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Online surveys can be conducted in two modes:
A public survey link will take respondents to an online survey where they will be required to:
A public survey link can be emailed out by the survey service provider or by anyone in the organisation being surveyed. A public link can even be forwarded between employees, so anyone can click on the link and complete the survey – which is simple and convenient but open to abuse. The advantages and disadvantages of a public survey link are summarized in the table below.
|Advantages of a public survey||Disadvantages of a public survey|
Note: to control the number of responses per business unit or survey team, the number of employees per business unit or survey group has to be captured – see Dealing with the Organisational Structure for more on this.
A targeted survey link is – at least from the respondent’s point of view – simple, non-invasive and uncomplicated: respondents only need to respond to the survey questions; there are no invasive demographic questions, and they do not have to indicate their place of work. However, preparing and configuring a targeted survey is much more involved and require a lot more effort and commitment from both the organisation and the survey provider:
The upside is that the respondents don’t have to respond to any demographic questions or indicate their places of work – the survey system will link their online responses by means of their email addresses to their demographic and business unit data. The advantages and disadvantages of a targeted survey are summarized in the table below.
|Advantages of a targeted survey||Disadvantages of a targeted survey|
The table below illustrates the work involved in preparing the employee name list for a targeted survey where both the place of work (business unit) and demographics (age, qualification, level and gender) have been captured.
Note: it is not necessary to include both the place and work and demographics in a targeted survey. Any hybrid configuration can work, e.g. only the place of work can be included in the targeted survey, with the demographics included as survey questions in the online survey; or only the age and gender of employees can be included in the targeted survey, with the remainder of the demographic attributes collected via survey questions.
Bottom line: targeted surveys will yield more reliable survey results and generally will have a higher survey participation and completion rate then public surveys, but require more work to prepare.
Public survey links can be emailed out by anyone – a designated person in the organisation or an external survey provider. Targeted survey links, in contrast, have to be emailed out via Engage SURVEY, since individual survey responses have to be matched to individual employees. However, to reinforce the perception of anonymity and confidentially, it is suggested that someone external to the organisation email the survey links out in all cases.
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