How to craft meaningful surveys

Surveys are a fantastic tool in learning about what’s important to your team, how they’re feeling, how motivated they are an how valued they feel. Surveys can often yield useful information that highlight issues you may not be aware of, and help guide you towards crafting a work environment any employer would be proud to have.

Of course the key to a great answer is a great question, so let us share some tips with you in getting the most out of your surveys:

Decide on the type of data you want ahead of time

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In simple terms, answers can be expressed as three different things: numbers, truthy(yes/no), or free text. Aggregating and summarising these types has to be done differently, and therefore the way you analyse the data is different, too. For example, numbers can be represented on graphs and charts. You might ask a question that begins “on a scale of 1-10…” in order to get a broad sense of how people feel about a subject. This would be very easy to digest, as it’s a single chart or graph that could be summarised at a glance. The same can be said of yes/no answers which could be represented on a pie chart.

Qualitative answers that are given as free text aren’t really suitable to plot on a chart or display on a graph, so these aren’t so easily digestible. These would ideally be reviewed one by one due to the nature of their responses being more in-depth and varied in length.

We recommend a balance of question types in order to reduce friction with the people answering the surveys. Everyone’s time is important, so having many longer-form responses might lower the quality of response that you’d typically expect to receive.

Keep the questions relevant

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Surveys are sent to everyone in your company (at least, everyone that’s registered on Collie) so it’s important to understand that asking questions that only affect a small subset of users might not yield a rich subset of responses. For example asking a question on maternity cover might not apply to everyone, so if you choose to include a question or two that doesn’t impact everyone, be prepared for a lower volume of responses. It’s generally a great idea to ask a broad set of questions, but try to include fewer of the ultra-specific questions or re-word them to apply to a broader audience.

Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions

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Remember that all feedback, whether positive or negative, is good feedback. It’s statistically impossible to impress everyone, all the time, so don’t worry about receiving comments that have the potential to hurt you or learn something that you weren’t aware of.

The reason you signed up for an engagement tool was to learn and improve. Feedback helps you discover what you’re doing right, and what you’re doing wrong and you need to be prepared to ask the difficult questions that you can anticipate difficult answers for. Questions like “Do you believe management is doing a good job?” or “Do you feel that management are effectively communicating…?” are typically difficult questions to ask for fear of honest feedback, but they are excellent points for growth, and could give you the insights you need to turn things around before your people decide to look elsewhere.

Collie was built from the ground up to help you improve your relationship with your colleagues, and provide you with the insights you need to take your business to the next level. If you haven’t signed up yet, sign up today and take the first steps to understanding your workforce and taking positive action.

All the best,

Everyone at Collie


How great businesses stay connected to their teams and foster happiness

The world has changed.

What we took for granted before; the places we worked, the way we commuted and the ways we conduct business have changed. In a pre-COVID world, it was easier to see and be seen, and stand out from the crowd.

Remote-working has always been a steadily growing alternative method of doing business, but in recent time’s it’s made the leap to become the de facto choice for most businesses. Not even a choice in most cases, but rather an ultimatum: Continue to work remotely, or don’t work at all.

Offices brimming with people have been replaced by occasional Zoom calls or Teams messages, and it’s harder than ever to feel connected to the people we work with, even though we have more technology at our fingertips than ever before.

How do businesses stay connected to their teams in times such as these? Here are a few tips:

1. Communicate

Communication is key in any relationship, and the relationship you have with your team is no different as far as communication is concerned. Reach out to colleagues, even if it’s just to ask “How’s it going?”. A simple gesture can travel a long distance.

2. Collaborate

A lot of people find working from home a blissful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the office, and are able to whizz through work without distractions and issues. Some find it much harder to be separated from their team, and find it harder to get “in the zone”. Try to collaborate with colleagues who benefit from working hand-in-hand, and invite them to work in pairs or small groups so they don’t feel as isolated.

3. Provide regular updates

No one knows how long the current measures will last for, yourselves included, but it makes a world of difference to keep your team in the loop. Even if it’s just to say that things are progressing as usual, and although there aren’t any updates yet, you appreciate the work they are putting in and want them to feel valued.

4. Inject some fun into the 9-5

“Social-distancing” doesn’t have to be literal. We’d prefer it to be called “Physical-distancing”, because after-all, why can’t we be social?

Organise Zoom quizzes, or inject a bit of drama into your video calls by dressing up in fancy dress. Organise a team House Party, or if you’re brave enough try hosting your own game show based on many of the popular hits on TV?

5. Ask the right questions

Collie was created as a service for businesses to better understand their employees, and provide them with insights that help them better steer their businesses to be better places to work. Now, more than ever before is it important to keep your finger on the pulse and understand how your team is feeling. It’s critical to measure health and wellbeing over time, as snapshots don’t really give the whole picture. Sign up today, send your first survey and start your journey into better understanding your workforce.

Stay safe out there,