How to work with surveys

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Being a feedback junkie, I always have a feedback loop after each session to improve. The best way to get feedback is to spend 15 minutes at the end of a session and discuss live, but most often time has run out by then. Instead, I post a generic feedback form in a chat link, requesting the participants to return it before 12:00 the next day. But seldom the feedback is coming in as we are all tired of these surveys with no visible impact.

But my form is generic and easy to fill in, only having three fields: “Improvements”, “Good stuff” and “Other”. Also, a scale from 1-5 on how to rank the session as a whole and an optional name field. Actually, all fields are optional except for the Improvements, and it is interesting to analyse the output including what fields are filled in or not. Regardless of your survey design, it is important that the output and its actions are displayed to all participants, ideally at the next session. Then I start by analysing the outcome of the survey, show the highlights and what I have done, or will do about it. When you frame your survey, make sure you offer the opportunity to be anonymous, but also give credit to those who give open, candid, and constructive feedback. When I finally show/prove my actions, based on the results of the survey, people realise that their input is valuable. I also display the response and openness rates, which often are low to start with, but always increase. The openness rate is calculated by the optional name field. The more names filled in, the higher Psychological Safety trend.

This is a part of the book Psychological UNsafety from the trenches you can order or read more about here.