9 tips for compiling employee surveys—big and small

Whether you’re looking for quick answers to solve a pressing problem or gauging companywide engagement, these tactics will help you derive clear, important data to guide future decisions.

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Follow these steps to elicit valuable data and insights and guide your organization’s decisions.

1. Be clear about the objective.

Ask, “What problem are we trying to solve?” Some targets:

2. Know how the results will be used.

Your analysis method(s) will determine whether responses should be expressed as numbers—for example, whether results should be weighted (i.e., some questions carry more value than others) or combined with other data for a scorecard.

Also, determine how you will report back to survey participants. Always report back—to everyone, not just those who responded. Within organizations, this helps reinforce trust and demonstrates the survey’s value.

3. Determine timing, length and duration.

The survey release date, how long it takes to complete and employees’ completion/submission deadline all play a major part in your survey’s effectiveness.

Timing of release/start:

Pick a date clear of other distractions, such as major announcements/news (e.g., quarterly results or restructuring), prime holiday seasons, times of intense workload of most/all employees (e.g., March and April for tax-related companies).

Length of survey:

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