<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Can Our HR Department Elicit Useful Feedback on Its Performance

November 17, 2009
Dear Interested:
When preparing to conduct a survey there are several things you should consider even before you formulate questions to ensure a good result.
Plan to:

• Ensure that the people completing the survey are a representative sample of your employee population as a whole.
• Select a survey sponsor/champion who can drive respondents to the survey.
• Determine and communicate what will be done with the results.
• Provide a feedback loop to the respondents.
• Choose an effective communication vehicle for the survey. In your messaging, include the objective for the survey, intended use of responses, and a process for ensuring confidentiality.
• For this type of survey, develop a question list that will take five to 15 minutes to complete.
• Identify other competing initiatives within the organization that may dilute the response rate and negatively affect “mindshare.” Factor in the length of time the survey will remain open.
After preparing to conduct your survey, you can turn your attention to formulating the actual questions by thinking about:
• Data you really need to know. Consider what it is you really want to know once the survey has been completed. What is it that you were really looking to find out? Did you ask the right questions in the right way to retrieve that data?
• Phrasing of questions. Use a rating scale (usually a three- to five-point satisfaction or importance or frequency scale) or multiple-choice questions to trigger meaningful responses. Keep open-ended questions to a minimum of two or three.
Include identifier questions. These determine how you will be able to “cut” or analyze group and subgroup responses.
• Department
• Length of employment
• Title and position
• Gender
• Any other type of identifier that you may wish to filter results by
Also include content questions. Keep in mind the desired time frame for the survey.
• How familiar are you with the HR services offered?
• How many HR services do you use?
• What role are you expecting HR to fulfill?
• How often are these services used?
• Which services are most important to you?
• Which services are least important to you?
• How satisfied are you with the services that you use?
• How would you rate the quality of the interaction between you and your HR representative?
• How convenient are the online services to use?
• What would you like to see improved and how might you improve it?
• How would you like to see the information from this survey used?
• Do you have other comments?
SOURCE: Michael Haid and Dr. Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier, Right Management, Philadelphia, June 24, 2009
LEARN MORE: Faced with mounting layoffs, some HR professionals probably would rather not know what their employees are thinking. A recent Workforce Management study found many HR managers are under stress like never before.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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