As a People Ops user you should have access to comments but there is a maximum of only one demographic filter (for confidentiality reasons discussed here).
Comments can provide some interesting color and some further insight into specific issues that may be raised by your survey. However, comments should be viewed as secondary to the quantitative results for a number of reasons.
- Comments are often from a smaller number of respondents so they may not be representative of everyone. The whole point of a survey is to allow each employee an equal say or vote so focusing on comments from a few individuals can defeat this whole purpose.
- People are by their nature sensitive to negative feedback so we will often focus on negative comments and ignore both the survey results and other comments.
- Some people may write most of the comments across multiple questions and they may write the most. The noisiest cog is again getting the most attention.
The best thing to do with comments is leave them until you’ve absorbed your results and then to use comments to understand some more detail. If you have a low score on something check the comments for those that might help you understand and take a good look through the comments provided on impact questions where your scores might be lower.
Comments can also form part of your results conversations where you ask employees about their thoughts but remember they are more individual so it is best to paraphrase a few that are constructive and in line with the overall results. This can emphasise that it is the overall results that will shape the ongoing conversation and action and that constructive comments are going to get the most voice.
Questions To Ask:
Reflecting on the areas that you have identified as standing out, which questions can help provide the most context for these results? You may choose to align questions with the drivers of most interest or provide the most context for the survey results.
Which questions are of most interest to your company?
Within the sections, identify 2-3 comments for each provide the most context for the results.