Every turbulent stage requires precise management and the management requires data and feedback. For this reason, this year will also be the year of feedback. Questionnaire surveys have probably become the most widespread way to get feedback. Regular use of surveys enables to collect and analyse the data related to work environment, employee satisfaction or team performance and reward satisfaction as well.
In this way, we can identify potential problems and areas of improvement, get specific feedback which can be filtered according to individual departments, teams or socio-demographic profiles. There is often a positive impact on morale: questionnaire surveys are one of the symbols of companies that really care.
Questionnaire- a great tool where a lot of things can go wrong
The popularity of this format is more than clear: There is the idea that basically anyone can make and evaluate a questionnaire. It takes less time than structured feedback. HR department can handle it. However, we know that this idea is far from reality. A layman cannot create a questionnaire, test it, distribute and then evaluate it. It’s definitely not activity for several days: in many companies, it even takes several weeks. The specific example may be the easiest way how to understand it.
A number of companies were unable to increase in salaries due to unclear outlook at the end of last year, often not even in compliance with previous promises. Coming up with a new key that would correspond to current economic situation is such a priority task that not only HR people but also team managers are involved in it. The management, supported by the CFO, asks as soon as possible for information about how people felt about coming back to work in January, how to rebuild the teams or who is able to bring some savings and where.
From HR’s point of view, it means delving into the data they have (and there are usually not too many) and getting new data. It’s a typical example of change that I can only manage when I see a data-supported plastic image.
Then, the HR department starts working on the questionnaire. Suddenly, there is a well-known dilemma – one universal questionnaire for all employees or several different variants for different departments and seniorities? A short one that doesn’t cover all the answers or rather a long one at the risk of not answering authentically?
Afterwards, it’s necessary to give some form to the questionnaire. In most cases, it’s done under pressure and they choose the wrong form of some questions. Then the formulation is misleading and so are the results. And after sending it out and waiting a few days (or rather a week), you also have to prepare a summary report for management.
How CEO and CFO see the situation? They have been impatiently waiting for the results since Wednesday’s meeting.
“What on earth is so hard about getting a few answers from people so that we can have them till Friday and we can decide what to do next?”
Finally, they will make a decision but before getting data from the questionnaire that will be completely ready at the beginning of next week.
When complex things are needed quickly
Fast paced times really need quick answers. There are a number of situations when an extensive questionnaire survey is the only way to get feedback on complex topics at appropriate cost. And yes- in the vast majority of cases, there will be the situations when speed matters.
If the approach of the CEO or CFO seems to be frustrating, impatient or unemphatic to you, don’t blame them. Moreover, let’s admit that even on the side of HR, the process sometimes slows down – behind the closed door of the HR department, many questionnaires are often called off because “it would take too long” and “too many people would spend a lot of time dealing with it”.
Whenever this argument arises, you have to pay attention to it- for who are the tasks, that are supposed to be fast, require routine experience and at the same time must not keep human colleagues busy, ideal? Exactly. It’s artificial intelligence. Thanks to it, we can call 2024 as the beginning of the era of “quick response”- the time when it will be possible to get quick answers to complex questions.
Technical support with the design, clear evaluation and immediate summary
Well, what is the magic of AI? First of all, it’s time-saving when designing the questionnaire. The selection of questions itself doesn’t take as much time as creating a form and choosing the right type of questions. That’s where artificial intelligence can help. Based on previous experience, it will appropriately suggest which type of answer is the most suitable for which question. The questions may seem to be really unique to your company, in the overall view, they are just a set of questions that have most likely been used by thousands of managers before.
AI can be inspired by them. To set the parameters of a scoring answer, an open-ended question, selection from a drop-down menu, suggestion of a range of answers for closed questions- all of this can be suggested by artificial intelligence by using a similar design to yours. But, it’s definitely faster.
AI can also help you to evaluate the survey. Perhaps everyone remembers how unbearable and, in many ways, counterproductive it is to create a summary based on the results of the data. Yes, it’s the thing that we often postpone to evening shift before going to bed and which usually turns from a quick analysis of the most fundamental findings into a poor description of at least a few slides without any significant additional value.
However, this conclusion is usually the most important outcome that the company’s management works with. Therefore, the role of artificial intelligence is invaluable even with regard to the ability to select the most crucial findings. At the same time, it can interpret the data and provide the summary of recommendations on how to proceed with the indicated trends.
How to use the power of “quick response” in the first quarter?
The beginning of the year is ideal for collecting feedback. It takes advantage of the “fresh start” atmosphere that the new year evokes. People tend to be open to changes and new initiatives this time so they are more willing to provide constructive feedback. For companies, of course, the responses are crucial to develop their assumptions and strategies.
What to ask with the help of AI in January?
Overall feeling about the company and team– it can include a series of questions to get a comprehensive view of employee opinions and the atmosphere in work environment. It will also clarify if the employees are in accordance with the company culture and values.
Return to work satisfaction and expectation measurement– a perfect way to find out if people came back exhausted or full of energy after holidays. This is an important indicator of how strong the “momentum of change” will be.
Salary and renumeration satisfaction– mapping current opinion on the amount of salary, the possibility of taking benefits and overall satisfaction with personal development.
BOX: What can AI surveys by Sloneek do?
Sloneek is one of the pioneers in the use of AI in HR. So it’s clear that we couldn’t miss this news either. Our AI surveys can:
- Suggest the most appropriate set of questions to cover the problem you are addressing
- Use hundreds of tested prompts based on similar questionnaires from around the world
- Optimize questionnaire parameters
- Create clear graphs
- Evaluate the questionnaire and summarize its results in a managerial way
- Interpret the data and propose solutions
- Predict long- term trends based on the results
Why is AI survey a good idea to try?
- Saving 90% of time in creating questionnaire surveys
- Savings in design and evaluation time, the speed of implementation and getting conclusions thus depend only on the speed of collecting information
- Possibility to get know- how out of hundreds of companies
- Surprising solutions and questions you wouldn’t have thought of
- Visualisation of the results based on clear interpretation
The aim isn’t to get rid of the human element
In conclusion, it’s worth recalling the truth that has been repeated hundreds of times. AI is a great helper but it’s no substitute for human reason and critical thinking. The fact that it can successfully help with creating essential surveys certainly doesn’t mean that a layman can use it for essential surveys without sufficient HR background.
Especially with something as sensitive as getting feedback, it needs to be emphasized twice. The idea that “artificial intelligence” and not management is interested in employee feelings can very quickly lead to frustration, resignation and deliberate misinterpretation of information in questionnaires.
If you decide to use AI to collect feedback, deal with this information with caution. Your team should understand that your AI assistant only helps you with routine tasks. There are still specific people who keep a stranglehold on the important issues- i.e. understanding the data and drawing clear conclusions or dealing with information necessary for getting the results.