How many people here complete an annual employee survey? Surveys are just one method to gather data on people in organizations, to get a clearer picture of performance factors. This table lists the common methods used to gather more information about a learning and performance opportunity. They are often called “qualitative approaches”, or “ethnographic research techniques.” Example: Business process improvement – e-survey of employees, interviews with managers, and job/task analysis, coupled with employee observations
Here’s an important recommendation for taking “a deeper dive” into a situation in an organization, with qualitative research:Use more than one method to increase the likelihood of data accuracy/validity (e.g. Stakeholder surveys, interviews and document reviews)
This is acolleague’s image of stakeholders. [pause for chuckle]Involve multiple stakeholder groups to get different perspectives (e.g. Find out what frontline employees and customersthink, not just supervisors or senior management). Example: Business process improvement – e-survey of employees, interviews with supervisors, vendors and/or customers if relevant, and workplace observations
General best practice for survey include doing your homework on the situation and group, and making it user-friendly and appealing.
There are of course different types of questionnaires or surveys that you can elicit information with from your stakeholders, customers, vendors, or work group. They are In-person, Phone and Web-based/electronic. Most people aren’t doing paper and pen ones any more due to the lack of resources and logistics to analyze/summarizethem. You may get a better response rate if done immediately at the end of a face-to-face training session. An e-survey by comparison is easy to delete, miss or choose not to complete.
At the beginning of your survey, regardless of target audience or survey format, you need to include an intro message that has…[Read]. This will set a positive tone an engender trust in respondents, encouraging their compliance (survey completion).
Now let’s look at some problem questions. [Read] This one is not worded in a way that matches our regular pattern of speech. [Click] It is negative phrasing and as a result is confusing for many respondents.Here’s another question issue. [Read] What seems to be the question here? That’s right, there are in fact two questions being asked here because you may want to ask yes to one and no to another but are not given a choice.
By now you can see that writing good questions is key to effective survey design. It looks much easier than it is.A few tips to make your surveys user-friendly and appealing [Read] – Why [for each]1) Interesting – hold respondent’s interest to continue2) Easy before difficult – keep energy/motivation up to continue3) personal/demographic ones at end – participants tend to skip questions at the end so leave the least important ones for alst.4) As you write questions, think about your analysis and summary work – how to make it easy/accurate.5) Get someone else to proofread it.6) Ideally have 1-2 sample participants (same group) try it out and provide feedback/comments for revision
Surveys & Qualitative Data Capture & Analysis
Question CritiqueUnder what circumstances Negative phrasingdo you not submit yourweekly project hours? Overtime still in progress Unknown factors NA OtherDo you like our Double-barreledEdmonton and Calgarybranches? Yes No
Question TipsAt start, interesting questionEasier before difficult onesAt end, personal & demographicConsider analysisHave others reviewPretest Why?
Data AnalysisQuantitative Total responses, frequency counts, distribution, averagesQualitative Pre-determined or emergent categories
Communicating Results Honesty about findings Timely results 4-6 weeks = TRUST Act on findings or what happens?