A high response rate is desirable when using &frankly to collect input from a team or an organization. A representative result is important to draw relevant conclusions, but also an indicator making sure everyone is taking the opportunity to make their voice heard.
At &frankly we want to help you reach your response rate goal. &frankly has in-tool features that help administrators and managers to work proactively with response rates. Moreover, the response rate can differ for natural reasons between branches in an organization, seasonal industries, and organizational attributes may have a certain impact. Still, a few things have been found as general factors that can trigger a high response rate. These factors are presented here, including the question’s content and its relevance to the team, suitable frequency and the number of questions, a clear purpose for everyone involved but also how the results are treated and whether the team is involved when following-up on results.
In this guide, common factors impacting response rates in &frankly are presented. The article is a source to find information about response rates, but also a tool to use as a basis when there is a need to increase the understanding of the current engagement around the tool.
What is a good response rate?
When talking about the response rate, we say that reaching 70% is good – but the more responses you get, the better! However, what can be known as good is relative. Remember to see the response rate in the bigger picture, set your goal in relation to organizational attributes, historical results, and priorities, etc.
When your &frankly account is created and the employees are added to the system, the default setting for each user is to get emails as soon as a new question is open to answer. However, these settings can be adjusted. If a user needs help changing their settings, they can follow this guide: How can I change the app notifications?
Make sure that reminder emails and app notifications are enabled for the users. This will be sent out Friday at 12:00 to activated users who have unanswered questions from the ongoing pulse. If your colleagues would like to adjust their notification settings they can do that by going to Account > Email settings.
Check if there are users that still haven’t logged in to the tool or experiencing email issues. You can filter on the status by navigating to People > Users.
Under Results > Response rate you can see the response rate per group in your account. This will indicate which groups that are in need of extra support, but also which groups that have a winning strategy reaching (and keeping) high response rates. Thus, the overview gives you an indication of how you can help the groups moving forward.
The &frankly app
The &frankly mobile application is highly user-friendly and can have a positive impact on the response rate. In Results > Response rate, you can see how many in your account that uses the application or answers questions via the web. Encourage your employees to download the app. If your co-workers don’t have a work phone, it’s still a best practice to inform them that the application is available to use and highlight it, for them to make their own decision to use a private smartphone.
Content and relevance
Make sure questions and options are clear. Keeping it simple makes it easier for the respondents. Intricate questions lead to misunderstandings and might lower the response rate. If needed, test the questions on a test group first to see how they perceive them. See the guide Asking questions do's and don'ts to learn more.
Creating variation is positive for pulsed surveys. Use different templates, colors and try to vary the heavy and serious topics with positive highlights and positive feedback. How can you trigger a smile on your colleagues? Examples of questions from &frankly’s library are:
“What did you enjoy this week?”
“How are you feeling?"
“What do you think is your team's greatest superpower?”
“Which colleague would you like to give a hive five this month?”
Frequency and Quantity
Less is more
In &frankly we recommend 4-7 questions per pulse, depending on the purpose and need. There is a limit of 16 questions per pulse, with a recommendation to ask no more than necessary. Also, take into consideration that binary templates are usually easier to answer than raters or open questions. Users want to answer questions that will be followed up-on and acted upon. Answering questions should not be time-consuming or cause anyone to lose interest or sense of purpose.
Time for answering
Review when questions are being sent out during a pulse week. Remember that all pulses close on Sunday evening. If experiencing not enough time answering, send the questions early on Monday to have the survey open as long as possible. On Fridays, a reminder is sent out if a user has not submitted their answer.
Purpose of a pulse
State and communicate a clear purpose when creating a pulse – this will make it easier for the respondents to answer the questions in its right context. You can add a description in the pulse view and while doing so, take the opportunity to add what the reports will be used for and how you will follow up on the results. If you have several different topics to ask about, consider splitting the questions into separate pulses on different themes so that you make it easier for the users to follow your trail of purpose. Read this article to learn more: How to communicate the purpose of the pulse
Remind the users of the internal purpose of using &frankly in the organization. It is usually about working on increasing engagement, cultural alignment or innovation pace by making the employees and teams the owners of their future, by giving them a voice and assisting them in discussing the relevant topics for them to reach their targets.
The role of the manager
Make sure managers are confident about the purpose and how to work with results and facilitate discussions in their team. This will have a great impact on the response rate as they are communicating with the teams in the organization.
Involve and follow up
Make sure the users can take part in the reports and also are given a chance to discuss results together with their team. This will make them feel part of the process and thereby increase their participation in the pulses.
Also, involve the users, what do they want to measure? This will make every user take ownership and answer. Additional material on how to carry out a workshop on this is available here: How to work with your results.
When a pulse is ongoing over a longer period of time, some kind of conclusion should be drawn and communicated. This is also an excellent opportunity to communicate any adjustments in the coming pulses due to the conclusions or to anchor the relevance of keeping the pulse intact.
All organizations are different, which is why it is important to review your own organization from your perspective. Ask yourself what normally works in your environment and which adaptions could favor you in moving forward? Response rates can differ depending on factors such as working shift patterns, seasonal industries and certain attributes within the organization.
Working shift patterns
Suffering a low response rate? Are your co-workers working shift, different weekdays or even weeks? Employees that work irregular hours might have a higher likelihood of not responding to questions if certain customizations of the pulses are not made. Review how you can secure that as many as possible can receive the questions during working hours. Pulsing questions already on Monday will enable employees to answer if they are not working during the end of the week.
Some organizations have intensive periods that vary over the year, with changing working force. With a new crew being ready for the high-season, make sure they are well informed about &frankly and the purpose of the pulses. Too much information is rarely a problem, take part of &frankly’s material if needed. Flyers, posters, or informative letters are good ways to make sure that everyone knows what’s coming up (material is available here). Promoting the mobile application is usually a success factor among seasonal workers.
Employee turnover in the organization
Sometimes an organization has a phase or a permanent state of high employee turnover. In this case, or even in cases where the hiring rate is peaking and a lot of new employees have to be onboarded, it is important to make it a routine to inform of the tool &frankly along with the regular onboarding procedures. It is also crucial to keep the organization structure updated with relevant teams and employees so that the reports are reflecting a current state. If possible, we recommend to mirror an HR master system of employees, such as pay-roll or even work-scheduling tool, to keep up the pace of change being reflected in &frankly.