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[Excerpt] Over 50% of employers around the world use employee engagement surveys. Companies implement these surveys for the purpose of measuring employee engagement and understanding whether change needs to occur. Survey data has the potential to transform an organization in terms of increased productivity, retention, and employee morale. However, many employers who use employee engagement surveys unintentionally run the risk of decreasing these outcomes.

If a company fails to properly design a survey or respond appropriately to survey data, employees will feel their responses are being ignored by management. 82% of employees believe that managers will not effectively respond to survey data. Further, 47% of employers that do take action only spend minimal time addressing issues presented by the survey results. An overwhelming number of employees recognize that management will not drive change as they want, thus employees don’t see value in completing a survey. Without a holistic representation of employees’ feedback across different positions and levels of the company, the data becomes skewed. In order to prevent risks of a “failed survey,” companies should take action on these key considerations as they develop a strategic employee engagement survey.


Suggested Citation
McAndrew, M. & Ogden, I. (2018). What are the associated risks of employee engagement surveys and how can they be mitigated? Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright held by the authors.