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Getting The Timing Right For Your Staff Survey


“So, when exactly are we going to get the kitchen done, darling?”

 “Oh I’m really busy at work for the next month or so, so not until after that… … and then it’ll be nearly Christmas, so that’s not a good time… … so let’s get the New Year out of the way and talk about it when things have settled down in February”

 “But it’s your birthday in February and we were going to have a house-party to celebrate”

 “Yeah, I’d forgotten. So let’s have the party, then wait until the kids have gone back to school after Easter and think about the kitchen then… sort of April or May time.”


Getting your staff survey done is a big challenge. It’s an easy one to put off, hoping to plan it into your schedule at the best time. Like the story above, there never seems to be a right time.

The excuses I’ve heard include stuff like;

  • It’s salary review time and that will take up all my (HR) energy
  • We’re going through a sticky business patch at the moment, let’s hold off until things are more stable
  • We had to make 2 people redundant last month. That would have an adverse effect on the survey results, so let’s wait until that’s blown over.
  • There’s no point in doing the survey at our busiest time of the year. People won’t have time to fill out the survey
  • There’s no point in doing the survey at our quiet time of the year. People won’t be interested enough to fill out the survey

All of these are examples of procrastination. What are you scared of ?

The value of the survey is finding out what makes people engaged with your business and taking action to improve the way things work in your organisation. Why would you put off getting access to that kind of data ?

The sooner you have the information, the sooner you can take action to improve things and start benefiting from a more engaged workforce.

External factors do have an effect on survey participation. But it’s always better to have some data rather than no data.

 - Planning and executing a survey can be done in about 3 weeks. 
 - Fieldwork (completing the survey) last about 3 weeks.
 - In depth analysis and reporting takes about 2-3 weeks.
 - The whole thing from start to finish can be done in 2 months.

Stop making excuses, start taking action.