Employee listening: Employee engagement surveys

Table of Contents

Intended use cases

Creating a survey and distribution


Managing surveys


Managing questions and themes

Responding to a survey

Best practices

As part of the Employee listening suite add-on product, Employee engagement surveys give a baseline measure of employee satisfaction and will provide actionable insights into improving employee experience.

They are large, comprehensive, anonymous surveys meant to be conducted on an annual basis. 

Unlike Pulse or All-purpose surveys, engagement surveys are meant to be sent out on an infrequent basis, and contain a large question set to gain a better understanding of employee sentiment and satisfaction throughout the year. 

Intended use cases

Employee engagement is a vital component of an organization's success, influencing factors such as productivity, employee turnover, and workplace morale. The engagement survey is designed to increase this critical element.

We’ve found that our customers and prospects desire a specialized survey type for engagement surveys, and using a non-specialized survey type is not sufficient to compete with standalone engagement surveys. Many customers will have an engagement survey tool tied to a ‘Best place to work’ scheme, as Simpplr does itself, but particularly for smaller companies, it will be advantageous to meet needs for an engagement survey tool as well. It will also have the benefit of completing the circle, as all relevant employee survey data can be completed within Simpplr. 

Creating a survey

To create a survey:

  1. Go to your User menu, then Manage > Surveys. This will take you to the survey listing. Here you can select the Create survey option.
  2. Choose Employee engagement > Create.
  3. Name your survey accordingly. This can be anything you'd like, but it should clearly communicate what type of survey it is so your users get a good idea of what to expect from it. 
  4. Choose the distribution audience. This can be the entire organization, specific Audiences, or members of a specific site in your intranet. 
  5. Choose the default introductions message (shown below) or create your own. This will appear for all employees when the survey is sent out. This is another great opportunity to be concise and deliberate on your expectations regarding this survey. Tell your users why they're receiving this, and what you want the outcome to be from it.
  6. Similarly, you can choose the default Thank you message, or insert your own custom message. This will be the first things users see once they submit the completed survey. 
  7. Finally, before getting to the questions, set the survey schedule. Choose the date and time you want it to be sent to users, as well as the participation window. The recommended timeframe is 21 days, but you can customize this as well. 

Add your questions

Pick from a list of questions to build your survey or create your own. Questions can be changed or removed up until the send date. Employee engagement surveys can use multiple question types to give a baseline of employee satisfaction across your organization. Questions can be grouped into sections to improve the participation experience for employees. 

First, we'll look at the question bank. To browse through a list of pre-written questions, click Browse question bank. Here you'll over 100 categorized questions with various scale types to choose from. The Themes dropdown menu will filter questions based on the selected theme. This is great for grouping questions into sections (done once you add at least one question to the first section).

All custom created questions will be stored in the question bank as well.

Create your own question 

  1. Click Create your own.
  2. Enter a question and select an answer scale. Note, keep your questions as short as possible while still communicating the point of the question. While the character limit is a tremendous amount, users can run into errors with overly long questions.
  3. Decide whether or not your question should be optional on the survey. A required question will have a red asterisk next to it.
    Survey optional question.gif
  4. Select a question theme. Click Next.


  1. With engagement surveys, the best way to ensure users are completing them the way you intended is to split your questions up into sections. Once you've added one or more initial questions, you'll see the option to add a new section. Click it.
  2. Title your section. This can be in line with the theme of this set of questions, or something as simple as "Part 2 of 5"; that way users know how much of the survey is left. 
  3. Add an optional section description.
  4. Note you can move questions around different sections simply by clicking and dragging them to the section you want. 

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.

Managing 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 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 a survey designed to be a large question set, you may want to consider some best practices to get the most engagement from your employees. Although it's intended to go out once to twice a year, with any survey consisting of a lot of questions, you may still see employee burnout with it, resulting in low engagement. To counter this: 

  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 is going to 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 the previous year's survey. This demonstrates that their input leads to tangible improvements, 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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