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Which Survey Type Best Fits Your Needs?

Define your local middle market, plan for expansion, and so much more

It is easy to understand the benefit of measuring engagement and satisfaction. But deciding which survey best fits your needs can seem daunting. There is no right or wrong survey solution—every organization has its own key metrics and should look for a research program that supports and encourages the attainment of internal goals.

Generally speaking, there are four types of surveys which all aim toward the same goal of measuring resident and employee engagement.

  1. Comprehensive surveys are a single point in time survey, distributed to an entire population, measuring the full scope of engagement and satisfaction. These types of surveys are great if you are trying to establish a baseline, or gain a global understanding of your level of engagement and satisfaction.
  2. A pulse survey is another way of saying “more frequent surveying.” Pulse surveys are ideal if you are following up on a specific topic or area of concern, allowing your organization to dig deeper into specific issues or track progress on long-term initiatives. These surveys are not recommended to replace comprehensive surveys; these are intentional in nature and meant to be short, with no more than 15 rated statements.
  3. Similar to a pulse survey, are Contextual or “Snapshot” surveys. This type of survey is intended to measure very specific interactions or activities. A great example of a contextual survey is the one you receive at the bottom of a shopping receipt asking you to rate your experience. These surveys provide a great way for dining or maintenance departments to gather immediate feedback on services provided.
  4. If someone is new to your organization, such as a resident who just moved in or a newly hired employee, you may want to give them several opportunities for feedback. These on-going surveys, or “Rhythm Surveys” are distributed at key milestones for the respondent. Each survey builds on the other, ensuring new employees and residents are receiving the support and information they need to be a contributing member of your community. Additionally, this allows for open communication and timely response to any issues raised within the first year.

While surveys can be a great way of receiving feedback, we must recognize that not everyone is comfortable giving their feedback in that manner. That’s where a more interactive experience might be helpful, such as in a focus group. Focus groups can be completed in a typical in-person setting, bringing together groups to discuss topic issues or online focus groups can be held if space is an issue.

This qualitative information often gets to the heart of the issue, allowing respondents to become a part of the solution. With so many survey options, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and become unsure of what method option best fits your needs. If you’ve realized that you don’t have an overall understanding of how your employees and/or residents are feeling, a comprehensive survey is probably the best place to start. On the other hand, if you desire specific feedback on an initiative or event, a pulse or contextual survey might serve you well. Regardless of your current survey practices, it is always recommended that you garner feedback from your new residents and employees through rhythm surveys, as everyone should have an opportunity to share their insights and help you improve.

Remember, surveys aren’t designed to solve problems. Rather, they are a vehicle to identify areas for improvement. Utilizing the information a survey provides allows you to become proactive in implementing changes that ultimately make your organization better.

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