Maximising Participation with Collective Surveys

29nd Feb 2024

Collective Surveys enable organisations to survey their entire work-force; even when those employees don't have corporate e-mail addresses, or regular access to a computer.

This article explains why we added Collective Survey capabilities and explores the trade-offs.


At Divrsity, our purpose has always been to help employers uncover data-driven insights that enable them to make measurable progress on workplace Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Bias and Belonging.

That means that we do everything we can to maximise survey participation rates:

  • Confidence Messaging ("all survey responses are completely anonymous")
  • Enabling administrators to customise the e-mails that we send to match employer tone-of-voice
  • Automated Reminder e-mails
  • Customising colors on survey pages to match employer branding
  • Participation league tables to drive competition while the survey is in-flight ("the Edinburgh office is at 30% completion but our Bolton office is at 65%")
  • Measuring average response times ("On average it takes employees just 4 minutes and 32 seconds to complete the survey")
  • And providing best-practice guidelines for comms before, during and after the survey.

Historically, we've found that sending e-mails directly from also helps to drive participation: customers are more confident when they know that their data isn't being managed or monitored by the HR team.

So we traditionally ask that survey administrators upload a list of survey participant e-mail addresses so that we can send invitation and reminder e-mails directly.

So Far, So Good

This worked well until we started working with the UK rail industry: they have large numbers of employees who drive trains, manage passenger safety and check tickets; and who rarely use corporate e-mail or computers.

So how do ensure that these employee voices are included in our surveys?

Introducing Collective Surveys

Collective surveys are a (zero-cost) option that can be added to existing surveys... simply go to the survey page, click "Allow Collective Participation" and then "Save Changes".

Now, rather than every participant receiving a separate e-mail with a unique invitation code, Collective Surveys also include a single URL that can be emailed directly to large numbers of participants (one of our partners is planning to use a collective survey with 18k participants).

Additionally, collective surveys include a QR code that employees can scan with their mobile phone in order to complete the survey. In our rail industry example this enables them to put posters in break rooms to encourage participation. See the screenshot (with smudges deliberately applied).

What else should I know?

We strongly recommend that you use the collective survey capability alongside the the direct e-mail model. The latter will be much better for allowing you to provide meaningful participation rates. i.e. we know that 80 out of 100 direct e-mails have responded, whereas it's impossible to figure out good statistics using collective surveys.


We're super-proud of the feature richness of the Divrsity platform. While you're here, check out our cool new AI capabilities, and rest assured that we constantly enhance our capabilities in response to customer needs.

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