Are you staying safe? How are you feeling?
With staggering societal upheaval, you probably want to understand how your partners, staff, and distributors are responding to COVID-19. Do they have enough PPE? Where do they see things headed?
A survey is a great way to capture these insights… IF it’s done well.
One company told me they had just done their COVID-19 survey, and while they knew it was ugly and slapdash, they figured something was better than nothing. Not true.
A hasty approach compromises response rates, completion rates—and in all likelihood, the quality of the data too.
Baked-in Assumptions & Other Flaws
Because many companies are in a rush to push their COVID-19 survey out, I’m seeing surveys with unbalanced scales, baked-in assumptions, and other flaws.
Some surveys assume their staff are happy working remotely. Other surveys assume their employees have the protective equipment they need.
For example: “How safe do you feel right now?” assumes employees feel at least somewhat safe.
But untested assumptions get in the way of next steps. Untested assumptions halt progress.
Let me challenge you with this: Take one extra day and give yourself the survey you deserve, one that looks good, asks thoughtful questions, is scientific, and yields accurate, unbiased data. Take the time to do it right.
At minimum, your COVID-19 survey should give you real-time data. It should also engage respondents while being scientific—because if ever there were a time to embrace science, it’s now.
Why Science Matters
Science matters because it’s how you arrive at useful data. After all, don’t you honestly want to know what’s going on with your people? No sugar coating. Just true, reflective answers to true, thoughtful questions.
Make it Impartial
Science is about impartiality. It’s about approaching a question or idea with a genuine sense of curiosity. The goal is to find the truth regardless of what that information means for your company. As Sam Harris has said, “Science is a state of mind not a set of facts.”
Make it Anonymous
Anonymity ensures respondents feel comfortable sharing honestly and don’t fear any kind of repercussions due to their answers. By collecting anonymous data, you’re much more likely to have an accurate representation of what’s really going on with your respondents.
Make it Relevant
Survey customization is key. Recently we worked on a COVID-19 survey where the client thought they had everything covered until, upon further probing, we realized they were missing an entire type of employee. While the survey covered staff who work in the facility and those who work remotely, it hadn’t included those who need to drive to customers’ sites. We added logic and developed questions to reflect this role, and now with this added customization their survey is underway.
Ensuring relevance is always crucial because no one has your exact audiences, products, and situations.
If you pull questions ‘off the rack’, whole sections of your survey won’t make sense or won’t apply. That’s a recipe for off-the-cuff answers. Feeling that you care more about accomplishing a task than about understanding them, your people will mindlessly charge through your survey, if they take your survey at all.
One Day Turnaround
So what’s your strategy? What are you doing to learn what your people need during these challenging times? Let me know!
Toward health and safety. And toward COVID-19 surveys that provide insight and scientific facts!