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Do It Yourself Employee Survey Pros and Cons
Posted by Insightlink on 10/13/15
Employee Surveys: Do-It-Yourself vs. Using An Outside Firm
Well, yes. We are in the survey business. So you probably think we’re going to say you should use an outside firm. And we are, mostly, going to say just that. But we have our reasons and we think that you may enjoy, and even benefit, from hearing a few of them.
Not Every Project Is a Do-It-Yourself Project and Not Everyone Is a Do-It-Yourselfer
Employee surveys look pretty easy. After all, you know your own organization and you know the questions you want to ask (at least in theory). And there’s tools like Survey Monkey that are practically free (unless you want to use the cool/advanced features) to help you set up, run and analyze your survey. So why not tackle it in-house and put the bucks you save by not hiring a research company toward some other worthy organizational objective such as installing a hot tub in the break room?
Well, before you start inspecting the choices at the Spas-R-Us website, ask yourself a few questions.
Sometimes Your Survey Needs Things You Can’t Provide Yourself
Comparative norms. If you want to see how employee opinion at your firm compares to national or industry norms, you need to work with a company (yes, like us!) that collects representative normative data. You simply can’t produce this for yourself – even many research companies do not bother to collect representative normative data (they cheat and use aggregated data from surveys they’ve done for clients – such data is not representative of anything except their client list).
Credibility/confidentiality/objectivity. Based on the thousands of surveys we have done and the tens of thousands of employee written comments we have analyzed, trust between employees and their organizational leadership is not universal. Getting a true picture of employee perceptions hinges on their willingness to share their opinions freely and their confidence that the findings will be interpreted in a fair and objective manner. Using a research firm means getting state-of-the-art confidentiality procedures and an experienced outsider’s perspective on the meaning and implications of the findings. Do you want to spend time and effort defending your in-house survey process and countering suspicions of bias? Or would you rather let us take that heat (we can, easily) and get on with actually using the data to make improvements?
Is There Ever a Place For Do-It-Yourself Employee Surveys?
Actually, we think there is (surprised you, didn’t we?). There are survey projects that just don’t need as much research firepower and where the cost of hiring a survey company is hard to justify. Here are a few.
• Flash surveys. Sometimes all you need is a quick answer to a few simple questions. If what you need to learn is whether employees want the break room hot tub to have built-in cup holders or would prefer it to have two extra Jacuzzi jets instead, a quick, short in-house survey is more than sufficient (heck, even a show of hands might work).
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WILLING TO DO IT CHEAPER
We cost a little more than doing your survey in-house. But you won’t get punched in the nose for choosing us. We promise.
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AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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