AI reveals two thirds of the workforce underestimate true anxiety levels when completing organisational surveys


  • Untapped AI calls for end of surveys as a warning against outdated approach to employee engagement
  • 75% of change initiatives that are driven by the results of employee surveys don’t work

London, UK; 16th November 2021: Untapped AI, the company that combines transformational human relationships with the disruptive power of AI feedback, is calling for an end to employee surveys. This is in light of data from Untapped AI’s platform of 10,000 users which reveals that two thirds of the workforce underestimate their anxiety levels when completing organisational surveys.

Its AI-powered insights also reveal a 35% disparity between what employees self-report on organisational and pulse surveys and their true feelings. This includes their sensibilities on subjects such as hybrid working, mental health, productivity, innovation and adaptability.

The survey market is estimated to be worth around $4.87bn and is expected to grow by over 16% in the next five years. However, Untapped AI’s data shows 75% of change initiatives that are driven by the results of employee surveys don’t work.

Alongside this, most people (95%) would say that they’re self-aware. Yet only 10-15% have the high-level of self-awareness necessary to reliably complete a self-reporting employee survey, and 54% of women and 40% of men engage in people-pleasing behaviour. Although many organisational surveys are advertised as being anonymous, employees aren’t trusting in the process and are concerned that any negative answers will be reflected in performance reviews and their progress.

Untapped AI’s programmes work by combining the psychology of leadership with the technology of AI to create a personalised coaching programme that provides long-term insights and trends for businesses and employees. The technology provides accurate, raw, unfiltered grassroots data for companies and helps employers and individuals identify problems before they become apparent. This way, organisational change can be driven from the bottom up.

Kendal Parmar, co-founder and CEO of Untapped AI, commented: “Most companies are aware that self-reported employee surveys don’t work, and that employees are more likely to withhold information or their true feelings. However, they simply can’t think of anything better. Surveys are boxing in employees to answer multiple choice questions, and employees aren’t trusting that the process is anonymous and any negative answers won’t be held against them. It’s time to put an end to surveys to give employers real-time, anonymous insights into how their employees are feeling, rather than outdated models that simply don’t work.”

Pandemic changes

Untapped AI’s findings also revealed that there has been an increase in the number of referrals to PHQ-9 to assess for depression and low mood based on WHO-5 Wellbeing scores of 12 or under, since the pandemic began, with referral numbers increasing from 10-30%.

Anxiety and low mood increased significantly at the start of the pandemic, with the trend starting in Asia and spreading to the UK and US as lockdowns hit each of these regions. Company surveys that took place in February of 2020 therefore don’t reflect the feelings of employees in March 2020 when the UK lockdown began, leaving employers with outdated insights.

Parmar continued: “In some regions, individuals don’t feel that they can admit their true feelings to themselves, let alone to their employer. Abolishing surveys and using programmes and technology that helps employees to navigate change is key.”


Untapped AI
Founded in 2015 by Kendal Parmar and Brendan O’Hara, Untapped AI drives grassroot transformational change. The company’s unique programmes help CEOs and their teams navigate change by creating mission-driven people with data-driven diagnostics.

Untapped AI’s insights combine transformational human relationships with the disruptive power of AI feedback, all tailored to the individual. The radical model, which is EMCC global accredited, enables transformational change in the areas where training and traditional coaching fail. Its customers, which include Disney, Barclays and Worldpay, achieve increased employee engagement and retention, and employees are five times more likely to stay within their company and twice as likely to get promoted to a more challenging role.

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