Survey Question Design

Survey Question Design

One of the first things to consider with a survey is what you want to do with the data. The content of the survey itself will then emerge from the research objectives. Thus, the first step of the question database development begins with internal questions of:

  • What do I need to know?
  • How will I take action on this data once I receive it?

Once the answers to these items are crystallized, we will know how best to proceed with the survey.

We first focus on understanding your research objectives and topics of interest before drilling down into specific questions. We then offer a ‘buffet’ of questions for your selection.

NBRI’s questions have been written by psychologists and tested on millions of people. They are valid and reliable questions. Reliance on these standardized questions gives you the ability to compare your scores against others who have used the same questions. In this way, you can compare your performance to that of your competitors through a process called benchmarking.

Five principles of survey research

1. Keep action at the forefront of your mind. Ask yourself how you would react if you encountered low scores for each specific question you include on your survey.

2. Ask about only those things you can address. By narrowing the scope to actionable items, you will gather a greater amount of important information.

3. Ask the appropriate amount of questions. Generally speaking, employee surveys will be longer than customer and market research surveys. Since every question takes up ‘space’ on the survey, we must ensure we ask valuable questions.

4. Focus on a mix of big picture and specific items. Ultimately, with ClearPath Analytics, we are able to understand how specific items impact the data.

5. Don’t forget the demographics. Demographics allow you to cluster your data into reports that permit enhanced understanding.

Some examples of demographic information include:

  • Employee characteristics such as tenure, age, gender, performance appraisal rating, pay grade, managerial status, department, and employment status (i.e. part-time, full-time).
  • Customer characteristics such as zip code, age group or gender, customer income, the average spend of a customer, or the frequency by which they use your service or goods.

By following these principles of survey research, you will ensure a successful survey experience. If you choose to work with NBRI, you will work with an organizational psychologist who has guided others through this process countless times. Select your questions—and your research partner—wisely!

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