It’s Not Survey Fatigue. It’s Lack of Action Fatigue

February 24, 2023
February 24, 2023 Jamie Notter


When you consistently take meaningful action based on your surveys, and share that with your people, they will never get tired of answering future surveys.


Survey fatigue is when your people lack the motivation to complete a survey you send to them. They’ll either skip it, or answer it incorrectly (e.g., marking 3 for every answer). That’s obviously not good.

When we are discussing our culture assessment with prospect or clients, they often raise this issue. They might have recently completed an employee engagement survey, for example, so they worry about making their employees spend another 15 minutes answering a culture assessment survey that may have some overlap in questions. Won’t that give people survey fatigue?

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The answer is no.

According to McKinsey, the #1 source of survey fatigue is the perception that no action will be taken based on the results. This perception is frequently fueled by past experience when that is exactly what happened (oops). The number and lengths of the surveys was not a big factor—as long as you consistently take meaningful action based on the data.

Our culture assessment nips this issue in the bud, because it comes with a simple framework for taking action based on your results. You’ll still have to do the work of figuring out which parts of your culture need to be changed in order for you to be more successful, but you can then use our templates to map out a sequence of both low effort and high-effort “culture plays” that will move the needle. Of course we also offer consulting projects to take you through our culture change methodology if you need more direct support.

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But either way, make sure you take action, because that paves the way for more effective data collection in the future.


Jamie Notter

Jamie is a co-founder and culture strategist at PROPEL, where he helps leaders create amazing workplace cultures that drive greater performance and impact. He brings thirty years of experience to his work designing and managing culture, and has specialized along the way in areas like conflict resolution and generations. Jamie is the co-author of four popular business books, including the award-winning Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement, and his fall 2023 release, Culture Change Made Easy. He holds a Master’s in conflict resolution from George Mason and a certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown, where he serves as adjunct faculty.