Posted by: rayseghers | October 14, 2009

Should An Employee Survey Be Transparent?

By “transparent” I mean open and straight forward, with no hidden meanings or tricks.  Short answer: Yes.

One of the main purposes of an employee is to open lines of communication.  In a perfect world employee surveys would be unnecessary.  Employers and employees would talk openly and would work together for the good of the company and employees.  Over the last 31 years I have worked with many organizations of various sizes in different industries and I have yet to run into this situation.  Organizations today still need a way to involve employees and get their valuable input.  A transparent employee survey is still one of the best tools to do this.

So, I believe that questionnaires should be as clear as possible so that each employee easily understands the questions.  Of course, there needs to be good instructions and definitions and the questions themselves should be worded in a plain manner devoid of any jargon.  (For example, the word “devoid” should probably be avoided.

I also think that:

  • scale reversals should be used sparingly
  • the number of different response  scales should be minimized
  • category labels, with definitions if necessary, should be used

What do you think?


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