User tapping button

Does it feel like pulling teeth trying to get survey participation, even with an incentive? The number of questions might be the challenge. Employees are more inclined to take a shorter survey. Follow these three steps to narrow down your questions to only ones that will yield valuable, actionable data.

Define the purpose of the survey.

Ask yourself one basic question to start: What are you trying to learn from employees? Keep it simple and specific.

For example:

Do employees understand the new corporate strategy?

Once you know why you are surveying employees, it will help you filter what questions should or should not make the cut. 

Outline what information you will need from employees.

Take your specific survey purpose and drill down deeper by thinking about data that is “need to know” versus “nice to know.”

For example:

Whether or not employees understand the corporate strategy is “need to know.” However, whether or not employees agree with the corporate strategy is “nice to know.”

Think about what you will do with the results.

Now that you have narrowed the survey’s scope, further filter which questions to include by thinking through what actions you will—or will not—take based on what you learn.

For example:

If the survey question is “Do you know what to do or how to support the corporate strategy?” and you receive negative data trends, the resulting action would be to build knowledge through trainings or manager talking points.

On the flip side, if you ask, “Do you think learning about the corporate strategy is important?” the results won’t change the organization’s decision to communicate the strategy, so you don’t need to ask.

Once you follow these three steps, you will have a simple but powerful survey ready to go—one that employees will gladly complete.