Some travel coordinators (TC) in the Travel Reduction Program are getting good survey return rates from their employees by using strategies that make sense for their organizations. Since every business has its own unique structure and challenges, you may want to identify outreach strategies that work for your organization to improve your survey response rate.
The TRP engages the region’s major employers to participate in reducing travel to improve our air quality. One requirement is that TCs administer the annual TRP employee survey. This survey provides a wide range of important regional transportation data that is used in planning efforts to reduce traffic congestion, energy consumption, the cost of transportation and air pollution.
Getting the word out
The most important thing is to get the word out to your employees. If your employees don’t know about the survey, they cannot fill it out.
A Raytheon TC sends a survey link to every member of the organization, not just the leaders, when the survey goes live. “We made sure each individual got the request,” said Raytheon TC Maryrose Gutschow. She follows up with weekly reminders to each individual employee.
The Town of Marana also uses multiple messages. At the start of the survey period, the head of human resources sends an email to all employees and follows that up with reminder messages in the town’s daily employee e-newsletter.
In addition to frequent emails, other organizations use posters or reminders on bulletin or video message boards.
Make it easy
Making it easy for employees to take the survey is important. At organizations where the bulk of the employees are at a desk with internet access, it is easy to access the survey. Not everyone works at a desk, however.
In the last issue, we highlighted Target’s success with displaying QR codes that link to the survey on video monitors in its warehouse. Pima Association of Governments has posters with links and QR codes that link to the survey which can be downloaded and displayed. Anyone with a smartphone can access the survey.
Costco has the challenge of having most of their employees either out on the sales floor or working in the back warehouse area. They tasked one of the assistant managers, Katrina Figueroa, with heading up the survey, and she worked with her co-managers to bring each employee on the roster to the office to take the survey.
As the survey only takes a couple of minutes to answer, they were able to get through 80% of over 350 employees in just a few days.
Other organizations have put computers or internet-connected tablets in break rooms or common areas, while others rely on paper surveys for employees who lack easy internet access in the workplace.
Giving employees easy access to the survey is one thing but giving them a reason to take the survey is another way to get higher participation.
La Frontera offers weekly prize giveaways to incentivize employees to participate. The organization raffles off gift cards and gives an advantage to those who act early.
“The earlier they participate, the more chances to have to win,” said La Frontera Travel Coordinator Nicholas Trees.
While the organization will purchase Starbucks or Visa gift cards, not all the prizes cost them money. They reach out to their vendors to donate gift cards to help incentivize participation.
Costco promotes the survey to employees as a civic duty and a responsibility to their community, which is why they facilitate taking the survey on the clock and use management to help employees complete the survey.
In its communications to employees, Raytheon also stresses the community benefits that come from survey participation. Consider doing the same. Let employees know how survey data is used to improve our region’s transportation system through data-driven