Why should my organization hold quarterly engagement surveys?

This article explains the importance of measuring employee engagement each quarter.

15Five utilizes quarterly surveys because it strikes the right balance between frequency and action. When someone expresses a concern about our quarterly pace, it’s typically because actions are too large, there aren't enough action owners (i.e. managers), and/or communication about actions is lacking. Let’s unpack all the advantages of the quarterly cadence:

Speed Provides Advantages

Speed of feedback creates competitive advantage. The more frequently an organization receives feedback, the faster it can evaluate what’s working and what’s not, and then course-correct before it’s too late. Besides, employees who take a survey tend to draw from memories about the past couple weeks or months, not something that happened a year ago.

You Measure Everything Else Quarterly

Maintaining a cultural measurement cadence gives the results weight with executive teams who are already planning and executing on everything else in quarterly cycles. Would a leader stop measuring her own KPIs just because she feels something is "fixed?" Certainly not. In that way, the Engagement Score is a diagnostic. Employees need to be brought along on the "why" here.

Closed Feedback Loops Show Sincere Interest

Most importantly, employees are happy to give feedback if they see that leadership or manager is listening and acting on it. When a person feels that their feedback matters, they willingly offer it. 15Five Strategists help prioritize org action areas, but it is the job of the C-suite or HR leader to push results and action accountability down to managers. When 20 people each do one thing close to their own circle of engagement, actions and culture growth move really fast!

Here is an example of a great CEO note to all employees teeing up a 2nd survey. Here is our view of how to enable managers.

That said, unique situations and circumstances can arise where it make sense not to run a a quarterly survey. That’s why you have the ability to skip an engagement survey. Here are some legitimate reasons we have seen to press pause for a quarter:

  1. Your business is undergoing a RIF.
  2. You’re acquiring, being acquired, or merging with another company.
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