By Cary Win
I like the phrase “Involve people who knows the job best”. There is no one who knows everything perfectly. It is very important to get ideas, opinions from everyone who involves in it to be successful. Most of the organizations which understand the importance of getting people’s ideas, they always conduct a number of surveys and develop action plans based on the feedback from those surveys for improvement. It may not be easy for those who do not have experience to manage the entire survey process. This article will explore more about how to conduct a survey properly.
Survey planning is the first step to prepare for management a survey. You need to consider;
- When will you conduct the survey?
- How will you conduct the survey?
- Will it be managed by yourself or external vendor?
- How much will it cost?
- What do you want to ask in the survey?
You need to design a questionnaire as a next step. What will be the questions? How many questions will be in it? What kind of questions will answer the query that you want to know from the people? How many languages do you want to use in it? These are the questions you may want to consider when you are designing the questionnaire.
After designing the questionnaire, you need to make a survey communication in which you will explain about the survey and the schedule. Then, you will conduct the survey by using the questionnaire you designed. When you are conducting the survey, you may need to assure the participants that their honest feedback is vital to the survey and there will be an action plan for the necessary improvement based on the survey results.
Once the survey is completed, data analysis will be conducted. It will be better to ask external party to do this for avoiding misunderstanding and bias. After the data analysis, you need to prepare a management report by using the survey results. Then, you need to explain the survey result to your people by using the report.
There is one thing you need to be careful when you are communicating the survey result because many people think that the process is completed when survey results are communicated. Actually not. It is very important for you to start working on your action plan how you will improve as per the indications you get from the survey result. However, you should not rush to make action plan based on the survey results because the result can only tell you the symptoms of the underlying problems. You need to work with focus group to find out more details about the issues presented by the survey results so that you will have better understanding about the main problems that you need to solve. You may need to select the focus group leaders who will lead the focus group discussion sessions. They must be people leaders who are trusted by their people and need to be trained for conducting the focus group discussion sessions.
Those focus group leaders will lead the discussions with selected people by reviewing the survey results, identifying the key problems and recommending the possible solutions. Then, the survey committee will review the recommendations and decide on the action plan for both departmental and the organizational. Those action plans must be implemented, monitored and evaluated periodically. Then, the outcomes of the actions must be communicated to the people. After that, it will completed the whole cycle and ready for the next year survey again.
The process that I explained in this article is about how to manage a survey and how to use the survey results in general. You need to plan properly, and implement carefully. Then, you utilize the results consistently. By doing so, you will be able to manage a survey effectively and productively.