When you’re planning a company-wide survey, one of the first questions to consider is your survey tool. There are a lot of factors to choosing a tool that best fits your organizational needs, and placing your bets on the wrong one affects the quality of the results and takeaways.
We often find that large companies (10K+ employees) are looking for scalability. They want an easy tool (sometimes built into their HRM) that standardizes questions and communications, ensuring that all employees get the same experience.
Smaller or younger companies tend to look for more customizable approaches. They like tailoring the questions, communication plans, and results to their specific company needs.
Cost and Bandwidth
Consider how much you’re willing to spend on a survey tool. Keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. If you opt for a full-service approach, you’re getting customized questions, communication plans that are specific to your company needs, and useful, tangible results. On the other hand, you might find that the price is right with a DIY approach, but that often means that HR or survey teams are taking on the extra work of project management, execution, and synthesizing results.
Companies survey for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s just an annual check-in and they’re looking for benchmarks. For others, it might be that the company is going through a change, and they need to know how employees feel about it. Or there might be obvious issues with the culture (high turnover, for example), and a survey is used to figure out why.
Choosing a tool
Now that you’ve considered your budget, purpose, and method, it’s time to choose a tool. It can feel like you’re playing the Match Game with all the survey tools out there, so we’ve broken it down for you here.
Standardized Engagement Surveys
Standardized engagement surveys (sometimes built into your HRIS) can be good for several reasons, especially for larger companies. They are reliable and generalizable tools that provide professional experience across the organization.
- Valid and reliable tools
- Easy and efficient
- Good benchmarks across industries
- Difficult to get tangible, specific improvements
- Not customizable to the unique needs of the organization
- Too generic to offer insights into problem areas
DIY survey tools offer a customizable approach that tends to be better for smaller organizations. Companies can write their own questions, but also need to make sense of the results on their own.
- Low cost
- Lots of control over questions
- Great for gauging feedback about a specific event or occurrence in the company
- Time consuming
- Need expertise to write insightful questions
- Limitations to reporting
- Lots of bandwidth needed from internal teams
Pulse surveys ask just one or two questions on a quarterly basis. Usually, questions target different topics with each survey. It’s great if you’re doing well, but can leave you with a Plinko-like smattering of results if there are problems you are trying to solve.
- Great for companies who have a healthy culture, and are just looking to check in
- Avoids survey fatigue by just asking one question at a time
- Offers fast results and multiple touchpoints a year
- Doesn’t offer insights to problem areas or how to solve them
- Not good for companies who are looking to improve their culture
- Not helpful with complex issues within the organization
Generally speaking, if there is a problem to solve, we recommend a customized approach. A good survey can unearth problems you weren’t aware of and offer insights into how to fix them. It’s difficult to write relevant and insightful questions that get you the answers you need.
At illumyx, we have years of expertise in solving culture problems for all different types of organizations. We ask good questions and synthesize survey results in ways that are actionable and useful to you and your teams. And we can meet you where you’re at. Whether you’re a large or small organization, or right in the middle, we’re here to help. Reach out today.