Do You Administer An Employee, Donor Or Board Opinion Survey?

May 31, 2009

If you do, you should take the approach that the survey is only your first step of assessing attitudes, behaviors and engagement levels.  By administering the survey you have created an expectation for those who participated in the survey that you are going to do something with their opinions and comments.  They are wondering if you are truly going to listen to them, look for trends, and announce your strategy for addressing these opportunities for improvement.

What you do with the information from an opinion survey reveals what kind of leader you are. 

I am sorry if that sounds like I am challenging you, but if there is no follow-through after you ask the questions, you have just probably created a major morale minimizer within your organization!

Unfulfilled expectations reduce satisfaction, and reduced satisfaction can result in reduced business.  With employees that means lower employee engagement.  With your board and donors it could mean less underwriting, less contributions, and less engagement as well.

And that brings us to the importance of communicating within your organization.  I have said it before, and I will say it again—tell it like it is—honesty translates into respect! Use the survey as your opportunity to show commitment to the mission of your company and your organization.  Use the survey to address what has been confirmed as important issues.  Use the survey to celebrate the positive and use the survey to challenge everyone to engage in suggesting strategies or tactics for resolving these important issues.  You have empowered participants to share their ideas; now empower them to help make your organization the benchmark of its peers!

Thinking surveys cost too much money to administer is a myth. These surveys can be done for a minimal cost.  Getting started can be done quite easily and The W Group would be pleased to assist you in launching a survey, including results analysis, and suggested strategies for incorporating your results into action!

One final comment: consider surveying twice a year.  Why? Because sometimes you get people on a bad day, sometimes people can’t participate for some reason, and by surveying twice a year you address the first two reasons, and you now have two data points to begin using metrics to confirm if your action plan is taking affect.

Remember, just asking people to complete a survey sends a good message. Creating an action plan to illustrate you actually listened to what they said is “priceless.”



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