Running an Employee survey during a pandemic (or post-pandemic)

In the last 90+something days (are you still counting?) so much has changed…

We are unable to work in the ways that we used to, whether that is because of working from home or enforced changes because of social distancing in the workplace. And there may be parts of the Organisation that are not working at all.

Employee survey trends in lockdown

The biggest changes we are seeing with employee surveys is how quickly the results are wanted – generally meaning that the survey is open for a few days instead of 2-3 weeks – and a narrower focus on what the Organisation wants to know.

Partly as a consequence of speed of turnaround and the narrower focus, surveys are shorter too (although this does depend on the survey’s objectives and how the survey is being used).

Right now, employee wellbeing is top of most agenda with seeking feedback on how to better support those working from home, assessing operations (at whatever level that may be) and lessons learned/to carry forward. And the role of communications in supporting everyone across the business is fundamental.

Are surveys still anonymous? Short answer is yes. In some cases follow-up activity is more targeted – for example to provide specific IT support.

What did your last survey say?

The questions and statements that you asked in past surveys still have value, and if some of these questions fit your research objectives and would tell you what you need to know – then re-use the question(s).

Knowing how these were answered (or their scores) before lockdown helps you to make sense of how sentiment and employee experience are affected now. It also means when you settle into new/updated routines later this year or in 2021, you have some indicators to work with to track positive/negative changes.

New questions

We have been expanding the number of questions we ask around WFH (working from home), feeling connected and work-life balance.

For open-ended questions, keep the question targeted to something you can use. Literally asking for “any comments about work-life balance” (or other theme) lead to a lot of rambling, harder to read comments. Better question examples are:

  • What is working well?
  • Are there any changes that you would like to see stay when we come out of lockdown?

Planning a survey?

Surveylab can help you work out what questions to ask, then setup the survey and collect the answers. Employees have a voice and remain anonymous. We can analyse the results and help you understand the findings.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your plans for an employee survey, just ask. Contact Dan or Hew on
+44 (0)20 3137 9422 or email