Employee surveys, the good, the bad, and the amazing fact that everybody lies. 6 ways to discover employee sentiment.

How accurate are your employee surveys if everyone lies?

Employee surveys are one of many ways to gauge employee engagement and satisfaction. But how reliable can insights gained by this process about employee well-being possibly be if what Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s book “Everybody Lies” says is true?

People lie on employee surveys.

Sometimes your employees may respond with a small lie; other times, they respond with a big lie. Sometimes they aren’t even aware of the fact they are lying. According to survey experts, 50% of people are not truthful in their answers, and according to Davidowitz, it is even higher than that; it’s everybody.

So what is a company to do? How can they make sure the information they are getting from employee surveys is reliable? Here are some additional options to discover employee sentiment.

  1. Focus groups: These are small, informal groups of employees who meet to discuss a specific topic or issue related to the workplace. Focus groups can provide a more in-depth understanding of employee perspectives and be an excellent way to gather qualitative data.
  2. Interviews: One-on-one interviews with employees can provide a more personal and detailed understanding of employee experiences. Interviews with employees can be conducted in person or over the phone and structured or unstructured.
  3. Employee roundtables: These are meetings in which employees come together to discuss workplace issues and provide feedback on various topics. Employee roundtables can provide a forum for employees to share their thoughts and ideas and can be an excellent way to gather input from a cross-section of employees.
  4. Pulse surveys: Short, anonymous surveys that are administered regularly (e.g., weekly or monthly) to measure employee engagement and satisfaction on a regular basis. Pulse surveys can provide a real-time view of employee engagement and help organizations identify and address issues quickly.
  5. Exit interviews: Interviews with employees who are leaving the organization can provide valuable insights into why employees are going and what can be done to improve the workplace.
  6. Employee engagement software: There are several software solutions that allow organizations to gather and analyze employee feedback in real time, providing a comprehensive view of employee engagement. These solutions can include surveys, pulse surveys, analytics dashboards, employee feedback forms, discussion boards, and polls. Some platforms like Red e App allow you to measure engagement against employee retention, alerting you if an employee is at risk of leaving.


It’s important to remember that no single method is perfect, and each has its own set of limitations. A combination of methods can provide a more complete and accurate picture of employee engagement and satisfaction. The key is to regularly gather feedback, analyze it, and act on it in a timely manner.

Another critical aspect to consider is that the context in which the company is operating can significantly impact the results. For example, a pandemic and social and political events can skew the results of any feedback method used. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the context and tailor the methods used accordingly.

In summary, employee surveys are valuable for gathering feedback and measuring employee satisfaction. Still, employee surveys should be combined with other methods such as focus groups, interviews, employee roundtables, pulse surveys, exit interviews, employee engagement software, etc. This combination will provide a more complete and accurate picture of employee engagement and satisfaction and help organizations take action to improve the workplace.

To learn more about Red e App and how we have helped companies engage their employees across many industries, visit us online at redeapp.com. Or sign up for a free trial to learn how our amazing platform will help you manage employee surveys, increase employee communication, improve workforce retention and create an engaged workforce.