POPin Blog

Why Surveys Suck

Surveys can be useful in improving your business when they’re used in the correct way- the issue is that most manager and organizations struggle with what to do with the data once it’s received. We’ve found the results usually end up sitting for a few weeks (and sometimes a few months), and they don’t provide the next steps necessary to make an impact in your organization. They tell you what is wrong…but they don’t tell you why. And the why makes all the difference in rolling out successful new initiatives. Let’s take a look at traditional surveys. They can take the form of standard multiple-choice questions ranging from 10-50 with 4-5 responses. Sometimes they are open-ended questions that let respondents give comments. The results give you quantifiable data of how your employees feel, but what are you supposed to do with that? Does the survey actually help you engage your employees in solving the concerns in your organization? The answer is a definitive no. The generated information does not correlate between the concerns of your employees and the solutions you can implement to overcome those concerns. For example, carrying out a survey on a customer satisfaction index can tell you that 60% of your clients are not happy. But what do you do with that data? Surveys just don’t equip you with the tools necessary to make a difference in your organization. Current survey trends leave organizational leaders and managers clueless on where problems truly lie in their companies and how to solve the root-cause. As a result, they are unable to make educated decisions about how to roll out initiatives and implement processes that their employees can get behind. They end up making blind assumptions that are generally toxic (or at least unhelpful) to the business. So surveys. What SHOULD they do in order to affect a business for good? Once the data is collected, the next step must be to generate tangible data and sentiments to aid decision-making. Does the survey you just ran in your company do that? If not, it’s clear the traditional survey is ineffective for what you’re trying to accomplish. If it does give you tangible data and opinions, do you know what to do with that information? The next steps following the gathering of information is where the true value of the exercise lies. Many managers go through survey data with other leaders, and fully disregard the opinions of lower ranking employees. This is the biggest error leaders can make. Including and engaging your employees with the information you secure is how to A. Identify the highest priority of things that need to be changed, and B. Discover the best ways to do it by including the people in the trenches of your business. Its time businesses dropped the archaic practice of time-wasting open essays or multiple-choice surveys. If you’re interested in doing things better, make your surveys actionable with POPin. Our engagement sessions provide critical data analysis and interpretation by expert teams for implementation of solutions. Find out more here.