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Seven Keys to Successful Opinion Surveys

Conducting a successful opinion survey can become a powerful business growth tool.  With detailed and honest feedback from employees and customers you can make powerful and accurate strategy and implementation decisions and gain the heart and loyalty of people who matter.

A good opinion survey helps you understand what they really think and want, and with that information you can:

  • Improve internal processes & efficiency
  • Make the right strategic decisions about products and services
  • Determine where you have a leadership or service problem
  • KNOW (not guess) about problems that could hurt you, and your business', bottom line

Employee Engagement, 360 Feedback, Customer Satisfaction and Team Dynamics surveys, are POWERFUL tools that provide a wealth of business insight, guidance and direction and ALL businesses should be doing this, formally and informally, on a regular basis.

Gathering feedback in the right way is important because you're interacting with the very people who can make or break the success of your business. 

Seven Keys to Successful Opinion Surveys

I've been using Surveys in business since 1987.  Here I outline seven things you want to look for and be sure you do, to ensure that you get the kind of information in the right way. 

Here's a Summary of the Seven Keys and links to the Resources referenced.
(Be sure to watch  the video to get a more-detailed version of the Seven Keys.)

  • Key #1: You HAVE to share WHY the survey is being done and HOW the results will be used.  And, if you want to be super-successful, share the WHY and HOW at least three times---over-communicate this.  (This seems like a 'minor-thing', but it is VERY important...)
  • Key #2: Use a Survey Tool that ENSURES that each Survey Rater's comments and ratings are anonymous. Raters must trust that they can share honestly without reprisal - or you'll be wasting your time, because they either won't complete it or they won't share honestly.
  • Key #3: When setting up the Survey, use a Survey Tool that allows you to breakout and segment Rater responses into a final Report that is broken down by Departments or Region or Divisions.  This makes your data MUCH MORE useful and ensures that you can make good and accurate assumptions as you review the Feedback.
  • Key #4: Tailor the Survey specifically to your company’s goals, culture and the desired behaviors you want to reinforce.  Off the shelf Surveys that are not completely relevant to your business are not very good or very helpful.
  • Key #5: You want to make sure that your Survey provides not only numerical scoring, but also includes a section for open-ended comments after each Survey Item so that your Raters can share why they rated that Survey Item as they did.  The comments are the true GOLD of the Feedback.
  • Key #6: In an ideal world you'd offer the Survey again in 12-18 months so that you can  compare the new results to the original result.  This is a simple way to measure progress. It will also keep yourself everyone else focused on making progress, and ensures that something is actually done with the data.
  • Key #7: MUST-HAVE KEY ACTION: Share a Summary of the Survey Results with all Raters. Create a Volunteer Focus Group (I call this your: Volunteer Resolution Team-VRT) made up of a cross-section of employees. Get your VRT to meet, review Survey Results in detail and provide specific suggestions for improvement.
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Need 360 Feedback Assistance?  If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project, consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes it possible for you to easily measure the performance of a person, a team, or the entire organization with customized surveys and done-for-you-survey-templates: Survey Software System  

If you would like to discuss your project in a complimentary consulting call or if you think you need survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.

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