When we launched the On-Demand employee survey capability in early 2020, the original vision was to develop a library of focused, topic-specific surveys our clients could use to quickly and easily gather related insights from their employees. At the same time, we also created the ability for our clients to create their own On-Demand surveys. We knew it would be a useful tool, but we may have underestimated all the different uses our clients would find for the new capability.
In retrospect, we should not have been surprised that our clients would quickly spot the value of using an On-Demand to create pre-emptive learning or facilitate gathering focused and unvarnished feedback – both of which can improve execution and outcomes. Using On-Demand surveys also reinforces the commitment to giving employees a voice and inviting their feedback, which helps feedback and engagement become part of the organisation’s operating DNA.
First, before we dive in, one important note. On-Demand employee surveys can be deployed to any group (or groups) of people within the organisation you select – you don’t need to deploy them to the entire team (though you can.) In fact, as you’ll see, it’s this ability to survey select groups that make On-Demand surveys so incredibly useful. Here are some examples!
Anytime feedback is needed
Whenever feedback about a program, event, class, or almost anything else is needed, On-Demand surveys are an obvious fit. By asking employees a series of questions, you’re guaranteed to get better answers than “It was fine.” We commonly see On-Demand surveys used to gather feedback about:
- Training sessions
- New employee onboarding sessions
- Events – both internal and external
An easy way to offer employees a choice
Asking people to weigh in on what seems like little things can have a larger-than-expected benefit: people appreciate being asked about things that will ultimately impact them. Some of the following items may appear trite, but the organisations that fielded these surveys were reinforcing to people that their voices mattered – and being heard is a driver of engagement. Employee-choice surveys we’ve seen include seeking input on:
- Flavors of soda for the cafe vending machine
- Hot drinks, sweeteners, and creamer choices for the kitchen
- Type of holiday celebration they preferred
- Ideas for lunch-n-learn topics
Build recognition programs through nominations, stories, and votes
Some of the most inventive uses of On-Demand surveys we’ve seen are to bolster recognition programs, by first soliciting nominations and then by asking employees to vote to decide the winners. Employee recognition is vitally important, and we love how this approach gets everyone involved.
- Nominations for employee of the month – and in more than one case, room for people to share a story about their peer
- “Caught in the act” nominations – in which employees were invited to nominate others they’d seen going above and beyond for special recognition
- Customer of the month nominations – a simply genius way to capture great customer stories. In addition to recognising the customer, our client also shared the customer stories they gathered with their internal teams – a fantastic way to elevate everyone’s mood.
Measuring impact over time
Because an On-Demand survey can be focused on a specific group of people, it’s useful to measure the impact of an event or change over time and gather detail to identify opportunities to adjust and improve.
- When a team is required to navigate a significant change to its processes or responsibilities
- After a reorganisation, use surveys to gauge perceptions and adaptation to change
- Evaluate communication uptake and effectiveness with an On-Demand that assesses peoples’ awareness and perceptions of programmes or issues.
To gather structured feedback and data
Asking employees a series of questions about a specific topic is a good way to quickly get more useful insight than, ‘It’s fine.’ On-Demand surveys are perfect for gathering structured feedback.
- Have employees elaborate on results from the Benchmark Assessment
- Gather information on a new process, from the people involved
- Survey project teams to gather perspective and feedback prior to project retrospectives
- Evaluating the effectiveness of an employee program or benefit
- Enabling a specific team to provide their assessment and feedback of an issue (e.g. one client is using an On-Demand survey to perform a stakeholder analysis on their organisations’ corporate sustainability
Pro tips for using On-Demand employee surveys
Here are a few more tips for using On-Demand surveys successfully.
- Creating a balance between freeform and multiple-choice questions, as well as blending closed and open-ended questions, enables you to get feedback in exactly the form you want it.
- Filtering of comments for single/multiple-choice also adds additional ability to pinpoint further.
- Remember: this doesn’t have to be a big project or a big survey – in fact, we suggest a length of between six and ten questions – just be ready to follow through on the feedback.
So next time you hear someone say “I wonder…” use an On-Demand survey to find out. Your employees will appreciate being asked, and the insights they provide can steer better outcomes.