A continuous survey is open all the time, and can keep accepting new survey responses until the survey is closed manually.
The most common continuous surveys are onboard and exit surveys, but there are also unattributed surveys, like a Candidate Survey, Intern Survey, Suggestion Box, or a Training Feedback survey that stay open so anyone can contribute feedback at any time.
The opposite of a continuous survey is a snapshot survey, where there is a defined start and end date for collecting responses. Most engagement surveys, manager feedback surveys and other surveys are looking to understand how people feel at a point in time. This makes it easier to action as so many people have shared their feedback at once.
A few customers like to use a continuous survey for engagement style questions, as a pulse survey. Every day a few people will be invited to the survey automatically, and you can see if the results change over time. If you are interested in a continuous survey like this, please ask firstname.lastname@example.org to change the Survey Type to continuous.
You will then see different setup options on the Launch Plan page:
In this example, everyone gets to take the survey once per quarter (see Frequency field), but different people are selected randomly every day. Reminders are sent 7 and 12 days after they have been sent a survey invite if they haven't submitted their survey. After a quarter has passed, a person will be asked to take the survey again, and only their latest answers will be used in the reporting - their answers from last quarter are replaced with the current quarter's responses.
The demographics that exist for that person when they are invited to take the survey are used in the reporting. For example, if a person moves from Sales to Marketing Department, but they were in Sales (according to the Culture Amp employee details) when they were issued the survey, then their results will appear under Sales in the reporting.
When considering a continuous survey, there are some drawbacks:
- Effort to keep employee demographics up to date
- Can take longer to get actionable data (depending on Frequency used)
- People get sick of taking the survey (and often not seeing any action) so participation tends to drop off
- People get sick of the same questions, so need to keep adding/removing questions to keep the survey interesting and relevant, harder to get a trend when questions change