Surveys Are Not Meant To Last Forever

There is a right time to survey and demand, and there’s also a wrong time. When you are done with your survey, it’s important you take it down so that it doesn’t become stale in the eyes of those you are surveying. 

Make sure to publicly announce the status of your survey so everyone knows what is going on.

36 Strategies to get Employee Surveys straight – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. Surveys have a limited shelf life and relevance.
2. Regularly update and refine survey questions.
3. Adapt surveys to changing trends and circumstances.
4. Analyze survey data promptly for timely insights.
5. Consider shorter, focused surveys for higher engagement.
6. Keep the survey process efficient and user-friendly.
7. Leverage various survey distribution channels effectively.
8. Use survey results to drive actionable decisions.
9. Engage participants by explaining the survey’s purpose.
10. Keep abreast of evolving survey methodologies and tools.

You’re Losing The Initial Enthusiasm

When you’re starting a new survey, it’s hard to get started. You’re not sure what the response will be, or if anyone will even care about what you have to say. The initial enthusiasm is what gets people to join up in the first place!

But as time passes and more questions are added and more of your followers sign up for your survey, the initial excitement fades away. 

Your participants don’t feel like they need to answer every single question anymore because they’ve already spent so much time answering them all before!

If this is happening with your surveys, then it may be time to stop and think about whether or not there’s another way forward. Maybe it’s time for a change of tactics?

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You’re Too Far Removed From Your Respondents

If your survey is lasting longer than it should, you are probably one of the following things:

  • Too far removed from your respondents. You’re trying to ask questions about something that has happened in the past when this information is no longer relevant.
  • Using outdated technology and approaches. If you haven’t updated any of these things since your last survey, it may be time for a change. The same goes for the way that you collect responses if there are better ways out there, try them!

Your Questions Are No Longer Relevant

As you’re crafting your survey, it is important to consider whether or not your questions are still relevant. If they are not, then they won’t be useful. And if they are not useful, then they cannot be relevant either.

But how do you know? Ask yourself if the question is still useful in helping you achieve whatever goals you set out when designing this survey in the first place. Are there any other ways that you can get this information?

You Keep Seeing The Same Responses Over And Over Again

If you find that the same responses are coming up over and over again, it’s time to change something. The easiest way to do this is by asking different questions. You could also change your sample; i.e., stop interviewing people who don’t use your product or service. 

Or maybe you’re just reaching out to the wrong audience altogether. If that’s the case, try finding a better fit for your business model by reaching out to new demographics and looking for other ways of getting outreach done more efficiently than traditional surveys would allow for.

If all else fails (and if none of these suggestions have helped), then maybe it’s time for a more drastic approach like changing your entire business model or even dropping innovation entirely!

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Your Responses Are Dwindling

The number of responses you receive is a good indicator of how well your survey will perform. If response rates are low, it can be difficult for you to get a representative sample of the population and therefore get valid, trustworthy results.

If only a few people are taking your survey and most aren’t engaging with it at all once they open it, then there may be something wrong with the design or wording of your questions. 

Consider changing aspects like question order or phrasing so that respondents can better understand them and feel more compelled to finish answering everything correctly before moving on.

Your Sample Is Out Of Date

You’ve been running your survey for a while now, and you’re feeling really good about the results. It’s time to send out another wave of invitations to your survey. 

But wait! Before you do that, make sure that your sampling method is still sound. If not, then you may want to reconsider sending out another round of invitations because any new data won’t be useful in any way!

Here are some common reasons why your sample might be incorrect:

The sample is not representative of the population: 

This one is simple if everyone in New York City were white men over 60 years old with no children under 2 years old living at home and no income between $50k-$100k per year (which also happens to be exactly how many people fit this description).

Then it would be impossible for a random sample from New York City to accurately represent the whole population by design. There are just too many variables involved here; it’s hard enough just choosing one person who fits those criteria!

The sample is too small: A good rule of thumb is that if there are more than 100 people included in your survey.

Then it should be okay the larger a sample size gets though, the less likely an issue like this becomes relevant (e.g., if there were only 1 person left because 99 others had already been chosen). 

As always though: check before sending out invitations! You don’t want anyone accidentally getting excluded because they didn’t get invited due solely to their bad luck.

You’ve Changed Your Business Model And Need Different Information

You’ve changed your business model, and you need a new set of information. Maybe you were an accounting firm and now you sell insurance. Or maybe three things are important to your customers but only one of them is being asked in the survey.

The good news is that it’s easy enough to change existing surveys by editing the questions themselves or adding new ones altogether (you can even make this part of a regular process). But what if there are more fundamental problems with the way you ask questions?

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You Want To Update Your Brand Questions

One of the most important things you can do is update your brand questions. Brand questionnaires should be updated regularly, to reflect new products, services, and features that are being offered by a company. 

They should also be updated when it comes time for a company to introduce a new customer need or want (for example, if an employee wants feedback on how well they’re doing at providing excellent customer service). 

It’s also important to keep up with any competitors who offer something similar so that you can stay competitive and relevant in the marketplace.

You’re Getting A Lot Of “I Don’t Know” Responses

You need to know how many people are saying they don’t know. They might be a tiny minority of your sample, but you can still learn from them.

You also need to determine why they don’t know if that is indeed the case. Are they ignorant about the topic? 

Or do they see this particular question as a waste of time and won’t answer it? Or maybe there is something else going on that explains why these respondents have no clue about this particular matter, such as:

  • They just don’t care about the topic at all (this is important information)
  • The respondent has been distracted or interrupted before answering this question (again, an important piece of context)
  • The respondent thinks it’s some sort of trick question or feels like he or she doesn’t understand what you’re asking (and may not be willing to admit as much).

You Want To Update Your Approach And Questions To Get Better Response Rates

If you want to get better response rates, you need to change your approach.

Engage with the audience. You don’t want surveys that feel like an interview or one-way conversation, but rather an interaction between two or more people. 

That’s why you need to be engaging and ask questions that encourage responses from your participants instead of just blindly reading from a script.

Ask better questions. It should go without saying that asking relevant questions will help improve participation rates but what does “relevant” mean? 

In our experience, a survey question resonates when it speaks directly to the needs of users and addresses their pain points in simple language (e.g., “What frustrates you about shopping online?”). 

If this doesn’t seem obvious enough, consider these examples: “Do you enjoy receiving promotional emails?” versus “Do promotional emails annoy or upset you?” 

The former leaves no room for misinterpretation while also showing empathy toward respondents’ feelings; 

Whereas the latter has been shown time and again not only by behavioral psychologists but also by marketers who utilize A/B testing techniques as well as common sense (i.e., we all know that if someone is annoyed by something they’ll generally tell us).

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Your Technology Has Changed, So You Need New Data To Go With It

Technology changes quickly, and as a result, so does your audience. The longer you wait to update your survey questions, the more outdated they can seem. 

If your technology has changed since you conducted a survey five years ago but you haven’t updated anything else about it (including the questions).

People may feel that it doesn’t apply to their lives anymore or that it’s too difficult for them to understand what it’s asking them and this could affect how many people take your survey in the long run.

It’s important to make sure that every aspect of each survey is current enough so that respondents don’t feel overwhelmed by irrelevant content or language (or if they do find something outdated, they’ll recognize how much things have changed over time). 

This includes making sure all of the information being collected is relevant both now as well as in five years when someone wants answers directly related again after having finished reading through some research up until then; 

Otherwise, there will be less incentive for them to complete such an extensive task than there would otherwise be without reusing previous results obtained from similar sources instead

You Used Up All The Data Questions You Designed In The Initial Survey

You need to ask different questions.

You cannot just keep asking the same questions over and over again, as that’s not how you gain new information. However, it is often best to ask the same or similar questions in a slightly different way or about something else entirely. 

For example, if you were interested in the number of hours people spend watching TV each week.

And then asked them to estimate their time spent watching TV on a scale from 1-to 10 with 1 being “I only watch TV for a few minutes before falling asleep” and 10 being “24 hours per day”, your results would probably be wildly inaccurate.

Because people don’t know how much time they’re spending on average per week/day/etc., especially when they’re trying to estimate it themselves rather than having someone else count up their time while they’re watching TV!

However, if instead of asking an open-ended question like this one where there are many possible answers without any guidance given as to what kind of answer might be appropriate (such as “How many hours do you spend watching television?”).

We instead asked people how many hours per day does each member of their household spend using phones/tablets/computers for social networking activities such as posting pictures online or sending messages via text messaging apps? 

This question would give us much more accurate results because now we know exactly what type of activity we’re looking at social networking activities versus all other forms of media consumption (job work-related tasks such as writing reports).

The Demographics Of Your Audience Have Changed

The demographics of your audience have changed. And when you do a survey, it’s important to keep this in mind.

The word “demographics” refers to the characteristics of a population. These can include things like age, gender, and income level (to name just a few). 

The demographics of your audience might change over time because the population itself has changed for example, because some people have gotten older or younger or because of ways in which you’ve decided to measure the population differently than before. 

For example: if you’re doing surveys about gaming habits and decide one day that you want your respondents’ ages broken down into five-year increments instead of ten-year ones (because then there will be exactly as many age groups).

Then suddenly some people who would have been grouped as “25–29” end up being split up into two groups: “25–29” and “30–34.”

In short: not only can change how you ask questions change what answers get given back; it also changes which people are answering those questions!

Subsequent Surveys Will Be Shorter

You also want to make sure you don’t repeat the same questions over and over again, and that is why it’s important to keep your survey short. For example, if you are asking about their favorite food, don’t ask the same thing in multiple places on the survey. 

You can ask a question about which foods they like best but not exactly what those foods are. This will help keep them engaged and will also help prevent fatigue from answering too many similar questions or from having responses become less reliable due to repetition.

You No Longer Have A One-Size-Fits-All Approach To Customers

You now have a one-size-fits-all approach to customers. You can no longer assume that all your customers are the same, and you cannot expect them to behave in the same manner. The only way to understand their needs is by asking them directly.

You need to understand how your customers are changing

The best way to do this is through customer surveys. Not only do they help you understand why certain people are buying from you, but they also give you an idea of what drives them toward purchasing more of your product or service in the future (or not).

You need not take it for granted that everything stays constant there might be something new coming up next year that will change things drastically! 

This means adapting as fast as possible so as not to get left behind by competitors who are already adapting themselves to these new trends!

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Closed Surveys Don’t Work Forever

You may have heard the saying, “A closed survey is a closed mind.” This means that if you’re asking your customers and audience questions, it’s important to keep those questions fresh and relevant.

If you have a survey that asks for feedback about your product or service and then never uses any of the feedback again…well, that’s just a bad idea! 

Not only are you wasting your time by asking people such similar questions over and over again but also it shows that you’re not listening to what they say anyway so why bother?


Now that we’ve explored all the ways you can achieve survey success, it’s time to get out there and make it happen! Remember, your surveys should be a tool to help you gain insight into your audience. 

They should be used to gather valuable data that helps you make better decisions. 

And they should not be used as an excuse to send out surveys just because you have a cool new tool at your fingertips. If in doubt, remember the golden rule: Your surveys are not meant to last forever!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to dive deeper into the topic of surveys and employee engagement:

Employee Engagement Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide: Explore this comprehensive guide to learn more about conducting effective employee engagement surveys and improving organizational performance.

Why Employee Surveys Remain Effective for Measuring Engagement: Discover why employee surveys continue to be a powerful tool for measuring engagement and obtaining valuable insights for organizational growth.

Survey Design Best Practices: Check out these survey design best practices to create surveys that yield accurate and actionable results, enhancing your decision-making process.


How can employee engagement surveys benefit my organization?

Employee engagement surveys offer insights into employee satisfaction, motivation, and overall sentiment, helping organizations identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to enhance workplace culture.

Are employee surveys still effective in measuring engagement?

Yes, employee surveys remain one of the best ways to measure engagement. They provide a structured and quantifiable approach to understanding employee opinions, concerns, and levels of commitment.

What are some key considerations for survey design?

When designing surveys, consider factors like question clarity, relevance, and the overall length of the survey. Ensuring anonymity and offering a mix of question types can also improve the quality of responses.

How can I ensure high survey participation rates?

To boost participation rates, communicate the purpose and benefits of the survey to employees. Keep surveys concise, assure anonymity, and provide incentives to encourage active participation.

How can survey results be effectively analyzed?

Survey results can be analyzed by identifying trends, patterns, and correlations in the data. Utilizing data analysis tools and visualizations can help extract meaningful insights from survey responses.