Online Employee Surveys
Posted on April 20, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Organizations have many different options in how employee surveys are conducted. The medium that is used to collect data has become more vast. In the past, paper and pencil was the only option. Compiling data from paper and pencil can be more challenging considering the other available options. Online survey collection has become increasingly more common for this very reason.
One of the major concerns that accompany online surveys is the increase in nonresponsive employee survey results (Thompson & Surface, 2007). What are the reasons this is occurring? For starters, employees often fear that their identity could be compromised. Although most surveys reassure employees that his or her identity will remain anonymous, employees may question how accurate this may be. Employee surveys are a sensitive subject leaving employees feeling vulnerable that if there identity is compromised, there will be negative consequences.
We are all subject to forgetting to respond to an email now and then. Often times the number of emails we receive in a day can be astronomical. I know I have failed to respond to an email at times when I get really busy or am overwhelmed by a high volume of incoming emails. The same thing can happen with employee surveys. Employees may have every intention to complete a survey, but may forget to actually complete it.
Another reason for unresponsive employees may be that employees feel that their opinions will not result in any change. Employees may feel that it is not worthwhile to voice their concerns to their organization. I have been in this type of situation and it is difficult to want to take a survey knowing that the results will not be shared with employees nor will the organization work on problems identified through the results. If an organization is serious about using the results to better the organization, it should be demonstrated to employees to encourage participation in future employee surveys.
Do you think online surveys are more effective than paper and pencil?
Reference: Thompson, L., & Surface, E. (2007). Employee surveys administered online: Attitudes toward the medium, nonresponse, and data representativeness.Organizational Research Methods, 10, 241-261.