Maximise survey responses, drive positive change, and transform engagement through effective data collection.
Recognise that these are extra minutes you’re asking from your community’s busy schedules. Seeing the larger goal and why you’re asking to do this task will help build motivation around completing the survey. Match your tone to the context around the survey depending on if it is an exciting and inviting opportunity or something that calls for a more professional and measured tone to match the weight of the situation.
At Edurio, we like to say that gathering at least half of your stakeholder voices is excellent! Striving for a 100% response rate is often unrealistic and there’s no point in setting yourself up against an almost impossible goal. Keep in mind, the response rates can differ among each of your organisation’s groups - staff, pupils, parents, governors, and trustees. If you have run a survey for the same respondent group before, aim to have a slightly larger response rate the next time, as you may have better insight into getting them to respond.
The averages and ranges we have seen for Edurio-facilitated surveys:
A note about parent respondents: Parents are one of the hardest respondent groups to reach and measure. Define your achievable response rate, considering how many parents/carers you want to respond (one response per child or separate responses from main carers), what to do in cases where two children from the same family attend the school, etc.
At Edurio, we suggest inviting parents to complete the survey once for each child, meaning we would see one response for each pupil in the survey results. This is especially important in a case where parents have multiple children attending the same school, but the experiences with each child are different - trying to answer for both and finding the middle can risk results ending up being muddy.
If you see that the response rates after the first week are below 20%, talk to your team to understand what could be the reason and if you’re able to mitigate that. It might turn out you need to provide more information about the survey or extend the timeline for completion.
Now that you have a rough idea of what response rate you could achieve for each respondent group, let’s talk about how you can maximise your response counts while the survey is live.
Prepare yourself for possible questions from respondents about the survey. Here are some questions respondents frequently ask about Edurio-facilitated surveys:
Emphasise once again what your goals are and that the survey is not intended to place blame in any direction, but to open up communication and plan for positive changes. Consider compiling FAQs from the pilot group who tested the survey before the launch, especially if there were any questions that came up more often. You can include some prepared answers in the initial communication about the survey.
The survey has closed! You’re one step closer to seeing what kind of feedback your respondents gave. Before you go ahead and analyse the results, take a moment to reflect on the survey completion process itself and to thank your respondents.
It may take a few weeks or months to work through all of the insights in your survey results. To have everybody on the same page, communicate with your respondents right after the survey is closed:
Your community has spent their time sharing their thoughts. Thank them for their time, effort and feedback given. Let them know they’ve been heard! This will go a long way.
Celebrate the response rate, acknowledging all the people who took part in the survey. This can help build excitement around the collaborative work everybody has participated in. Remind people about the survey topic and themes that you asked them to respond about.
It’s important that respondents know the results will truly be analysed and used, as this is the reason people took the time to fill in the survey in the first place. Give a brief plan for what’s happening next - it can include the planned timelines or just the next few phases (think - a) analysing the results, b) setting priorities, c) sharing the results and next steps). Let respondents know who they can reach out to if they have any further questions or comments about the survey or next steps.
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