What is a Good Participation Rate For My Employee Engagement Survey?

Aug 24, 2022
Employee Engagement Survey Best Practices

One of the most common questions we receive when conducting an employee engagement survey with companies is, “What is a good participation rate for our organization?”

While results can range depending on region, organization size and industry type, in general we recommend that companies aim for a 75% – 95% participation rate. However, response rates can drop lower for larger organizations with production staff, or remote workers. On the other hand, smaller companies with office-based staff typically garner a larger participation rate.

Good Participation Rate For My Employee Engagement Survey

This article provides several key insights on best practices regarding:

  • promoting the survey to staff
  • benefits on receiving a strong participation rate,
  • some disadvantages on receiving a strong participation rate

Promoting the Survey

When promoting the survey to staff, we recommend communicating that your organization’s goal is to receive 100% feedback from all employees. You want to underscore the importance of receiving their insights and feedback.

Even though a 100% participation rate may not always be realistic for an employee engagement survey, organizations should strive to hit an internal target of 85%-90%. While targets and goals are great to plan out for, the most important aspect of an employee engagement survey is ensuring that employees have the ability to provide their feedback confidentially. Whether the survey is conducted through emails, access cards, on paper or through mobile phones, it is critical for employees to know that they have the ability to submit their feedback with 100% confidentiality.

Benefits of a High Participation Rate

There are many benefits with having a high participation rate within an employee engagement survey. The most apparent is that the majority of employees have taken the time to provide their feedback. Respondents are more likely to appreciate that actionswill be taken to follow up on the concerns they have raised.

A higher participation rate yields a larger sample. The bigger the sample, the more data collected which leads to more segments being available to report on, as long as employee input meets the minimum sample size.


Interesting enough, there are some drawbacks for larger organizations to heavily promote reaching a 100% participation rate.. Managers who chase or hunt down employees who haven’t completed their surveys are indirectly breaching confidentiality and unfortunately putting pressure on staff. This may lead to employees providing insincere responses, such as marking all neutral responses without reading the question, or worse,generating feelings of resentment that may not have been there previously. Although rare, there have been instances of survey fraud where managers have submitted surveys on the employees’ behalf unbeknownst to the employees themselves.

While it is vital that all employees feel that their voices are heard within an employee engagement survey, it is not worth marginalizing staff to achieve full participation. The best way to ensure strong survey participation is to build trust through action. When employees’ voices are heard and actions are taken as a result of their input and feedback, employees see the value of the survey and want to participate to help drive change, moving forward.

To learn more how Flex Surveys can help customize your employee satisfaction survey questionnaire, please visit our website at Employee Engagement Surveys.

Feel free to free to contact us at 877.327.5085.

If you would like to request a demo, reach out to us on our Contact Us Page.

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