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Surveying employees for feedback (BP)
This best practice provides recommendations to help develop surveys that can provide feedback from your users on the strengths and weaknesses of your digital workplace solution.
Surveying your employees can be very useful when deploying or improving your digital workplace. But your survey should always be focused on attempting to answer specific research questions in order to learn something that helps you make a decision (related to purpose, structure, functionality, or how to manage the digital workplace).
Surveys typically come in one of two forms:
A One-time Survey
Used to capture baseline data and/or opinions from users regarding changes they would like to see prior to a launch or a change initiative.
Typical questions for a survey like this might be:
- Approximately how many total times have you ever used your digital workplace? (more than 50 times, 21-50 times, 5-20 times, a few times, never)
- Is your digital workplace the most useful source of information for X?
- What's most (or least) useful about your digital workplace? (stack rank 3 features from a list)
- What activities do you use the digital workplace for? Check all that apply. (List behaviors you hope you support; e.g Accessing X, Getting answers to Y, Networking with others, etc.)
- What activities would you like to use the digital workplace for? (open text field)
A Recurring Survey
Given periodically (annually, quarterly) as a way of tracking progress. Since this is a tracking survey, it’s good to use scale questions wherever possible. This way you get a number you can do things with: plot, average, correlate, etc. These questions should be written in a way that makes them always relevant. Since the purpose is to measure change over time, you should also think about whether you want to measure changes in behavior or changes in attitude. Some typical examples:
Behavior Questions (scale of 1-7)
- How likely are you to share information with others via your digital workplace?
- In the coming week, how likely are you to access your digital workplace from a mobile device?
- How likely are you to ask a question on your digital workplace when you need help solving work-related problems?
- How easy is it to find the information you need in your digital workplace?
- How useful is your digital workplace in performing your everyday job?
- How comfortable do you feel sharing information openly in your digital workplace?
If you are using a common online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo that features conditional branching, you might also pair each score question with an open-ended question and leverage this feature to show that question only to people who responded really high or really low, because those groups are the most likely to have strong opinions. So for example if you ask the question"How easy is it to find the information you need in your digital workplace?” follow it up with "Why do you think it is so easy?" for those who gave it a 6 or 7 and "Why do you think it is not very easy?" for those who gave it a 1 or 2.
This question-pairing approach provides some great data because the first question gives you a number to track against and the second question gives you ideas for what to improve on and what to keep. This lets you take those ideas, execute an improvement plan, and survey again to see if progress was made.
Note: Be sure to become familiar with Igloo’s analytics features so that you are not asking questions that you already have the answers to.
- How do your employees feel about working for your company? How do you really really know? We spend a lot of time worrying about our customers and what they think of our company. We often forget that we are also selling our company to our employees and potential hires. Loosing talent is just like losing customers, it's bad for business. When you lose employees due to a bad work environment, your company pays big time
- A solution to high employee turnover is an employee satisfaction survey. Sending out a survey to your employees is a quick, consistent and effective way to catch any red flags before your employee gives their two-week notice. Like a customer satisfaction survey, the goal of an employee satisfaction survey is to reduce employee churn by giving your employees a platform to express their frustration and give constructive feedback that you can use to improve the overall experience.
- When should you survey your employees? Developing a database of employee knowledge is useful and you shouldn't wait to get started, so pretty much any moment can be a good opportunity to send out a survey. However, here are a few specific times that it would be especially smart to survey your customers, and maybe even necessary.
- Best time to survey the employee base is when you are planning the launch of a new digital workplace? When you're making changes around the office, there is no better sign of how well the system is working than to sincerely ask your employees. Oftentimes, upper management, do not get the opportunity to really feel out how our changes trickle down and affect the day to day workings of the office. So if you want to know how a change you made is affecting your office, ask your employees.
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