform satisfaction surveys once every year, preferably around the same time period. There are multiple reasons that this is important:
- Avoiding Burnout
Survey burnout is often reason enough to avoid running your research too often. Employees do not like to be filling out surveys every few months. By the time the survey has been completed and all of the data has been collected, it will be only a few months before you’d need to run another survey if you planned on running it again during that same year. That is going to cause people to not respond well to the surveys.
- Making Changes
Surveys may also not be that useful in such a short time frame. By the time you have received responses and analyzed the data, you will barely have any time to institute any changes before it’s time to run the survey again. You need time to make some employee satisfaction efforts before you’ll be able to see if any of them were effective, and you cannot do that if you’re running a survey too soon after the satisfaction changes were put into place. You may even get wildly inaccurate results if your changes are met with raging success, since the changes will not have had time to linger.
As mentioned, there is very little value in running an employee satisfaction survey more often, and of course there are associated costs with doing so. Even in the event of a marginal gain in the quality of the data (which is unlikely), the cost to run these surveys could often negate the value of finding out that information.
There are also other factors that may come into play, such as the effect of changing the dates of the surveys and how that may alter results. Once a year is the best time period for the vast majority of all companies, and while some may benefit from twice a year and some may benefit from running it even less frequently, most companies should work off the once a year baseline.