How to shift from annual to continuous listening in 4 simple steps



Traditionally, businesses have listened to employees once a year through an annual engagement survey. But in today’s world, this is simply not enough. Regularly listening to employees and acting on their feedback:

  • Boosts engagement, efficiency, and innovation
  • Underpins greater agility and competitiveness
  • Demonstrates that you value employee opinion, increasing employees’ sense of belonging and motivation.

This is why supplementing an annual survey with a more regular collection of feedback is crucial. Continuous listening allows you to take more regular action to improve the employee experience. This post contains four steps that will help you build an effective continuous listening strategy.


Step 1 – Get senior buy-in

Continuous listening needs to be driven by the organisation’s leaders, so you must get senior buy-in before developing your strategy.

Given that data and numbers are the language of executives, you’ll need to show the benefits of continuous listening to the organisation and specific areas where it can drive impact.

Here are some benefits of continuous listening:

#1 Improved employee experience, engagement, and retention

Most executives realise that employee experience is vital to their business. Unfortunately, few report that their organisation is great at building a great employee experience.

A continuous listening programme optimises the employee experience and improves engagement. It leads to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

It’s no secret that engaged employees are more productive. A study shows that engaged employees increase a company’s profitability by up to 21%.

Learn how to understand your employee experience with our toolkits.

#2 Accurate insights and faster reaction speed

With continuous listening, executives can base crucial decisions on real-time data. It allows managers to take action to combat challenges or harness opportunities quickly.

These benefits should make seniors see the importance of continuous listening to the organisation.


Step 2 – Establish your goals

Once seniors are on board, it’s time to establish your goal(s). This should include:

  • What you want continuous listening to achieve
  • What you’ll do to show employees that you’re committed to hearing and acting on the feedback they give
  • How you’ll collect feedback and work on it
  • What executives, managers, and employees need to do to ensure the strategy succeeds


Step 3 – Set up a clear process and execute

Your continuous listening strategy is at its best when it provides the insights needed at the right time. It is important to set up a clear process which will include the frequency of surveys, the questions to be asked, the communication plan and action strategy.

Once you have a clear process agreed you need to ensure that employees recognise the value of feedback initiatives and are keen to participate.


Step 4 – Turn feedback into action

If all employees do is give feedback without seeing action taken, they’ll suffer from survey fatigue. So you need to act on the feedback you receive.

Of course, it’s impossible to act on everything, or to take action as quickly as employees may like. But it’s important that you acknowledge feedback and note where actions cannot be taken.

It is also important to set expectations in relation to the cadence of action to ensure employees do not feel that their feedback is being ignored. The following tips will help you turn continuous feedback into effective action:

  • Ensure executives are committed to sharing and acting on feedback
  • Make commitments on feedback channels and surveys of how you’ll use feedback, and stick to these
  • Take action on feedback as soon as practical
  • Communicate frequently with staff about actions taken on feedback received, and where actions cannot be taken, the reasons why



Implementing a continuous listening strategy is better than implementing just an annual survey. With the right platform, you can capture the correct data at the right time to drive meaningful change and achieve business objectives.

Improve your employee experience with our flexible listening software. Tivian makes it easy to measure employee feedback, identify key trends, and take meaningful action.

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