Pre-Communication is one of the keys to increasing response rates when conducting a survey, whether for employees or residents. Sharing details about your survey will allow you to solicit questions or concerns and leads to a higher participation rate. It is important to communicate the “what, why, who, when, and how” to let people know they should lookout for a survey and to get them comfortable with providing feedback. Long before surveying begins, you should set up a communication plan of when and how you will send pre-communication.
A great place to start is by providing a FAQ list specific to your organization. By releasing information in waves ahead of a survey, you will build up the resident’s or employee’s knowledge over time, revealing survey details closer to the launch date, and increasing excitement and participation.
Your pre-communication should be tailored to fit your organization’s voice. Be sure to include:
- What an engagement survey is
- Why you’re running it at your organization
- What you’re trying to achieve
- How feedback will be collected and reported
- Who is eligible to participate
- What to expect next
We recommend using different communication channels that fit your audience, such as intranet sites, emails, town hall meetings, department meetings, newsletter/bulletins, lunch and learn sessions, TV channel announcements, etc. Also, don’t forget to try new forms of communication such as text messages, videos, photos, music, posters, slide decks, banner ads in emails, whiteboards – whatever people would find intriguing or appealing!
Your vocabulary matters too! For instance, we advise against using “anonymous” in your communications because, in actuality, you may end up sending email reminders and track people’s demographics. Instead, it may be better to say ‘confidential’ and explain that the responses are aggregated.
Remember, organizations that provide honest and transparent information upfront often receive the highest response rates from their surveys.