The Best Employee Survey Tools for Gathering Actionable Feedback

A person in a suit working on a laptop, with digital survey checkboxes and forms displayed in the foreground, representing the use of employee survey tools.

Gathering employee feedback can benefit both employers and employees, improve a company’s culture, and contribute to stronger performance. The key is making it possible for staff members to submit feedback in a user-friendly way that delivers results employers can act on. 

Here, we’ll outline what organizations stand to gain from collecting employee feedback and explore seven great tools for gathering it. 

The Importance of Employee Feedback

Employees want to feel heard, but only some actually are. A study by The Workforce Institute found that a worrisome 83% of workers say they’re not heard ‘fairly or equally,’ while 60% feel their views and opinions are ignored in their workplace.  

These results are troubling because employees who don’t feel they have a voice are less likely to be engaged with their jobs and more likely to leave. On the other hand, employees who do feel heard experience higher job satisfaction and a sense of personal investment in their work that can lead to better performance. 

How feedback is given and received in an organization also directly impacts its culture. Discouragement of employee input breeds distrust and resentfulness, while regularly encouraging and acting upon employee feedback yields trust and mutual respect. 

Finally, an organization’s approach toward employee feedback affects relationships, like the relationship between workers and their managers and workers and the company. Strong, two-way relationships help companies develop employees to their full potential and maximize retention. 

In short, employee feedback is impactful in terms of the feedback itself and the tone set when feedback is gathered with enthusiasm.

Benefits of Collecting Employee Feedback

Improve employee engagement

Collecting feedback from employees says, “Your opinion matters.” When employees feel that their input is meaningful, it contributes to an overall sense of being valued at work, which drives stronger engagement. 

Strengthen decision making

Gathering employee feedback means company leaders are accurately aware of what employees want. This informs decision-making that’s rooted in what’s actually best for the team, not just what leaders assume is best. Examining feedback over time allows you to measure the impact of your decisions in quantifiable terms. 

Keep an open line of communication

A clear line of two-way communication is invaluable for building a culture of trust and transparency. Employees who feel comfortable flagging when something isn’t right are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and loyal to their employers than those who fear they may face consequences for speaking up. 

Increase innovation

Your employees interact with your products, systems, and customers daily. Who better to turn to for creative ideas that will improve business outcomes? Employee surveys can produce innovative ways to work better, faster, smarter, and more affordable. 

Gain awareness of issues

When you’re not immersed in the business’s day-to-day operations, it might appear that everything’s rosy. However, issues can simmer just below the surface while waiting to boil over, unbeknownst to company executives. Employee surveys can bring these issues to light, from those that are easily remedied (an employee’s too-heavy workload) to those that could seriously endanger the organization (a pattern of harassment or discrimination). 

Enhance performance management

Staff input helps you better serve your workforce. Feedback surveys can reveal who might need more training, who’s ready for additional responsibility, and who’s at risk of leaving, allowing you to tailor your employee development and engagement initiatives accordingly. 

Enhance recruiting efforts

A headline like “95% employee job satisfaction” goes a long way in a recruiting brochure or a social media ad. Surveys are a gold mine for impressive stats to bolster your hiring efforts. 

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What are Employee Surveys?

Employee surveys are a data collection tool that employers can use to measure things like employee engagement, motivation, morale, management, performance, opportunities for improvement, and more. They can take various forms, from a single-question eNPS poll to a lengthy survey with multiple categories of open-response questions. 

Employee surveys can be conducted at various points in the employee life cycle to produce different results. Gathering feedback immediately after an employee is hired, for example, can deliver valuable information about your candidate experience, while conducting an exit interview of every departing employee can give you pointers on reducing turnover. 

Employee feedback surveys are typically administered by HR, and input is anonymous in order to encourage honest responses. 

Related: How to Measure Employee Satisfaction

Things to Consider When Choosing an Employee Survey Tool

Question types

Different tools offer different functionality. Consider whether you’re looking to ask multiple-choice, open-ended, score-based questions, or some combination of all of the above. The ideal tool will make it quick and easy to configure a survey in the format of your choice. 

Number of respondents

If you’re surveying under 50 employees, a free tool that allows you to email a survey link and manually review responses may be suitable. If you have thousands of employees to connect with, you need a tool that facilitates mass distribution and aids in distilling the resulting data. 


A survey tool is only useful if it functions in tandem with your HR software, employee communication portal, and any other essential programs. Look for one that advertises integrations with your existing technology stack. 

Analytics capabilities

The data you receive needs to be easy to understand in order for you to act on it. Advanced analytics can help you identify trends and map out action items, while visualization capabilities can be useful in tracking progress and monitoring changes over time. 

User experience

If your feedback surveys are too complicated, employees will not complete them. In addition to assessing back-end capabilities, test a survey tool’s front-end interface to ensure it is user-friendly for recipients. 

Top Survey Tools for Effective Feedback Collection


Qualtrics is a comprehensive employee experience platform that offers advanced tools for gathering detailed employee feedback. With robust analytics and real-time reporting capabilities, Qualtrics helps organizations understand employee sentiment and identify areas for improvement. The platform’s intuitive design makes creating customer surveys, distributing them, and analyzing the results easy. 


If Qualtrics is the Cadillac of survey tools, SurveyMoney is the Toyota Camry (and we mean that in the best way!). It’s so user-friendly that creating and sending a survey can be completed in minutes. It offers a range of pre-made templates and question suggestions tailored to specific business objectives that further simplify the survey process.  


TINYPulse specializes in gathering real-time feedback through quick, anonymous pulse surveys. A pulse survey is a brief set of questions meant to take an organization’s “pulse” on a certain topic. TINYPulse makes it easy to monitor employee morale and engagement, empowering leaders to address issues promptly. It also includes features like peer recognition and suggestion boxes that contribute to a culture of continuous improvement. 

Culture Amp

Culture Amp is a robust employee feedback and analytics platform that excels in helping organizations understand what drives high performance. Its research-backed survey templates (more than 40 of them) and benchmarking capabilities give company leaders a better grasp on how the organization stacks up against industry standards in areas like culture and retention. The result is a nuanced understanding of the company’s current culture and the actions required to strengthen it. 


If your company runs on Microsoft Teams, Teamflect is a great choice. In addition to handling employee feedback and engagement, it can facilitate one-on-ones, tackle performance reviews, and manage employee career progression without leaving the Teams interface. The platform hosts users’ data in Microsoft data centers for enhanced security. 


Cooleaf combines employee feedback with engagement and recognition programs for a holistic approach to workplace culture. Customized surveys help leaders capture employee sentiment in a snap, while built-in rewards capabilities help incentivize employees to participate. One of our favorite Cooleaf features is its smart targeting functionality, which lets you send surveys to specific departments, teams, or individuals based on specified parameters. 


Motivosity focuses on fostering a positive workplace culture through recognition and feedback. The platform includes tools for conducting surveys, gathering free-response input, and recognizing colleagues’ achievements. Motivosity puts a social spin on feedback, encouraging peer-to-peer interactions, strengthening team relationships, and enhancing overall engagement. 

If you want to gather actionable feedback that drives positive change, selecting the right employee survey tool is crucial. By choosing a platform with features that align with your needs and objectives, you’ll build a resilient, adaptable, and high-performing organization where employees feel heard and valued.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn