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How Often Should Companies Survey?

Emerging Trends & Practical Considerations

By Dan Harrison, PhD


Advances in technology have paved the way for a range of new survey frequency options: On demand, always on, continuous listening and more. These new options promise a more effective methodology for measuring and responding to employee feedback, but they are not without controversy. Before answering the question “how often should we survey?” companies must consider the context, purpose and desired outcomes for their survey program. Attempting to design a survey methodology in the absence of understanding the organization’s strategy, priorities and goals can result in misguided recommendations.

Just because the technology can do it doesn’t mean it’s right. Survey measurement frequency should first be linked to business strategy and consider the full range of analytics that can be used to inform business decisions across the talent management lifecycle. Your approach should be considerate of how to get the insights you need; create a platform for action; and avoid the unintended consequences (such as cynicism and survey fatigue) that come with choosing a technologically enabled solution that isn’t fit for purpose.

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