The first and most important step in any research study is the development of the Question Database. To collect good data, you must have a good set of survey questions. If you don’t have a good set of questions, there is no doubt that the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’ was coined for such an application!
The process of selecting survey questions can take several forms, as you may have previous questions that you would like to continue using to preserve historical data. You may have never surveyed before and are beginning from scratch, or you may have a particular focus for your survey, such as corporate culture.
The question database should include questions that are prescribed by best practices in organizational development. For employee surveys, management style, job satisfaction, culture, fairness, and engagement questions are recommended. For customer surveys, intent to return, overall customer satisfaction, communication, responsiveness, and products and services questions are recommended. In addition to being best practices, some of these questions collect data needed to conduct inferential statistical analyses that provide clients with the shortest route to the most important improvements for the financial success of their organization.