It is important to ask the right questions in an internal communication survey. The survey would not be effective if it contains questions that don't contribute to the data needed to improve internal communication in organizations.
Internal communication is increasingly becoming more professionalized with its various activities and surveys that are administered by experts who aim to improve employee engagement through an effective internal communication system.
Managers try their best to integrate the support of internal communication experts and as they do this, the more they expect from companies offering services such as those related to internal communication measurement and evaluation. The company should provide the right questions to ask for an internal communication survey when they are composing the employee surveys. They should also provide the right tools and solutions to address the challenges in measuring employee engagement.
Initial objectives of internal communications
According to the Institute of Internal Communication, included among the initial rationale of measuring an internal communication system are the following:
- The employees' knowledge of or commitment to the organization's values
- Employees' understanding as well as involvement in the new activity
- Visibility and employees' perception of the senior management
- The role of the supervisor in communicating the new initiative
- The accessibility of the information to the employees
- The upward communication process - if the management listens to its employees
- The lateral communication - the avenue for sharing knowledge within the organization
Learning about these objectives will clearly guide companies in formulating the right questions to ask for an internal communication survey. Most times, looking beyond the present and envisaging the end of the process to see what kind of results we want and how we can use them, will clearly define the objectives. It is crucial to consult everybody before jumping into the measurement process.
Factors to consider in designing the questionnaire
It is relevant to gain reliable measurement with an objective questionnaire or survey. These are some of the factors to consider in designing the questions to ask in internal communication survey:
- In developing the content, consider information that is needed to assess and prioritize communication.
- Create interesting questions to encourage the respondents to continue and not give up halfway.
- It may be tempting to ask questions that require only simple responses such as 'agree' or 'disagree', and 'yes' or 'no' but sometimes there should also be a mix of essential questions that provide opportunities for them to express their concerns in their own words.
- Sometimes, respondents who don't feel very strong views on certain matters just choose the positive side since they aren't that firm to be on the negative side.
- Open questions can be included with the pre-coded ones and these can be used to express themselves spontaneously and in their own words. A few questions of this kind would be good to include in the types of questions to ask for an internal communication survey.
Questions to ask for an internal communication survey: Demographics
One of the sections of the questionnaire will be about the respondent's profile. Ensure you ask questions that will only be relevant to the study as employees are concerned about their privacy. Too much information may lead to identification of who they are which defeats the purpose of having anonymous respondents. It is recommended that a separate analysis of groups be done if there are at least 10 respondents. The purpose is to assure that the individuals will not be identified.
Top questions to ask for an internal communication survey
Melcrum, one of the leading Internal Communication companies has compiled top ten questions to include in an internal communication questionnaire. These questions were discussed and voted by their members as the questions that elicit the most useful responses from the employee-respondents and help shape the company's internal communication strategy. The top ten questions voted for employee engagement survey questionnaires are the following:
- How do you feel about coming to work every morning?
- Does your manager inspire you?
- Do the days you DO want to come to work outnumber the days you DON'T want to come to work?
- Choose five words that best describe how you feel about coming to work
- Do you feel proud to tell people where you work?
- Do you have the tools to enable you to do your job effectively?
- Do you have the opportunity to contribute to decisions that affect you?
- Do you understand how your role contributes to achieving business outcomes?
- Do you trust the information you receive?
- Do you feel valued for the work you do?
We’ve created a questionnaire template you can download and use for you internal communication survey for free.
In creating questions to ask for an internal communication survey, ensure that the questions are relevant to the data that you need. Too many questions that are not important and not interesting will bore the respondents and may not effectively respond to the remaining questions. Put the best questions on the first pages or numbers as they are conditioned to respond to the survey at that time.
One of the problems many organizations encounter in sending employee surveys is that people tend to put off, ignore or completely forget about completing them. This affects their ability to capture meaningful and accurate data.
When you use DeskAlerts, this will no longer be a problem as surveys are sent as pop-ups straight to your employees screens and they are unable to skip or ignore them – and you can also see the results in real time.
This article was originally published in 2017. We’ve updated it with current information for 2020.