26.11.2013

Survey Methodology Part 2 - Trend Surveys

survey survey

Yesterday I wrote about the baseline survey. Getting through a baseline survey is a big achievement. You will have designed the survey, collected the results, performed analysis, rolled out the results and moved into action planning.

If your communications and action planning are executed well, you'll hopefully start seeing results from your initiatives quickly. Usually within months, sometimes in just weeks. The question then is, how are all these activities doing? Are we making an impact on the areas we identified?

This is where a trend survey come in.

Q2 - Trend

Trend surveys are a shorter survey intended to track progress on activities resulting from your baseline survey. Are you moving the needle in the way you expected?

Some organizations repeat the baseline survey again, but we usually recommend going with a shorter survey that targets your driver and engagement questions. This keeps employees focused on your action areas and is a useful way of reminding employees of the activities you have underway. Not only that, it reinforces your commitment to these actions and re-engages the employees in that.

So, if your baseline survey was 50 questions, the trend should be 10-15 questions. Employees will be able to complete this in less than 5 minutes.

In some cases you may be tempted to sample only a portion of your employees. However, we generally recommend against this as sampling can lead to results that are not representative of the organization or demographics within it. If your survey is short and targeted, your employees won't mind giving you 5 minutes to let you know how you're going anyway.

Hopefully the trend survey shows the outcomes that you were expecting. However, the aim here shouldn't just be to validate your actions. This is an opportunity to refine and fine-tune your initiatives. Even with great action planning, circumstances change and you may need to change tack. So ask questions that best inform this.

On a side note, we often get asked about the role of eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) questions and where they may fit in our methodology. We'll dedicate a different post to this, but trend surveys are good candidates for eNPS-type questions. These questions are a good indicator on how employees are feeling overall.

In my next blog I'll talk about the diagnostic survey. Here we get to drill deeper into the core of your organization.

You can read more about trend surveys on the Academy.

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