Many well-intended wellness program managers & committees spend a great deal of time and thought trying to figure out what programs they should serve up to participants. Instead of trying to guess on what will wow everyone, you might be better off just asking participants what they think and want through an interest survey.
Using an interest survey will allow you to:
- Ask all participants the same questions in the same way.
- Easily tally responses.
- Go to management with numbers to justify recommendations on what programs you might want to add or change.
You can use either a paper or electronic survey, depending on your worksite.
- Print: If many of your employees don’t use or have company email addresses, you may want to use a paper survey. You can either have managers distribute the printed forms or have the paper copies available in break rooms. Be sure to include instructions on where to “hand in” forms. You may want to use boxes placed in break rooms or common areas of each department.
- Electronic: If you opt for an electronic survey, you can either send out the questions included in the body of an email or use an online survey vendor. There are several inexpensive online survey options available. What’s more, online survey vendors will tally responses for you.
Whether you use a paper or electronic survey, improve response rates by:
- Reassuring employees that their responses will be kept confidential.
- Making responses anonymous. You’ll likely get more honest feedback, too.
- Avoiding corporate-speak and uncommon terminology. Don’t assume your participants know corporate acronyms or other “insider” terms. Use generic labels or provide quick definitions to explain things. For instance, if your wellness program has a name, you can reference it, but be sure to add “our wellness program” either before or after you use it for the first time.
- Keeping the surveys short and to the point. Ten questions or less is usually recommended.
- Using close-ended questions, which also makes analyzing results easier. Closed-ended questions take the form of yes/no, multiple choice, or a rating scale. Open-ended survey questions allow people to answer questions in their own words. Many people don’t want to go to the effort of writing/typing their own thoughts.
- Sending out reminders to fill out the survey.
For tips on how to get better feedback on your surveys, read: