Feedback

Try this free digital tool to collect feedback:

SurveyMonkey

  • The free version works well and is sufficient for many uses. I used it personally to collect 360 degree feedback
  • The paid version provides really great reports with many different options. This was used across my organization by many people to collect all sorts of feedback internally and externally. I heard nothing but praise for the tool and I know that most of the users creating the surveys were not data professionals

Paper surveys are history

.. at least they should be in a corporate environment in my opinion. Paper-based surveys are an inefficient way to collect views and only address the collector’s immediate need to see that feedback has been offered.

  • instant feedback allows no time for reflection
  • negative or constructive feedback may be avoided if the person giving the feedback doesn’t want to be identified when handing over the paper
  • handwriting varies and is often illegible (how’s your handwriting?)
  • it takes time to tabulate the various responses, either manually or on a spreadsheet, and
  • then once finished you bin the papers, losing all the good narrative text that you could re-use at some future point or to learn from

Why digital?

If people have booked online to attend, you will probably already have their email address. If you don’t, you can ask for it as they enter the venue.

  • you can design the survey in many different ways, making it as simple or as comprehensive as you wish
  • the design is generally of a high standard – the weakest link is you and how you pull the survey together, and SurveyMonkey offers a helpline
  • you can send email reminders for feedback after the event, and the system knows who hasn’t yet responded so you can keep trying (within reason)
  • you can seek feedback via Twitter using a link
  • if you used Eventbrite to manage your bookings, it incorporates a link to SurveyMonkey so your event planning is seamless
  • SurveyMonkey collates all the responses automatically and offers you many different ways to show the results, both quantitively and qualitatively. This varies according to which version you use, of course (the free version offers the fewest options).
  • you will always be able to access the survey and the results online, enabling you to repeat the survey in future and compare the results like for like
  • all text will be legible, subject only to the use of spelling and grammar
  • SurveyMonkey is available in many languages.

One final word, a personal bugbear of mine, when seeking feedback in a corporate environment: avoid asking if they enjoyed themselves at an event; that achieves little. Ask instead what they learned from the event and give them room to tell you what that was. The learning is reinforced when they articulate it for someone else’s benefit.

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