Employee listening: All-purpose surveys

Table of Contents


Creating a survey

Managing surveys


Managing questions and themes

Responding to a survey

Best practices


The All-purpose survey is a versatile survey that can be used to gather one-time feedback on any topic, such as travel habits, office days, or swag sizes. It facilitates two-way communication and immediate data collection. The All-purpose survey can also function as an engagement survey. 

Unlike pulse surveys, all-purpose survey reporting gathers information as it’s needed from users on a one-off basis, rather than tracking information over time. It has three question types; Likert scale questions, multiple choice, and free text.

All-purpose survey is a paid add-on, Employee listening. Contact your CSM for more information. 

Create a survey

To create a survey, go to the user menu, then Manage > Surveys. This will take you to the survey listing. Here you can select Create survey, then select All-purpose survey. You can choose to add questions as you are creating the survey by selecting the Create your own option.

An All-purpose survey can have three types of questions; Likert scale, multiple choice and free text. Under survey type you can select from scale, multiple choice, or free text. Select your question(s), or create your own from our science-backed question bank. Survey themes can be associated with all questions, but it is only integral to reporting for Pulse surveys.

Decide whether or not your question should be optional on the survey. A required question will have a red asterisk next to it.
all purpose survey optional question.gif

Reporting anonymity

To protect user identities, if a survey has fewer than 4 recipients, or if a filter returns a group with fewer than 4 recipients, some analytics will be obscured to protect user anonymity. Similarly sections of the heatmap will be anonymized if they have fewer than 4 recipients. 

Unless the manager was the one to create the survey, a user's direct manager will not see results of All-purpose surveys in the My Team dashboard. Only the survey creator will see the results.

Managing surveys

As a survey manager, you can head to Manage > Surveys to view a list of all surveys created, including Pulse, All-purpose, and Engagement. Here you'll see an overview of all survey data, including number of active surveys right now, average response rate, and when the next survey is scheduled to go out.

You're able to edit, pause (if active), duplicate, or complete (if active) a survey at any time. To delete a survey, you must complete it first. An active or scheduled survey can't be deleted until it's complete. 

The ability to duplicate surveys is useful in case you have a lengthy survey that needs a minor edit, but you don't want to recreate the whole thing. You can also retitle a duplicate survey to fit a different audience or theme.

Survey analytics

The main Survey menu has an overview dashboard of all scheduled, active and past surveys with a snippet of their metrics. You can filter by survey type, status or date sent.

To view the metrics of a specific survey, click the name of the survey in question. Here you'll see a dashboard with the stats from all surveys sent in the time frame set. There are two tabs; Themes and Questions

The Themes tab will highlight user sentiment from the survey(s) as well as participation from the audience. You're able to download a CSV file of all participation rate for better reporting. 

The Questions tab will give specific data on each question that was included in the survey. At the bottom of this page, you can download a CSV file of all feedback left by your participants (if applicable). Note this feedback is anonymous.

Manage questions and themes

Create custom questions for your surveys and group them for reporting in Manage questions and themes. Custom questions can be added by clicking Add > Question. Fill in the question text, then choose the appropriate scale based on the question's context. You can also make your question multiple choice or free text, which will prompt users to type in their answers.

You're able to edit your custom questions at any time (even during an active survey) by navigating to the same menu and clicking Edit on the ellipsis.Custom survey question 1.gif


Themes are how you group and categorize your surveys for analytics, aggregating similar questions so that trends for key topics can be easily tracked and identified. Add a new theme by clicking Add > Theme. Or view the current list of themes by clicking the Themes tab. This is also where you're able to rename or disable any themes. 

Disabling a theme makes the questions within that theme unavailable to select when creating a new survey. If questions within a theme are currently being used in an active survey, you won't be able to disable the theme. This won't affect metrics for past surveys that used the theme/questions. And you can always re-enable the theme. 


Responding to a survey

Once a survey is sent out per the schedule, users will be prompted initially via email as well as an in-app window to begin the survey. The in-app notification will appear in the bottom right corner every time they log in until the survey is complete.

Once opened, you'll be taken to the Surveys page. View all your open surveys and click Take part to participate in a survey. You can also go to your user menu > Surveys, which will take you to a list of all your open surveys.

Response time

For email notifications after the initial email is sent to everyone, the following logic applies according to the length of the participation window: 

  • Participation window = 0-3 weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • There will be no reminder sent outside the initial notifications
  • Participation window = 4-9 weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • Reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes
  • Participation window = 10-15 weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • First reminder: 5 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Final reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes
  • Participation window = 16+ weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • First reminder: 5 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Second reminder: 10 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Final reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes

Best practices

With any survey sent to your employees, large or small groups, you may want to consider some best practices to get the most engagement. To counter things like employee burnout, disengagement and inaccurate results, consider these best practices before creating surveys: 

  1. Clear communication: We recommend that you clearly communicate the purpose of the survey to employees. Explain how their feedback will be used to improve the workplace, making it evident that their opinions matter. If you don't already know the concrete purpose for sending out the survey, hold off. Communicate the purpose well enough in advance so that your teams are not caught off guard when they receive the survey.

  2. Anonymity and confidentiality: Assure employees of the anonymity and confidentiality of their responses. When people feel safe to express their honest opinions, they are more likely to participate. Perhaps you want to include this reassurance in your pre-survey comms plan. 

  3. Engagement initiatives: Speaking of pre-survey comms, conduct pre-survey engagement initiatives like town hall meetings or department discussions. Engaging employees before the survey can pique their interest and encourage participation.

  4. User-friendly interface: Although Simpplr offers a streamlined, easy-to-follow experience for your users, you want to make sure you're delivering the survey in an easy way too. Don't overcomplicate the process by going beyond the distribution method offered by your intranet. Complicated or lengthy processes might discourage participation.

  5. Incentives and Recognition: Offer incentives for participation. Recognition, such as certificates or public acknowledgment of departments with high participation rates, can motivate employees. If you're not already using Simpplr's Recognition Suite, learn more about it here. It can be a great tool for fostering cross-team engagement and participation in your surveys. 

  6. Time management: Be mindful of employees' time. If the survey is lengthy, provide breaks or the option to save progress and return later. This is where the Sections feature of your survey can come in handy.

  7. Engage leadership: Encourage visible support and participation from top leadership. When employees see that their leaders are involved, they are more likely to engage too.

  8. Feedback loop: Establish a transparent feedback loop. Communicate what changes are being made based on a previously survey. This demonstrates that their input leads to tangible improvements and change, motivating them to participate again.

  9. Question clarity: Ensure the questions you choose are clear, concise, and directly related to the organization's goals. Ambiguity can lead to confusion and lower response rates.

  10. Follow-up: Send out reminders strategically. A well-timed reminder, especially nearing the survey deadline, can significantly boost participation without being too intrusive.

  11. Diversity and inclusivity: Ensure the survey is culturally sensitive and inclusive of diverse perspectives. This helps in making all employees feel that their unique experiences and viewpoints are valued.

  12. Continuous improvement: Regularly analyze survey data to identify trends and areas needing improvement. Act on the feedback received, and communicate these actions to the employees. Demonstrating that their input leads to positive changes is vital for sustained engagement.

  13. Solicit feedback on the survey itself: After the survey, ask for feedback on the survey process. What worked well? What could be improved? This information can be invaluable for planning the next year's survey.

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