It’s Not Survey Fatigue- It’s Inaction Fatigue

4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021.[1] There are several factors playing into “the Great Resignation,” including opportunities for higher pay, career advancement and burnout. According to a recent survey commissioned by Explorance, the largest contributor is a lack of action when it comes to employee feedback. The bottom line is that employees want to be heard and feel that their opinions are valued.

In the course of DHG’s work, we routinely field questions about “survey fatigue.” Specifically, executives are afraid of inundating employees with assessments and exacerbating employee burnout. But the Explorance results indicate it is not surveying that is the problem. On the contrary, employees want to contribute – it is the lack of action by employers that is frustrating and plays a significant role in driving turnover.

What can your organization do to slow the rapidly growing rate of employee turnover? It’s really as easy as following 3 simple steps:

Ask for Feedback: Surveys or assessments are an opportunity for company leadership to connect and open a dialogue with their employees - but unfortunately, we find this is often a missed opportunity. A majority of employees say that surveys are their preferred method of providing feedback[3], and with modern survey technologies and communication platforms, they are easy to administer. Organizations should take advantage of the opportunity to open this dialogue with their people and tap into their desire and ideas for improving the organization.
Analyze the Feedback: Once the dialogue is open, organizations need to intelligently analyze the feedback to determine the root causes behind the challenges of burnout, change fatigue, and turnover. To answer these questions, organizations should deploy surveys that are grounded in behavioral science, statistically validated, and include both quantitative and qualitative questions that utilize artificial intelligence to analyze the results. When organizations obtain this level of root cause clarity, the areas for action are clear and a practical path forward emerges.
Act on the Feedback: Gathering feedback, analyzing results, and developing the plan to define the path forward are all meaningless if the plan does not turn into visible action – a combination of communication and activity. First, organizations need to communicate the lessons learned from the data collection back to the employees and explain next steps. Second, put the lessons learned into action. Leadership will need to highlight and explicitly connect these actions back to the feedback provided by the employees.

The Great Resignation is a real thing, undoubtedly driven by the burnout estimated to cause 20-50 percent of employee turnover.[4] Its meaningful financial, strategic and cultural impacts have left organizations wondering what to do – but the good news is there may be a silver lining. With the assistance of sophisticated analytics like those within DHG Healthcare’s Clari3ty change analytics platform, organizations can follow these three simple steps to help unlock the perspective of their people and use survey diagnostics to create the type of connection they did not think was possible.

Survey fatigue is not the problem; it is inaction fatigue that zaps engagement and frustrates employees. If you want to fight the Great Resignation, Ask, Analyze and Act.


[1] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

[2] Explorance Employee Feedback Survey Report

[3] Explorance Employee Feedback Survey Report

[4] Burnout: What It Is, Isn’t, and Your Role


Scott Spohn
Partner, DHG Healthcare

Dr. Victoria Grady


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