Employee Surveys: The Basis for Successful Change Processes

Since the 1980s, HR departments and management have used employee surveys as a feedback tool to evaluate the general mood and wellbeing in companies.

Already in 2018 up to 90% of all companies in the DACH region (un)regularly conduct surveys of their employees (Frieg & Hossiep, 2018).


No wonder, because demographic change, a shortage of skilled workers, and the diverse requirements of qualified specialists have contributed in recent years to the fact that employer attractiveness has become an integral part of a successful employer branding strategy. 

The Benefits of Employee Surveys have been Clear for 40 Years

The benefits of employee surveys are numerous, with the prioritization of benefits highly dependent on the survey's objective. 

Lower fluctuation rates due to employee retention, consolidation of the corporate culture, increased productivity, process optimization, quality assurance or higher customer satisfaction are oft cited by as arguments by HR managers for a survey. 

The pros are plentiful and the cons few and far between. 

In fact, the only practical argument against conducting an employee survey is the cost factor. Costs arise in three areas and vary depending on internal resources: internal personnel costs (associated with the survey project), survey tool/license costs, and external consulting costs, if applicable. 


If costs are the only disadvantage, then why doesn't every employee survey meet with approval and great interest in the company?

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. 

While a majority of companies conduct employee surveys, it appears that there are still a few holdouts. 

So, what's keeping them back? Why might a survey fail? 

Often the problem can be found in with either the questionnaire or the circumstances surrounding it. 


The phrase, 'There are no stupid questions,' does not apply to an employee survey.

Thomas Puchta

German Team Lead, Xact by Ramboll

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

The questionnaire should be carefully thought out.

Data protection, full anonymity, user-friendly interface, professional technical support and automated reporting including recommendations for action are standard and should not be missing from any high-quality survey. 

What many companies ultimately fail to do with their employee survey can be summed up in two words: 

Dialogue and action. 

Even the best survey is rendered worthless if the results are not communicated properly; if there lacks dialogue between management and employees; if no improvements suggested by the results are implemented, and/or the changes that are implemented are done without properly communicating the changes and their purpose. 

Effective Survey Software is the First Step in Your Change Process

Successful employee surveys, especially engagement surveys, are carefully planned with HR and middle and upper management. 

The aim is to gain concrete and detailed insights into the working atmosphere to positively influence the working environment and the general well-being of employees with targeted actions. These are then meant to increase employee satisfaction, loyalty to the company, and improve company success. 


A properly implemented HR-survey platform helps managers, HR, and the executive layer do their jobs better, faster, and with more insight.

Flemming Lorenz

Department Manager, Xact by Ramboll

Involve Your Employees from the Start

A crucial success factor in any engagement survey is that employees are involved before it starts and at least partly informed about its focus and goals. And shortly after the end of the survey, the results are published and presented in a transparent, clear and concrete action plan. 

Not only does it offer a user-friendly interface; it also saves time through automization features such as automated reports and follow-up thank-you messages to respondents. 

And the best survey solutions on the market are based on scientifically tested models that not only convert data into diagrams but also create individual recommendations for action in a timely, automated, and clear manner at the touch of a button. 

The success of such scientific models is the result of years of HR-expertise.

In addition, they are ideally tested in practice across all industries, so that the significance and quality of questions is guaranteed. 

Let's get in touch!

We have expertise in conducting authentic employee surveys that can deliver real insights and sustainable change in your organization. Contact us for a non-binding consultation on how we can work together to strengthen your employer attractiveness from the inside we look forward to hearing from you. 

So, Employee Surveys — DIY or Call in Experts?

It is counterproductive to ignore unexpected or negatively interpreted results and not to communicate them to employees at all — with the help of occupational psychologists, however, even the most difficult topics can be dealt with constructively, respectfully, and competently. 

The main advantage of external consulting in the evaluation and/or implementation phase is that managers benefit from external expertise in terms of communication and a variety of useful methods in addition to the internal dialogue among colleagues.  

Proven methods, e.g., in restructuring measures, are workshops and team dialogues, in which difficult topics can be dealt with constructively and purposefully with the help of external consulting. 

Moreover, communication is vital.

Departments or teams can be invited to a dialogue with their manager, so that critical topics are given time and a safe space to air concerns supplemented by valuable insights from an external partner. 

The feeling of being taken seriously increases employee loyalty to the company, the willingness of employees to participate in the next survey is increased as well, and the general understanding of change processes is also promoted through open communication. 



Frieg, P., & Hossiep, R. (2018). Mitarbeiterbefragungen – bei den Unternehmen nach wie vor ein etablierter Klassiker [Employee Surveys – Still an Established and Classic Tool at Organizations]. Wirtschaftspsychologie Aktuell, 25(4), 13-16. 

Dr. Salla Sorvisto-Santoro

Communication Studies (PhD) | Economics (BA) 

Business Development Manager

Xact By Rambøll

M +49 1525 321 5171