I work with lots councils across Lancashire who conduct a staff survey every couple of years. The aim is to get feedback on what it’s like to work at the council, how staff are feeling, what are the big issues and what can be done about them.

1. Discover

We start off with a meeting to discuss the aims and objectives of the survey, explore questions and topics we want the survey to cover and agree a project timeline for us all to work to. 

Some councils run these surveys regularly, so things like the ability to benchmark results over time or with other councils is considered. But it’s also important to ask questions that matter. Don’t ask something just because you always have.

2. Develop

After meeting with the client, I can work on developing a survey which fits the brief. It usually takes a few goes to arrive at the final version. Each draft is shared with the project lead for feedback, along with suggestions and commentary.

I also recommend building in some time to test the survey with a sample of staff. It’s a useful way to get some user feedback and spot any issues before going live across the organisation.

3. Gather

Surveys I work on usually take the form of an online survey for office-based staff and either paper-based or some direct engagement with frontline staff. The way you approach your survey can have a big impact on the level of response.

I work with clients to think this through and come up with a proper plan before the survey goes out. Then during the response period I’ll share weekly updates split by service area to help them target and push responses.

4. Analyse

Once the responses are in and the survey is closed down, I’ll get to work on the analysis. This usually includes coding of comments into key themes, setting up analysis variables such as Net Promoter Score segments and generating cross-tabulation datasets (big tables cut different ways).

5. Insight

I find staff surveys really interesting. I usually bring the results together in a report to inform future plans and decisions. It includes a summary of key findings, comparisons over time and any significant differences in feedback by departments. 

I used a mix of data visualisation techniques to make sure the key findings and significant differences stand out to the reader.

6. Action

It’s pretty common that I’ll end the project by delivering a presentation on key findings to the council’s senior management team. I knock up a quick set of slides (the less the better) and talk through what some of the findings might mean for them. It’s also an opportunity for directors and senior managers to ask me questions.

What they got from Pearson Insight

I’ve been running staff surveys for years. I guess they come to me because I know what I’m doing.

I lead on all my projects so they get that personal touch. From the initial discovery meeting right through to the management team presentation. 

Have you got a staff survey coming up?

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