Who Should Participate in
Your Engagement Survey?

To get the best results from an engagement survey, it’s important to include a cross section of your entire roster of employees. This includes the upper echelons of leadership, as well as management, administrators and line workers. All have potentially valuable insights to share. Overlooking any group could have a detrimental effect on the quality of the results.

So, who should participate in your engagement survey?


Here’s why.

Leadership Team – Including CEOs and Owners

The best leaders do so by example. Those who adopt a do as I say, not as I do attitude will find loyalty and morale lacking among their people. Employee engagement absolutely starts at the top level of the company and is reflected in the actions and attitudes of their subordinates. In other words, leaders who demonstrate engagement will find their followers are engaged too.

All Employees Across the Board

Ideally, every employee of the company will have an opportunity to complete the survey. The larger the sample size, the more comprehensive findings tend to be. An employee engagement strategy, the aims of which are to boost culture, retention, and morale across every level of an organization, requires buy-in by everyone involved.

In addition to taking the temperature of the organization, a truly beneficial employee engagement survey will give respondents an opportunity to share their ideas, as well as answer specific questions. The only way you’re going to find out what people think is to ask them. Take advantage of the undivided attention people afford surveys to hear what they have to say.

After all, that which goes unsaid will also go unheeded.

Specific Groups Within the Organization

In addition to surveying individuals, it can be useful to ask questions of specific subsets of people within the organization. Doing so can point you to areas in need of targeted attention you might otherwise miss.

Groups can be defined in terms of what fits the nature of your organization.

Moreover, some people may well fall into two or more groups and that’s OK.

What might be a concern to someone as an individual could take on expanded dimensions when they think in terms of their entire group. It’s important to get both perspectives.

In terms of specificity, you can group people according to job function, location, or tenure. Examples can include Sales, Finance, Marketing, and HR, or the San Francisco Office, the Frankfurt office, or employees with one year, five, 10, and 20 on the job

Contractors, Vendors and Suppliers

People on the outside looking in can offer yet another view of your company’s culture and morale. That is, assuming they work in close enough proximity with your people to provide knowledgeable feedback.

Any outsider who is aware of the natures of the members of your leadership team, rank and file employees and the like can usually offer valuable insights. These people, while they might seem to be peripheral to your operations, can in fact be integral to your endeavors.

The More You Ask, The More You’ll Learn

Taken at face value, it might seem a bit far-fetched to ask questions of all the above groups to improve engagement. However, people who aren’t asked usually don’t share. Circulate a limited survey and you’ll get limited response.

Involving as many pertinent people as possible gains you the broadest perspective available. Moreover, it demonstrates to your people that you care what everyone thinks, that all have value in your eyes and you’re sincere about making your workplace as engaging as possible.

If your goal is to build a stronger, more energized, and more engaged company — as it should be — everyone involved should participate in your engagement survey.