Templates and best practices for engagement survey communication

Strong communication throughout an engagement campaign makes all the difference in achieving strong response rates, making sure managers and their teams are aware of results and plans of action, and ensuring employee buy-in for future surveys. This article includes sample emails you can send out before, during, and after an engagement survey, as well as best practices for communication at various stages of the process.

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Note

To see what notifications are sent out by 15Five during the course of an engagement campaign, please refer to our "Notifications sent out before, during, and after an engagement campaign" article.

In this article, you'll find email templates and best practices for the following phases of a survey:

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Engagement.
👥 This article is relevant to administrative roles.
📦 This feature is available in the Engage, Legacy Perform, and Total Platform pricing packages.


Before the survey

Once you've created an engagement campaign, it's time to begin communicating the upcoming survey to your team. Starting communication early ensures that people are aware that they'll soon be responsible for filling out an engagement survey, helps them understand why it's important (and safe) for them to participate, and helps improve the response rate— so your organization will have access to accurate and in-depth results following survey completion.

Best practices

Pick a strategic time to send out the survey

Make sure the start date for the campaign is one when employees have the time and mental space to participate. Avoid times of high workload, vacations, annual reviews, open enrollment, or recent acquisition or RIF.

Announce the campaign via an email from the CEO

Use the pre-written email templates included below to send an awareness email “from the top” that highlights why your organization is conducting an engagement survey and why it’s safe. Tell employees that the survey will be sent via email or text. Employees with personal emails, rather than work emails, may need to watch their junk folder, as well.

Surveys sent via email will come from surveys@15five.com. Surveys sent via SMS will come from 97267.

Announce the survey in your employees' flow of work
If your employees work primarily in Slack or Microsoft Team, for example, promote the survey there. Or if your employees clock in/out, add a sign above the time clock. Or put a sticker on checks. Or a poster in the break room. There are various ways to ensure that employees are aware of the upcoming survey so that they're more likely to participate.
Recruit organization leaders to promote the survey within their teams
Ask directors, department heads, and managers to promote the survey during meetings and in team communication channels throughout the week prior to the survey launch. Remind leaders that engagement results will only be available for teams that meet confidentiality standards for engagement surveys. They will benefit from having access to engagement results, so give them an opportunity to help!

Email templates

CEO announcement for initial survey

Below is a template that the President/CEO can borrow from as a guide for announcing the "why" and "when" of the survey to all employees.

Team,

I believe that you and our people are the most critical component to our success. You produce the [products and services] that we deliver to our customers every day. To make sure that our leaders can create an environment where each of you performs your best and thrives, it's imperative for us to understand what’s important to you and how you are really doing at work.

This is why we’re doing an employee engagement survey on [date/time]. Here’s what’s in it for you:

  • It is short: The survey takes around 6 minutes to complete.
  • It is safe: Surveys are conducted and controlled by 15Five to ensure trust and 100% confidentiality – no individual results will be available to anyone here (not even me), so please be honest and candid.
  • We will act: This is not just an exercise. We intend to share company-wide result trends as well as choose actions. We will give results access to our own leaders for their area of business.

What’s next:

  • You will receive an email in your work account from surveys@15five.com and/or a text message on [date/time] inviting you to participate by clicking on the survey URL
  • You will have [5] business days to spend the 6 minutes to complete the survey

Thank you,
[CEO]

Email from CEO before first engagement survey (500+ employees)

Team,

I believe that you and our people are the most critical component to our success. You produce the [products and services] that we deliver to our customers every day. We need to understand how you are really doing at work. Perhaps I have some blind spots. If so, knowing these will help us create an environment where you can perform your best and thrive.

This is why we’re doing an employee engagement survey on [date/time]. Here’s what’s in it for you:

  • It is short: The survey takes around 6 minutes to complete.
  • It is safe: Surveys are conducted and controlled by 15Five to ensure trust and 100% confidentiality – no individual results will be available to anyone here (not even me), so please be honest and candid.
  • We will act: This is not just an exercise. We intend to share company-wide result trends as well as choose actions. We will give results access to our own leaders for their area of business.

What’s next:

  • You will receive an email and/or a text message from 15Five on [date/time] inviting you to participate by clicking on the survey URL
  • You will have 5 business days to spend the 6 minutes to complete the survey
  • A couple of weeks after survey completion, some employee groups may be asked by 15Five to share anonymous comments on a specific engagement area

Finally, we will continue this cycle 3-4 times/year because it is worth it to have a regular check-up on employee health. Engagement is dynamic, so we need to think about this as a marathon instead of a one-and-done sprint. Actions will start broad (i.e. one company-level action) and then go deeper (i.e. divisional then departmental) as we continue to survey. Please continue to “vote” anonymously by taking the survey as we make engagement “smaller” over the year.

Thank you for your willingness to give us your input and help us all have a more engaged experience at work.

Thank you,
[CEO]


During the survey

The survey is out and responses are rolling in. To ensure that as many people as possible participate, it's important to continue communicating the survey to participants.

Best practices

Target communication towards teams with low response rates

If you know your overall response rate is lagging, check team response rates and ask the leaders of teams with lower response rates to remind/encourage their teams to participate.

Remind employees during meetings
If important team and company meetings occur on different days, make sure the survey is included on agendas throughout the week the survey is taking place.
Send an additional reminder email
Although 15Five sends out automated reminder notifications to participants who haven't yet submitted their surveys, consider sending an additional reminder mid-survey using an internal communications tool or company-wide email.
Carve out space for employees to take the survey
Ask your managers to allow their teams to take 6 minutes as they arrive at the job site, office, or at-home workspace for the day to complete the survey. Managers can even add a talking point to weekly 1-on-1s to discuss having their direct reports block off a specific time on their calendars to complete their surveys.

Email templates

Final day of engagement survey communication

Team,

Hopefully, most of you have already received and participated in the employee engagement survey 15Five sent you this week. Tomorrow is our last day to participate and we need your help! We need to understand what’s important to you and how you are really doing at work. Perhaps I have some blind spots. If so, knowing these will help us create an environment where you can perform your best and thrive. 

Remember:

  • They survey is short: It takes around 6 minutes to complete.
  • It is safe: Surveys are conducted and controlled by 15Five to ensure trust and 100% confidentiality – no individual results will be available to anyone here (not even me), so please be honest and candid.
  • We will act: This is not just an exercise. We intend to share company-wide result trends as well as prioritize and act.

Thank you for your willingness to give us your input and help us all have a more engaged experience at work.


After the survey

Now that the survey is complete and you've analyzed the results, it's time to communicate resources and results to your team. Doing so helps ensure that employees understand their voices are heard and leaders are acting on insights gathered in the survey. When you take action on results, you can help drive HR outcomes and people will be more likely to participate in future surveys.

Best practices

Send a follow-up email from the CEO

Use the email templates below to acknowledge engagement survey results and feedback, as well as promote upcoming changes that your organization is taking based on those results.

Publicize the actions you'll take
Signal to your team that their feedback is valuable by making changes quickly and broadly publicizing these actions. People will be less likely to sit out in future surveys if they know their voices will be heard!

Access metrics to include in your communication

In some of the templates included below, you'll see [brackets] that contain specific reporting metrics to include in your communication, which you can find in campaign results. Once you open results for the engagement campaign, follow the steps below to populate specific metrics in your email communications.

Percentage participation rate

Look at the Response Rate at the top of any results page.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.30.46 PM.png

Overall engagement at our company is [above/at/below] average

Look at the percentile of engagement located under the Engagement Score graphic in the "Engagement" tab of results. Organizations that are below average fall on the left side of the bell curve and those that are above fall on the right side of the bell curve.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.31.31 PM.png

Top-scoring components

For “Top-scoring components include [name of Driver] showing that [insert driver description]”, navigate to the "Drivers" tab of results and select one of the Strengths from the top of the page to highlight. Hover over the name of your selected driver to see a description of that driver.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.32.17 PM.png

Lowest-scoring components

For “Lowest-scoring components include [name of Driver] showing that [insert driver description]”, navigate to the "Drivers" tab of results and select one of the Struggles from the top of the page to highlight. Hover over the name of your selected driver to see a description of that driver.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.32.25 PM.png

Anonymous comments

Click on the "Feedback" tab in the main, left-hand navigation of the Engage Portal and select the name of the campaign you want to view feedback for using the "Comments from" field at the top of the page.
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.33.39 PM.png

Email templates

Email to managers informing them of resources for engagement survey results

Use this template to let leaders with People Insights access know about the resources available from 15Five.

Hi Team,

Now that our engagement campaign is complete, I wanted to let you know that there are resources available for you as you go through your team's engagement survey results.

First off, please reference the following articles from 15Five's Help Center:

If you have additional questions as you go through your team's results, 15Five's Support Team can be reached by emailing support@15Five.com. Their team can help with any of the following:

  • Questions related to engagement campaign results
  • Guidance on the next steps related to engagement results
  • Technical support

We're excited about the progress we're making to understand and improve employee engagement. Your role is important to achieving this and I hope these resources are helpful for you.

Email from an executive to share survey results and action plan

Closing the loop with employees on survey results allows them to know that they were heard and action is being taken. This is an important step to build trust in the process and drive participation in future surveys. The sample email below can be used as a guide for the CEO/Exec when writing this memo, email, or presenting live.

Team,

Thank you for taking the employee survey conducted by 15Five. I’m writing to tell you what we found and what we are doing about it.

  • [percentage] participation rate - thank you for trusting us!
  • Overall engagement at our company is [above/at/below] average.
  • Top-scoring components include [name of Driver] showing that [insert driver description].
  • Lowest-scoring components include [name of Driver] showing that [insert driver description].
  • Tons of anonymous comments - I read them all. Themes were around [insert a theme you noticed as you went through feedback].

Here’s how these results made me feel [ ]. Here are some actions we are taking based on hearing your feedback:

  1. [Example: Commitment to job performance feedback – more of it and more meaningful feedback. Timing = July.]
  2. [Example: Living our core values through a recognition program. Committee forming now, contact HR to express interest.]
  3. [Example: Doubling down on customer voice by including a working representative from the CS team on regular Product meetings. Timing = immediately.]

We are sharing specific results with internal leaders in their areas of the business, so we encourage you to ask your [division leader/manager] about it. Remember that engagement is a two-way street, so please think about how you can also be part of the solution. While we get better together, we will continue doing 15Five's 6-minute surveys periodically throughout the year so we can understand what’s working and what’s not.

Thank you for your continued trust and commitment,

[CEO]

Email from a group leader to share results with your team

Dear Team,

I’m writing to thank each of you for taking the time to participate in our recent 15Five engagement survey. Your voices help me to better understand areas of focus for our team. I’m committed to using your candid feedback to help guide us through places where we may have challenges and encourage us in our strengths.

As you know, our organization has committed to a collective focus on the area of [Insert driver] by [Insert action item]. While it’s important for us to row in the same direction towards this initiative, I know that each team is unique, and so, I want to share with you some of our group’s results as well as what I plan to do about it.

  • A few of our top-scoring areas included: [driver name and driver name ex: Feedback and Professional Development] which means that [describe what it means. Ex: employees feel they are getting the feedback they need to understand their performance and the path for their growth and advancement].
  • Some of our lower scoring areas include [driver name and driver name ex: Shared Values and Trust] which suggests that [describe what it means. Ex: we need to get better at working collaboratively and treating each other with openness and respect].

Here is how I plan to act as a result: [Choose one driver area-specific action that you feel you can commit to and follow through on. Ex: I will be working with our HR department to hold a half-day team-building exercise with our group aimed at breaking down barriers and enhancing our communication with one another].

Engagement is an ongoing process. We will never be “done” in our improvement efforts; there will always be areas we can continue to grow, both individually and as a team. Continue helping us get better together by taking the 15Five engagement survey each quarter so that we can see the progress of our actions for the team. Feel free to come talk to me directly if you have any questions or suggestions as we continue this journey, together.

Thank you for your trust and for being part of the solution,

[Manager]

Email from CEO/Exec after 1st engagement survey (500+ employees)

Follow-up email to your company after leadership finishes 1st survey cycle.

Team,

Thank you for taking the employee survey conducted by 15Five in [date]. As promised, I’m writing to tell you what we found and what we are doing about it.

  • [__%] participation rate - thank you for trusting us!
  • Overall engagement at our company is [below/at/above] average
  • Top scoring components include [driver name and driver name] showing that [what it means]
  • Lowest scoring components include [driver name and driver name] showing that [what it means]

Here’s how these results made me feel: [insert feelings, something vulnerable].

As promised, we are acting on these results. Since this is our first round, we are targeting the 1 corporate-level action that we believe has the best chance to raise engagement for most employees: [insert action].

I will update you on the progress of this action, and we will finish it. While we get better together, we will proceed with additional 15Five surveys during the year. Questions will be similar each time because trending allows us to see “ripple effects” so we know if we are on the right track.

We plan to continue making actions “smaller” by rolling out the next round of 15Five results to [divisional/location] leaders.

Thank you for your continued trust and commitment,

[CEO]

Email from CEO/Exec after 2nd, 3rd, 4th survey (500+ employees)

Team,

Thank you once again for taking the employee survey conducted by 15Five. You know the routine...I’m writing today to tell you about the results and how we are acting on them.

  • [%] participation rate - keeping this high shows that you believe we are taking action
  • Overall engagement at our company is [below/at/above] average
  • Top scoring components include [driver name and driver name] showing that [what it means]
  • Lowest scoring components include [driver name and driver name] showing that [what it means]

Here’s how these results made me feel: [insert feelings, something vulnerable]. [We had a big win in [division] as we completed [action] which is causing [KPI] to improve. Please ask your [divisional leader] about results and progress in your [division].

As promised, we will continue to act on these results. We plan to continue making actions “smaller” by rolling out the next round of 15Five results to [departmental leaders].

We will proceed with additional 15Five surveys during the year so we can trend our action effectiveness and all get better together. One final challenge: what can YOU do to own your own engagement at work? Please reflect on this and talk with your manager about it.

Onwards!

[CEO]


Before additional surveys

As your organization prepares to send out a new engagement survey, you can use the templates below to refresh them on the results of the past survey and encourage them to participate in the upcoming survey.

Email templates

CEO announcement for additional surveys during the year: Example #1

Team,

Thank you for taking the employee survey conducted by 15Five in [month]. Based on those results, 15Five then asked employees in some locations to anonymously tell us more about an identified weakness, and I read every single comment. During this, I sometimes felt [how you felt— e.g. "like a bucket of ice was dumped on my head, but it's good to know the truth"]. Here’s how we are acting on your collective feedback:

  1. [Action #1: e.g. I appointed a committee comprised of [leadership and factory employees] to prioritize actions based on the comment themes]
  2. [Action #2: e.g. One key action is a change to how overtime is assigned]
  3. [Action #3: e.g. Another key action is a review of our evaluation process with the goal of making it more consistent]
  4. [Action #4: e.g. Our final action is building a mentoring program for factory supervisors to become more effective managers]

Some of these actions take time to do well. We will finish them. While we work them out, it’s time for our next survey! We will build a habit of doing this multiple times per year so we can continue to measure the impact that our actions are having, as well as to understand if anything else comes up since we are in a time of [high growth and industry change]. I’m asking you to stick with me on this and complete this survey, no matter if you feel work is going well or poorly. If you don’t, we won’t know how to help and get better together. I’m paying attention.

Survey [#2] is coming from 15Five on [date] via text and/or email, so please watch for it. Please direct any other survey-related questions to [HR at ____].

Thank you for your continued trust and commitment,

[CEO]

CEO announcement for additional surveys during the year: Example #2

Team,

I want to express my appreciation to everyone who participated in our last engagement survey. [Response rate %] of our employees responded, which is an exceptionally high response. The chart below reflects our engagement scores from each of our previous surveys and we are delighted to report that our [Engagement score, e.g. 80.43 score] ranks us in the [percentile %, e.g. 60th percentile] of 15Five's customers! The vertical graphs also show our percentage distribution by level of engagement:

[Insert image of Engagement Flow percent view, which can be found by opening engagement results and going to the "Engagement" tab. Be sure to click Percent in the top, right-hand corner of the visual to see a percentage view.]
Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 5.40.26 PM.png
I was pleased to see increased participation by [A team whose participation went up, e.g. the Administration team]. I appreciated the additional candid feedback, which helps us identify where we need to improve as a company! Based on the feedback in the last survey, we took the following actions:

  • Example: To help build [Trust] we began [a new process to build team collaboration].
  • Example: Through [Feedback] scores, we learned that [our onboarding process needs improvement. The team is working on adjusting this process to help new hires].
  • Example: [Purpose], or understanding why the business exists led us to [disc. ss the company vision in department meetings with staff and managers].. /em
  • Example: [Professional Development] scores revealed [training needs. This is being addressed through a new growth plan program that your manager will develop with you].

I encourage everyone to participate in the next survey with honest feedback to help us continue to make this business great. Your opinions matter in helping us understand areas of concern that we need to address. You can expect to receive the next survey within [timeframe].

Thank you for your continued trust and commitment,

[CEO]


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