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March 31, 2009

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Need to survey your employees? Maybe you would like feedback from them about a certain policy or program. Or perhaps you would like to find out which benefits are the most useful to them. It can be tedious sending out sheets of paper and then trying to collect the answers and tally the responses. Why not use your company's Intranet?

Cloy Tobola, Webmaster for Lutheran Health Systems in Fargo, N.D., says it's a great idea. "It saves time, it saves trees, and employees can get on their PCs, fill it out, and be done with it. It also saves time by not having to key in the answers from paper surveys."
He admits that there are several considerations:

  • Are you getting a random sample? Make sure that you are getting responses from all the employees being surveyed. Often, what happens is that the first responses you receive tend to be from employees who are either excited about the topic or who have an ax to grind. Continue to follow up until you get responses from all employees so that you have a more accurate sampling.
  • Confidentiality? More people are concerned about their confidentiality when using technology, but frankly, Tobola doesn't believe this should be any more of a concern than it would be with any other kind of survey. When the answer on paper, there is always the concern of whether the employee's handwriting will be recognized. You could, however, assign employees random numbers if that would make them more comfortable.
  • Are you getting duplicate answers? Luther Health Systems asks employees to fill out the survey and put their user account name with the survey. That data is then put into a database. That field is then deleted after Tobola has checked to make sure everyone has turned in a response, then the data goes to HR.

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Filed Under: Workplace Issues
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