Employee engagement surveys are essential tools that allow employers to take the pulse of their workforce. Now, imagine you had a health tracker that checks your heartbeat, and it was strapped to your kneecap. Turns out the kneecap is a terrible place to check your pulse, as there’s not a major vein or artery passing over the knee.
When you’re collecting survey data, time is of the essence. Participants can give you high-quality data for only about five minutes. After that, they tend to lose focus and interest—and the data quality plummets. To maximize research effectiveness, you need to collect the most data possible from each participant in the shortest amount of time. Paring down a lengthy list of questions can be challenging, but the effort pays off in a better-quality data set.
But when you’re limited to explicit-only questions and responses, you’re unlikely to gather sufficient data in five minutes. It might appear to happen sometimes, but in such cases your participants are probably rushing through the survey.
Traditionally, the number of participants is the primary measurement of significance when you’re conducting a research study. But while volume of participation is key, it misses another dimension—the quality of that participation. Was the respondent overwhelmed by your questions, uncertain about their answers, or worse—bored and distracted?
How do people really work? When you’re designing an office environment, understanding this can seem like a holy grail of insights—powerful and elusive. (Learn five reasons so many workplace design surveys don’t help you reach that understanding.)
In the first two articles, we discussed that the dominance of digital screens in our work and private lives is already “here and now” as opposed to being for the “future workplace”. We also explained that most screen-enhanced workspaces can be considered unique because the function of those spaces is truly in the eyes of the beholder, or in this case, the worker.
In this article, we want to share the strategy we take when designing workplace design surveys. Specifically, why we ask the questions that we do and the insights we’re able to capture by taking an indirect questioning approach.