They are a cost-effective and, generally, unbiased way to collect opinions, interests, views, preferences, and factual information about a large number and wide variety of respondents. Online surveys, such as those offered by Survey monkey and Zimmerman, are excellent tools for collecting targeted opinions from employees and consumers due to their ease of use and user-convenient accessibility.
Organizations utilize these tools to gather valuable brand and industry insights, and businesses of all sizes can increase efficiency and productivity if the surveys are used efficiently. According to Grapnels and Wheaton (2004) and Archer (2003), web-based surveys can be administered easily by following several important steps: Determine the target population to be assessed and the purpose of the survey; this is important in creating a web- based survey that is effective and focused on the issue.
One issue to consider is that “nearly 25% of the United States adult population has extremely limited iterate in English” according to the National Adult Literacy Survey (ANAL, 2012). Design the layout of the survey and format questions, remembering to keep the survey short and simple or else risk skewed answers; this will serve as a road map to direct the formatting of questions. Provide a welcome screen that is user friendly from the start that explains the easiness of responding to questions with instructions; an outline of the intent of the survey should be included in the introduction.
If the survey is perceived to be important it will elicit higher response rates. This welcome screen should also include the name of the organization conducting the survey, confidentiality information, and how the data will be used. It is also useful to give respondents an idea of how long the survey will take. Post questions that have a consistent format and flow; questions must be relevant to the message, brief and objective.
Test the system before launching it to make certain the glitches are worked out; this helps to avoid jeopardizing the accuracy of the data. Pilot test the survey with a small group similar to the targeted audience; this pilot test “offers feedback on whether the surveys wording and clarity is apparent to al survey respondents and whether the questions mean the same thing to all respondents” (Surveying, 2009). This test should include users on different web browsers and types of computers (Macs and PC’s) to see how each handles the survey in terms of layout.
The pilot test also helps to evaluate the questionnaire, to estimate the length of time the study will take, and to determine the quality of the survey. Last, but not least, strategically plan the survey distribution with only a few email reminders; this is the respondents’ first interaction with the survey and we don’t want to seem bothersome. Spam would be avoided, both in language choice and number of emails sent. The survey should be sent from a professional reply email address and include contact information for the sender.
Respondents should have the option to opt out and only a few email reminders should be sent, sending each several days apart. Technology will always drive the workplace, regardless of the industry. Without technology, it will be very difficult to nearly impossible to be transparent, flat, competitive, and on demand. Today’s world of technology is a phenomenon in which people can interact, communicate, plan, organize, and engage work from across the globe in mere seconds and at little to no cost. Technology plays an important role in evaluation tools.
Technology allow documentations to be created and stored electronically, thus minimizing the storage space that is taken up by filing cabinets with long backlog information that is difficult to search through. It has ushered in a way to end the clutter and streamline the time and effort needed to retain files, gain information quickly. Cloud-based systems also ensure that information is accessible from anywhere that you have access to a browser and an internet connection. Technology allows surveyors to analyze response rates through statistical techniques, in particular utilizing inferential statistics.
Technology can also be used to discover similar groups or segments of respondents (cluster analysis), but ultimately, technology allows a survey researcher to quickly and concisely analyze data, and deliver it in a format that is easy for the organization to process and act upon.