If you’re considering an Employee Satisfaction Survey or Employee Opinion Survey for your organization, you’ve probably noticed the myriad complex factors that can impact the success of a survey campaign. Along with survey length and the kinds of questions to ask, people often solicit our advice on the best way to deliver, or administer, the surveys to their employees. In most cases, our initial response is that the best survey format depends upon the specific needs of the organization.
So how do you determine what format fits your needs? To start, here are five tips for choosing between online, paper, and telephone formats for your Employee Opinion Survey:
- Fit the survey to your employees’ working environment. As a general best practice, employees should be encouraged to complete the survey during work hours, and thus they must have access at work to any resources needed to do so. Many organizations in healthcare, hospitality, and casinos/gaming, for example, have large numbers of employees without dedicated access to computers. These organizations often opt for paper surveys or set up convenient kiosks where employees can take the survey.
- Different survey formats may not resonate equally among your employees. In fact, employee demographics often play into how a workforce responds to a given survey format. It isn’t uncommon, for example, for some populations to feel uncomfortable using computers, or conversely for employees to vastly prefer an electronic format over telephone or hardcopy. Selecting a format that suits the tastes of your general employee population can help to support strong survey participation.
- It’s no surprise that survey format usually has some level of impact on cost, but what surprises many is that the most cost-effective survey formats are often those that generate the best outcomes. Online surveys, for example, are often priced below telephone format, generally produce higher participation rates, and are less prone to response bias. (Response bias occurs when a survey respondent answers questions in the way they think the interviewer would like them to answer.) A recommended approach to planning your Employee Opinion Survey includes consulting with an expert to understand how factors like these play out in the relationship between cost and value.
- If a single survey format does not meet your needs, consider a two-pronged approach. It is not uncommon for organizations to opt for two survey formats in order to develop a survey campaign that accommodates their employees and the project budget. If, for example, hundreds of your employees work on the shop floor without access to computers, but some departments have dedicated workstations, the use of both online and paper formats may be the best option. Good survey providers offer this level of flexibility and will be willing to consult with you to design a program that meets your specific needs.
- Environmental responsibility has increasingly become a formal value among organizations that understand it is in their long-term best interest to help preserve the health of our planet. If this sounds like your organization, opting for a green approach like telephone or online may align most fittingly with your company playbook. Organizations that go this route can incorporate “green” imagery into their survey promotions to help employees make the connection between the survey and their company values.
Keeping these tips in mind as you select a format for your Employee Satisfaction Survey can help you to identify the option best-suited for your organization. And when questions arise, consult with an expert. Survey providers like Avatar Solutions want you to succeed and will work closely with you to design a survey campaign that will help you do just that. To learn more about our employee surveys, please visit http://www.avatarsolutions.com/solutions/surveys/employee-engagement-survey.cfm.