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The Right Time To Run Employee Engagement Surveys

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Stefan Edmunds, author of The Priest Whisperer said: ‚ÄúTime is an illusion, timing is an art.‚ÄĚ

An important question that often arises in managers' and decision-makers' minds is the right timing to run a survey.

Employee Surveys must become a frequent and regular affair. This is a point that cannot be over-emphasized.

So, to answer the question, the right timing to conduct employee surveys is right now. They should be performed routinely in an interval of 2 to 4 weeks, if not more.

Employee engagement surveys should become part of Employee Experience.

Employee Surveys can trace the workplace rhythm and uncover the deep-rooted problems of an organization when they are run continuously. The cumulative results of surveys that are run at frequent intervals when analyzed after a more extended period (annually or bi-annually) will give you a snapshot of the company's health.

Related: A Brief Guide On Employee Pulse Surveys

However, apart from keeping a day-to-day check on the procedures and policies of the company, there are certain vital junctures in the employee lifecycle that you can’t miss out on!

Asking the right questions at these crucial junctures can throw light on various important happenings of the organization.

How to Determine the Right Time?


  • Give a purpose to your survey. Be clear about which aspect you want to emphasize through the survey. Simply defining the goal will help you in narrowing down your best timings.

  • Understand the psychology of your respondents at a different time of the year. If they are too stressed or too relaxed at specific points, these are probably not the best timings to get honest responses.

  • *Focus on the long-term goal of the survey. Be prepared for implementing constructive changes in those areas immediately after the survey results come in. *

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Conducting Effective Employee Surveys

Presenting four such important stages in an employee lifecycle where a survey can give you insightful and extremely important information about the company and its culture.

To give you a basic idea of the questions on these special surveys, I’ve enlisted some probable questions relevant to each point. These questions are written in a Pulse Survey format where the respondents give their answers on a scale of 0-10.


Like the Shark in Nemo says, ‚ÄúNew employees are friends, not food.‚ÄĚ

When employees join a new organization, they naturally have high hopes and expectations from their employers. They also have a very fresh perspective on the company practices, goals, and broader agendas.

They are more enthusiastic about giving their best and leaving an imprint in their future projects. Moreover, new hires often come with a preconceived image of the company. It reflects how the company is seen outside of the organization.

All these factors make employee onboarding a perfect timing to run a survey and better understand the company. Their answers can serve as baseline data that you can use to track their engagement and commitment during their tenure. The data will also reveal the top-seeking criteria among new joiners.

Sample Questions:

  • Do you understand the broader goals of the organization?

  • Do you feel that the vibe of the workplace is positive and motivating?

  • Do you think that the company‚Äôs wellness policies and fitness initiatives are enough?

  • Are you satisfied with the current benefits that the company offers, excluding your salary?

  • Do you understand how your role correlates to the company‚Äôs success?


Work Anniversaries in the employee lifecycle are as significant as Birthdays are in our personal lives. When employees cross the threshold of a year or subsequent years, they have different opinions and views on the organization altogether.

In the current economic scenario, job opportunities are plentiful, and job-hopping is a common phenomenon. Statistics show that job openings hugely outnumber unemployed individuals. Therefore, it is essential to understand the company's strong points that make your employees stay.

Work anniversaries are a great occasion to show your appreciation for their loyalty and commitment to the company.

Your employee's feedback at this stage comes from a deeper understanding of the organization and the company culture. It can give you extremely important insights for the improvement of the overall experience for your employees.

Sample Questions:

  • Do you receive enough recognition?

  • Do you think that the Management/leadership show a genuine interest in your career goals?

  • Do you find your job role exciting and challenging?

  • Do you plan to be at this company in the next two years?


Feedback and Performance management go hand in hand. The movement from one position to another is a significant step in your employees’ lifecycle.

Employees either feel satisfied with a performance review, or they think it was long overdue. Either way, it is crucial to understand your employees' outlook on the company’s performance appraisal process.

Surveys at these points are the only way to make sure you and your employees are on the same page. They make the management aware of the effectiveness of the current process. Which in turn helps in the improvement and crafting of future performance evaluation methods. It also builds trust among employees as their opinions are taken into consideration. They get a much-needed channel to convey their views to the upper management.

Sample Questions:

  • Do you feel like this is a good place for you to develop your career?

  • Has your supervisor helped you to succeed in your position?

  • Do you feel well recognized for your hard work and successes at work?

  • Do you think that the Management/leadership show a genuine interest in your career goals?


Employee retention is never easy. Many factors play a role in an employee’s decision to leave your company. While some reasons are avoidable, others are just inevitable.

In this situation, instead of turning your backs on exiting employees, a manager should try to understand the reasons behind it. It might come off as unnecessary or inconvenient to the managers in doing so, but an exit survey can give you essential insights into their employee experience.

Moreover, an anonymous, written survey ensures more honest responses to the critical questions of an exit survey.

Sample Questions:

  • Was your relationship with the manager satisfactory?

  • Is Lack of compensation provided by the company is one of your prime reasons for leaving the job?

  • Do you think the company should invest more in its culture to create a better workplace?

  • Were you aware of the level of expectations required from you during the hiring process?

  • Did you feel duly appreciated for your work during my employee lifecycle?


Organizations need to be mindful about understanding and improving employee experience for their employees. Running well-designed surveys at the crucial stages of an employee lifecycle is a very scientific way to gauge employee engagement. The points mentioned above are just a few standard stages that you should consider while running the survey. However, timing is all about understanding the behavior psychology of your target audience and delivering the action (in this case, running a survey) accordingly.

This article is written by Darshana Dutta. She works as a Content Creator and Digital Marketer at Vantage Circle. She writes extensively on trends around employee engagement and transforming company culture. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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