How and why you should stop doing annual work environment surveys

How and why you should stop doing annual work environment surveys

Work is an essential aspect of our lives which takes up a large part of our adult life and. For some of us, it can even define our identity and who we are. This is how working within a suitable work environment is crucial. 

Years ago, companies were mainly customer centric, focusing all their energies and resources in treating their clients well and all their strategies were placed to maximize their profits and run a successful business, even if these actions negatively affected the employees of the organization.  

Times have changed and now company’s priorities are different. Successful companies are those that focus their efforts on integrating people into the organization, aligning them with the objectives and fostering in them its mission and vision as part of a corporate culture that ensures the well-being of its employees. 

When people and employees of company are developed within a pleasant work environment, their satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and loyalty tend to improve. 

This is why an assessment of the working environment is so important: analyzing the results will allow you to know if your strategy works and see if employees feel like they have a pleasant working experience, benefiting the company or, on the contrary, iillustrates a high turnover rate, demotivation and bad practices, which would seriously harm the organization. 

Work environment surveys

Work environment surveys, also called job satisfaction surveys, are used to assess to what extent employees are content with the work they do and with the organization. 

The concept of work environment was created under the idea that people are complex and dynamic beings and, as such, our behavior can directly or indirectly influence work flow: a good working environment will positively influence it and vice versa (2016, Méndez) . 

In this regard, work environment surveys try to investigate and discover what factors and variables are key factors in generating a good organizational environment. Based on these findings, companies are able to make decisions, and draw up strategies to achieve good environments and high levels of commitment which are desired by the company, ensuring its proper functioning. 

But, precisely for this reason, is it advisable to do them annually? 

Why Annual Work Environment Surveys Are Poor

Today’s job market is fast-paced and changing. If we ask our employees to quickly resolve contingencies as they arise, why not do the same for us? 

In this new world of agility and constant adaptation, the annual work environment surveys are obsolete: 

They are too long

We are increasingly used to immediacy and to receive information in a short and concise way. 

Annual surveys are too long, sometimes with more than 50 questions that can take too much time to answer. Consequentlywhat can occur is: 

  • Employees do not finish the questionnaire.         
  • Employees do not pay attention to the questions, which would negatively affect their effectiveness and validity.         

Slow and irrelevant information

Team leaders and managers must make decisions and propose actions as different scenarios arise. If we must make the right decision, the information must be relevant and related to the current moment. 

With annual surveys, the information that is collected can be totally irrelevant to the needs of the organization at present time. In addition, in case of a problem, the information would arrive late, and what could have been solved in a simple way, could become a real grievance that seriously affects the organization. 

We cannot know if the decisions we make are effective

When we draw up an action plan and carry it out, it is important to know how it affects the workforce. Only in this way, we will know if our decisions work and are aimed at achieving objectives or, on the contrary, we must rethink. 

With annual work environment surveys, this feedback takes a year to reach usdelaying solutions. 

Recency effect

The recency effect in psychology explains that people tend to remember the most recent things best. 

If we use an annual survey, employees will tend to complete it using information from the last weeks or months, without thinking in the entire year, so the information provided would be biased. 

If organizations are adapting to digital transformation in all areas, conducting work environment and employee satisfaction surveys cannot be left behind. 

The survey pulse is the best resource for this. 

Pulse Surveys

Unlike annual work environment surveys, pulse surveys are carried out regularly, usually every one or two weeks, or monthly, depending on the needs of each organization, through the use of new technologies. 

According to a study carried out by Gallup and the Harvard Business Review, this type of survey works better: three months after its implementation, 4 out of 10 employees were happier in their jobs. 

51% of employees who initially had a score below 7 increased it after using pulse surveys during those three months. 

This is because pulse surveys are easier to carry outthey are shorter, require few minutes to fill them and, what is more important, the management of the data collected and its subsequent evaluation is also much faster and more efficient. 

With pulse surveys: 

You show that employee opinions matter

When we frequently ask employees, we are making it clear that their opinions matter to us and are an essential part of the organization. 

By listening to all voices, we can make the right decisions that improve the work environment and boost motivation, performance, and satisfaction, benefiting the entire organization. 


One of the advantages of pulse surveys made through new technologies is that you can guarantee the total anonymity of those who answer them. 

In this way, we ensure that employees can respond with total sincerity, providing valuable information. 

Make proactive decisions

Thanks to the regularity of the information and the fact that it is received in real time, it is more likely that with pulse surveys you will discover incipient problems and areas for improvement that otherwise would have been hidden. 

Therefore, with pulse surveys it is possible to make decisions proactively and on time. 

Avoid talent drain

Pulse surveys help improve employee well – being and foster engagement and loyalty, reducing the turnover rate and its associated costs. 


Are you ready to ditch the annual work environment surveys and move on to pulse surveys? Try Team Insights for free. 

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