ali khan
Ali Khan
Published On
December 14, 2023
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13 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Employee Surveys

Surveys are powerful tools in the workplace. They can unveil priceless insights into your team's morale, ideas, and concerns. But here's the kicker – a poorly designed survey can do more harm than good. It could lead to skewed data and disengaged employees. 

Ever wonder why your well-intentioned surveys sometimes return a jumble of unhelpful data? Or worse, get greeted by the sound of crickets? Well, you're not alone. It’s a matter of finding the right balance. ⚖️

So, before you hit 'send' on your next employee survey, let's chat about some of the common mistakes that can trip you up and how to dodge them. Whether it's the sneaky leading question, the dreaded marathon survey, or the mysterious case of the vanishing response rates, we've got you covered.

The 13 Most Common Mistakes in Survey Writing 📊

Here are a few pieces of wisdom to help you craft surveys that not only get answered but provide valuable, actionable insights. Remember, a well-designed survey is like a good chat over coffee – engaging, insightful, and enjoyable.

1. The Mystery of the Missing Context 

Ever launched a survey and heard nothing but the echo of your own click? Well, folks, it's time to put on your detective hat! Before you hit 'send', make sure you explain and announce why you're sending this survey. 

Think of it as setting the stage for a grand performance. Wrenly, your friendly aide, suggests spicing things up in Slack with an eye-catching GIF and a message that packs a punch. When people know the 'why', they're more likely to jump in and participate. It's about turning a mundane survey into an event they can't miss! 🎉

2. The Case of the Anticipated Response 

Now, imagine you've poured your heart out in a survey, but then - silence. It's like shouting into a void, right? To avoid this eerie silence, let your team know when they can expect a response or update. 

This isn't just about good manners; it's about showing respect for their time and input. Use town halls to discuss and summarize feedback, making everyone feel heard and building excitement for these events. It's like a cliffhanger in a good TV show, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats!

3. Operation: Follow-Up 🗓️

Here's where Wrenly, your digital sidekick, shines. When a survey reveals someone with low morale, it's like finding a clue in a detective story. Wrenly doesn’t just spot these low-sentiment users; it reaches out to them, offering a helping hand. 

And for those beaming with positivity? Wrenly's on the case too, thanking them and gently nudging them towards leaving glowing Glassdoor reviews. Talk about being a morale booster and a reputation enhancer!

4. The Feedback Action Hero 📌

Don't just collect feedback like it's a hobby. Show your team that their voices lead to action. When changes are made based on survey responses, shout it from the rooftops (or, more professionally, in your next meeting). This is the grand finale where everyone sees their input shaping the company. It guarantees that your next survey will be welcomed like a hero returning home, ensuring even higher participation and engagement.

5. Keep it Simple

Have you ever been baffled by a survey question that felt like it needed a decoder ring? We've all been there. The trick is to keep your questions straightforward and jargon-free. 

Remember, not everyone speaks 'corporate'. Simple language equals clearer responses.

This approach ensures that everyone, regardless of their role or expertise, can understand and respond accurately. The goal is to gather data, not to showcase your vocabulary. The best practice is to keep it conversational, clear, and concise. After all, the best insights often come from the simplest questions.

6. Anonymity is Key 👥

Let's be real: no one wants to spill their guts if they think Big Brother is watching. So, make sure your team knows their responses are as anonymous as a superhero's secret identity. 

A little assurance goes a long way in getting honest and candid feedback.

Using Wrenly on Microsoft Teams or Slack will always offer anonymous surveys. These are from employers to employees. And answers will be provided by anonymous animals so employee feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts.

7. The Never-Ending Survey 

Ever felt like a survey was dragging on... and on? Your employees feel the same way. 

Long surveys can be a buzzkill and can lead to rushed or unthoughtful responses. Keep it short and sweet – your team will thank you for it!

The trick is to prioritize your questions. Focus on what you really need to know. Think quality over quantity. Keep your surveys short, engaging, and to the point, ensuring higher completion rates and more accurate responses. Sometimes, less really is more.

8. Choice Matters 🤝

Ever been stuck choosing between 'Yes' and 'No' when you really felt 'Maybe'? Providing a range of answer options is crucial. 

When it comes to survey answers, one size does not fit all, so include choices like 'Neutral' or 'Not applicable'. This way, you'll get a more accurate picture of what your team really thinks.

This not only helps in capturing a wider range of opinions but also makes your respondents feel heard and understood. Remember, the richer the options, the richer the insights. It allows for a more nuanced picture.

9. Timing is Everything 🕒

Could you imagine getting a survey invite on a Friday evening? Not cool, right? 

Picking the right moment to send out your survey is as important as what you ask. And remember, surveying too often can be just as bad as bad timing. Find that sweet spot!

10. Demographics: Who's Answering?

Understanding who's answering can be just as important as the answers themselves. Including optional demographic questions can help you see the trends and patterns in your team's feedback. But hey, remember to keep it optional and respectful — and don’t forget to let your employees maintain anonymity.

11. Double-Barreled Questions - Two's a Crowd

Isn’t it annoying when a survey question that's trying to ask two things at once? It's like being asked to pick your favorite ice cream and movie genre in one go – confusing, right? 

The fix is simple: Split those questions up. One question, one focus. It makes answering easier and your data cleaner.

12. Feedback Fatigue is Real

Go ask your friend the same question every day. It’ll get annoying quickly. The same goes for surveys. 

Overloading your team with too many questions or too frequent surveys can lead to 'feedback fatigue'. Strike a balance. Keep it relevant, and give them space to breathe. 😮‍💨

Ensure each survey has a clear objective and give enough time between surveys for changes to be implemented and for new insights to develop. This way, when a survey does land in their inbox, your team knows it matters.

13. The Scale Conundrum 💡

When you're using scales (like 1 to 5), consistency is key. Flipping scales midway can confuse respondents – Was 1 'very satisfied' or 'very dissatisfied'? 

Decide on your scale format and stick to it throughout. Consistency is your friend.

Decide whether '1' represents the positive or negative end of the spectrum and stick to it throughout the survey — and make it clear at the very beginning. This not only helps in maintaining clarity for the respondents but also ensures that the data you collect is reliable and easier to analyze.

The Four Pillars of Survey Success

Alright, let's turn the spotlight on a topic as crucial as that secret ingredient in your grandma's famous pie - creating effective surveys with Wrenly! We're talking about a strategy that's not just smart, but also as balanced as a well-made smoothie. It's all about focusing on four key elements: Basic Needs, Individual Contribution, Teamwork, and Growth. Miss one, and it's like forgetting the salt in your soup – a culinary disaster!

Surveyors should avoid focusing all their questions on one category as this doesn’t give them a full picture of what’s going on in the company. As you write up each survey question in Wrenly, Wrenly will tag each question with a category and remind you to ask a question that is relevant to each category. Like your own assistant helping you out when you’re writing up survey questions!

1. Basic Needs - The Essentials

It’s about giving everyone the right tools and making sure they know what to do with them. Just like you need the right pots and pans to whip up a gourmet meal, your team needs the right tools to excel. Why does it matter? Imagine trying to cook a five-star meal without a recipe or the right ingredients. A culinary nightmare, right? Well, it's the same at work. Wrenly is like your sous-chef, ensuring you've got everything in place, from the spatula to the spice rack. 🍳

Question:: Are you equipping your team with the perfect kitchen, or are they trying to bake a cake with a hammer?

2. Individual Contribution - The Secret Sauce

It’s like recognizing every ingredient in a delicious dish. Why That Matters: Just as a pinch of salt can transform a meal, every team member adds their own flavor. When each ingredient is celebrated, the final dish is unforgettable. Recognize each contribution, and you've got a recipe for success that Gordon Ramsay would envy. Overlook one, and you're serving bland food. Wrenly helps you spotlight each flavor, ensuring none is left behind.

Question: Are you savoring every unique flavor, or overlooking some key ingredients?

3. Teamwork - The Symphony in the Kitchen

Picture a group of musicians. Alone they’re good, but together? They make magic. It’s all about harmony. A well-coordinated team is like a symphony, each note complementing the other. Wrenly's your conductor, ensuring everyone's in tune.

Question: Is your team playing a harmonious melody or still tuning their instruments?

4. Growth - The Ladder to Culinary Heights 🎼

It’s like showing someone a ladder they can climb, with exciting views at every step. Everyone likes to know there’s a good view ahead. If people see where they’re headed and like the destination, they’ll climb with enthusiasm. Tt's about giving them a path to grow, to improve, like a chef mastering new recipes. Wrenly doesn't just show the ladder; it tempts with glimpses of the feast at the top. 🚀

Question: Are you offering a view worth climbing for?

Final Thoughts

Remember, the best surveys are like a good conversation: they're engaging, straightforward, and leave everyone feeling heard. By steering clear of leading questions, keeping things simple, offering a variety of choices, and being mindful of survey length and frequency, you're setting the stage for more honest and insightful responses. 😊

It's all about making your team feel comfortable and valued when sharing their thoughts. With these tips, you're not just collecting data; you're building trust. You'll be amazed at the difference a well-thought-out survey can make. 

Now, let's sprinkle a little tech magic into the mix with Wrenly's integration with Slack and Microsoft Teams. You can seamlessly conduct surveys right where your team chats and collaborates daily. It's like setting up a feedback booth in the virtual equivalent of your office’s busiest hallway – super convenient and a surefire way to boost those response rates. 🌟

It brings some AI smarts to the table, making it a standout choice for employee surveys. Surveys that practically run on autopilot, provide health scores that give you a quick snapshot of your team's morale and engagement. Diving into the insights from your surveys becomes as easy as pie, transforming a daunting task into an insightful, even enjoyable, experience.

And the cherry on top? There's a free trial available for all paid versions, so you can take it for a spin and see the difference for yourself. With Wrenly, you're not just asking questions; you're engaging in smart, meaningful conversations.

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More Articles From Ali Khan

Ali is a co-founder of Wrenly known for his innovative thinking and exceptional drive to create value for every Wrenly customer. His dedication, mentorship, and leadership skills have not only shaped various careers but have also made him an invaluable asset to the Wrenly team.

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